George Clooney Has Now Bombed as Batman Twice in Two Films!

Warning! The following contains spoilers for The Flash

Poor George Clooney now has the distinction of being the only actor to play Batman in not one but two box office bombs.

Clooney, who hasn’t played Batman on screen for 25 years returned to the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman at the end of The Flash, which is currently tanking at the box office in its second weekend.

Contrary to popular belief, George Clooney’s return to the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman was not a long-awaited comeback. In fact, it was made possible within a few weeks through a series of phone calls, two screenings of the movie, and a half-day of shooting in January, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Despite the short timeline, Clooney was able to reprise his role and deliver the film’s closing comedic gag which has not worked for general audiences, hence the weak B Cinemascore. The original ending for the The Flash had Michael Keaton returning as Batman and Sasha Calle as Supergirl, reversing their depressing deaths that currently exist in the theatrical cut.

In 1989, Tim Burton revolutionized the superhero genre with his dark and mature take on Batman. However, when Joel Schumacher took over the franchise with 1995’s Batman Forever, he undid Burton’s accomplishments. While the movie is still somewhat entertaining, Schumacher’s use of goofy visuals and hyper-theatrics began bringing the franchise back into childish territory. This trend continued with the release of 1997’s Batman & Robin, which was unbearably worse than its predecessor.

George Clooney’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman in Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin has become infamous as one of the worst superhero films of all time. The 1997 movie was ill-fated and has been repudiated by the actor over the years.

In a late 2020 interview with Howard Stern, George Clooney revealed that watching his performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman was physically painful. The actor openly admitted his poor performance, stating that the screenplay by Akiva Goldsman was terrible and that even the director, Joel Schumacher, agreed that the movie didn’t work. Clooney went on to say that it was a collective failure by everyone involved in the production of the film.

“The truth of the matter is, I was bad in it,” Clooney said. “I’m terrible in it, I’ll tell you. Joel Schumacher, who just passed away, directed it, and he’d say, ‘Yeah, it didn’t work.’ We all whiffed on that one.”

Batman & Robin was a significant blow to both DC and Batman movies, leading to a hiatus of several years before the character returned to the big screen with 2005’s Batman Begins. The release of Batman & Robin was a nail in the coffin for the franchise and left fans disappointed and disheartened. It took several years and a fresh start for the character to regain his popularity and become a box office success once again.

Clooney should have stay retired as Batman and be one and done, unfortunately movie audiences outright rejected his return as the caped crusader in The Flash. Given the depressing box office of the movie, It sounds like Clooney will apologizing for another 25 years for coming back as Batman.

The Flash is not a bad movie, in our review of the film, Noah Villaverde wrote, “the film itself is an extremely entertaining superhero blockbuster that boasts some big laughs, crowd-pleasing thrills, and a genuine heart thanks to the wonderful direction by Andy Muschietti, a solid script by Christina Hodson, and remarkable performances by its cast.”

He added: “Ultimately, The Flash is undoubtedly one of the best films to come out of DC. For all the drama behind-the-scenes in bringing the film to life, it’s a relief that the film turned out as good as it did. Andy Muschietti directed a delightful crowd-pleasing summer blockbuster that will hopefully give audiences a taste of the future that is the DCU to come.”