George Clooney Says He Won't Play Batman In The Flash Because He Destroyed The Franchise

Both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck are donning the cowl and taking up the Batman mantle once more for a turn in Andy Muschetti's "The Flash," but you won't be seeing George Clooney join them. The actor, who infamously played the caped crusader in Joel Schumacher's 1997 film "Batman and Robin," recently told Variety that he would not be involved, joking that he had "ruined the franchise."

Blaming Himself for the Bad Batman?

"Batman and Robin" is a mess of a movie, but that blame can't be placed on Clooney's shoulders alone. Even director Schumacher, who took a lot of heat for the campy sequel, has cleared Clooney of his role in the abysmal reception of the film. 

"Well, you know, that's very George. First of all, Batman has survived since 1939 — we're the same age. Nothing has ever stopped Batman," Schumacher told Vulture in 2020. 

Clooney still feels at least somewhat responsible for the way the franchise stumbled after the release of "Batman and Robin." When a reporter for Variety spoke with him at the screening of the latest film he directed, "The Tender Bar," Clooney reassured him that he wouldn't be a part of "The Flash."

"They didn't ask me," Clooney said. "When you destroy a franchise the way I did, usually they look the other way when 'The Flash' comes by."

"Batman and Robin" didn't exactly kill the franchise, but it did put things on hold until Christopher Nolan rebooted things in 2005. The tone shifted from Schumacher's campy, 1960s-inspired schlock to edgy, dark drama, and Batman fans ate it up. While many fans of the Dark Knight simply forgot about the blip of "Batman and Robin," Clooney clearly hasn't.

A Shame So Deep It Can't Be Shared

While many people share their work with their spouses, Clooney is apparently so embarrassed by his outing as Batman that he won't even let his wife, Amal Clooney, see the movie. 

"He won't let me watch it," she told the Variety reporter. 

"There are certain films I just go, 'I want my wife to have some respect for me,'" Clooney said.

Aww, c'mon George. "Batman and Robin" isn't that bad. It's a little silly, but it's a lot of campy fun. It's full of wild gay subtext and some of the worst ice puns in history, but it's never boring! And besides, you made the nipples on the batsuit look good.