Hollywood star George Clooney feels he's not qualified to pick the next Bruce Wayne, poking fun at his own stint in the role for Batman & Robin. As of right now, Matt Reeves' The Batman is set to hit theaters in the summer of 2021, but no actor has officially signed on to take over the role from Ben Affleck. In Clooney's new interview, the subject of the movie came up, with the actor being asked to name someone he feels should be the next Bruce Wayne.
Pointing out the controversy associated with his own time as the Caped Crusader, George Clooney refused to list any suggestions, arguing he wasn't the best person to ask. "I'm not sure. I screwed it up so badly, I'm not allowed to weigh in on any of those subject matters anymore," Clooney says about casting the next Batman. He then jokes with Catch-22 co-star Christopher Abbot about how it'd be funny if it was The Princess Bride star Wallace Shawn.
After the role had been previously portrayed by Adam West, Michael Keaton, and Val Kilmer, Clooney appeared as Batman in the 1997 flick Batman & Robin. Chris O'Donnell and Alicia Silverstone co-starred as Robin and Batgirl, with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Uma Thurman portraying Gotham baddies Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy. Almost every aspect of the movie was scrutinized by critics and scorned fans, down to the nipples featured on the front of Batman's outfit. The movie was ultimately the lowest-grossing of every Batman movie, putting the Dark Knight on the shelf for many years.
When Christian Bale stepped into the role with Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins in 2005, new life was brought back to the superhero. Although the character's speaking voice has been the subject of mockery, the movie was very well received, leading to the sequels The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. The trilogy is considered to be among the best DC movies ever made, with The Dark Knight in particular remaining one of the most popular Batman movies ever. When Nolan chose to pursue other projects following the third movie, Bale hung up the cape as well, refusing to play Batman again without Nolan at the helm.
Ben Affleck then took over the role of Bruce Wayne following Bale's departure, first appearing as the Dark Knight in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Although the movie was not a hit with critics, Affleck's performance as Batman seemed to be well received, despite the character's new penchant for killing henchmen nonstop. He returned to the role for Justice League, which was unfortunately not the massive hit DC and Warner Bros. had been hoping for. While originally set to star as Batman once again in the upcoming solo movie from director Matt Reeves, Affleck ultimately left the planned project, leaving the role of the Caped Crusader currently up for grabs.
Despite Batman & Robin's status as a commercial failure, the movie will still soon be back on the big screen. Next month, Fathom Events will be bringing four Batman movies to theaters for one day only each, including Tim Burton's Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and, of course, Batman & Robin. You can catch the movie in one of 600 theaters on May 14. Clooney's comments on the next Batman come to us from Variety.