We’d all rather live in a world in which George Clooney had never been Batman. He’s a man of many talents, and maybe he could’ve worked in a better film, but Batman & Robin is a total stinker. As for how Clooney got the gig? It turns out he was so good at fighting vampires that director Joel Schumacher came calling.
Before he played the DC Universe‘s moodiest hero, Clooney exuded cool with the lead role in Robert Rodriguez’s 1996 cult classic From Dusk Till Dawn. It’s one of the best vampire movies ever, casting Clooney as a bank robber taking on the blood-sucking staff of a Mexican strip club. If that sounds like a Quentin Tarantino movie, it’s because he did indeed write the script.
The movie has a lot of fans, and it turns out Schumacher was among them when picking his next Batman actor. “I saw George in From Dusk Till Dawn and recognized immediately that he not only had looks and talent, but real movie-star charisma as well,” Schumacher said in the film’s production notes (via FilmScouts).
He added: “Then, while flying from one coast to another, I actually began to draw Batman’s cowl onto George’s face in a newspaper advertisement for From Dusk Till Dawn. He looked perfect, and I immediately suggested the idea to [Warner Bros. chairmen] Bob Daly and Terry Semel.”
The result was one of the worst movies of the ’90s, but there’s no way either Schumacher or Clooney could’ve known that at the time. It had a worse effect on Batman than any of the most devious DC villains possibly could.
This total disaster ultimately put an end to the franchise until Christopher Nolan took the helm in the 2000s. If we’re watching the Batman movies in order, we have to fight ourselves not to skip it. With so many amazing new movies to watch, life’s too short for Bat-nipples.
Of course, we now know that Batman & Robin wasn’t the end for Clooney as Batman. The man himself showed up at the end of The Flash for an admittedly hilarious but completely baffling cameo. For more on that very strange movie, read our The Flash review.
Given we’re about to reset all of the DC characters for James Gunn’s new universe, which he’s calling Gods and Monsters, bringing Clooney back seemed a strange thing to do. But hey, it got a reaction out of us in the cinema, and there hasn’t been much of that from DC recently. We can’t see us getting more Clooney when the Aquaman 2 release date arrives though.
Before you leave us, we’ve got a complete guide to all of the DC movies in order so that you can keep track of every continuity while you prepare for the upcoming DC movies, including Gunn’s opening salvo with Superman Legacy. Finally, learn why George Clooney said no to a Marvel role because of a gruesome scene.