• George Clooney will not be the new Batman in the DCU reboot confirmed by James Gunn on Skyblue.
  • Clooney’s Batman cameo in The Flash is a meta-joke that references his previous role and the concept of the DC Multiverse.
  • The inclusion of Clooney’s Batman creates complications for the DCU, including timeline inconsistencies and conflicting expectations for future movies.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for The FlashIs George Clooney really the new Batman in the DCU after The Flash? DCU supremo James Gunn has now officially answered. After a multiversal circus of DC superhero cameos, The Flash’s ending introduces another wrinkle to Barry Allen’s (Ezra Miller) timeline, revealing that George Clooney is Batman in the new messed up reality created when Barry helps his father (Ron Livingston) win his appeal. The question facing DC fans now is whether that means Clooney will be the new movie Dark Knight for James Gunn’s DCU reboot.

So far, Batman: The Brave & The Bold has no casting news and limited story details, and it’s a fair assumption that more casual viewers will think the loaded The Flash post-credits scene sets up the future. After all, why else would a completely different actor to Ben Affleck or Michael Keaton suddenly appear in the final moments of a supposedly self-contained story? It’s a complicated matter on the surface, but new DCU head James Gunn has confirmed if George Clooney will return in his new Batman movie.

No, George Clooney Won’t Be Batman In The New DCU

The Flash ending George Clooney Batman

As James Gunn has already confirmed on Skyblue, George Clooney will not play Batman in the DCU reboot. He also revealed that the new Batman actor for Batman: The Brave & The Bold is not yet cast, despite some early speculation as to who it could be.

Clooney’s Batman cameo in The Flash is a short-lived in-universe joke aimed at those who know not only that he played Batman for Joel Schumacher, but that he hated it, while also paying off the promise of the DC Multiverse that literally anything is possible. Nic Cage as Superman? You got it. George Clooney as an older Bruce Wayne? Why, of course! Henry Cavill as Superman? Absolutely not. So, almost anything is possible.

The new DCU Batman may well be older than Robert Pattinson’s Batman, given he will apparently fight crime alongside his son Damian Wayne as Robin, but he’ll very likely be younger than Affleck’s Batman. It would be illogical to establish a new Batman who is closing in on retirement age, particularly when two of the last three live-action Batman actors have been part of stories that retired them from crime fighting. In that context, George Clooney couldn’t be the DCU Batman even if he wanted to.

Related: 15 Biggest Factors In The Flash’s Historic Box Office Bomb

Why George Clooney Is Batman In The Flash

The Flash George Clooney Batman

Rather infamously, George Clooney played Bruce Wayne in Batman & Robin, replacing Val Kilmer for Joel Schumacher’s hated sequel. Clooney has gone on record to say he regrets playing Batman, lamenting the quality of Batman & Robin and going as far as apologizing for his part in it. Clooney’s cameo in The Flash is essentially a meta-joke that embraces all of that colorful context in the same way that Nicolas Cage’s Superman cameo plays into the rich, ridiculous narrative around the failed Superman Lives. They’re both laser-targeted nostalgia gags that alienate anyone unaware of the full DC movie context.

Logistically, Barry creates George Clooney as Batman by creating a multiversal spaghetti junction by meddling with his father’s fate. The timeline he lands in after the trial reveals that Batman wasn’t killed in the fight against Zod (if that even happened), that Bruce Wayne and Barry Allen still know each other, and that George Clooney is now Batman, rather than Affleck or Keaton. It’s a butterfly effect pay-off that’s good for some star quality recognition even without the broader context. That doesn’t make it any less confusing that George Clooney has absolutely no future as Batman in the DCU.

Related: Every DCEU Movie Ranked From Worst To Best (Including The Flash)

George Clooney Wasn’t Batman In The Flash’s Original Ending

George Clooney Batman Cameo The Flash

While the swathe of DC movie cameos from prior movies might suggest that George Clooney’s appearance was always intended as the final note in The Flash ending, the reality of things is quite different. During production, The Flash had three different endings, with the original ending seeing Michael Keaton’s Batman in the place of Clooney, the second seeing Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot reappear at this point instead, and only the final ending that made it through production containing the Batman & Robin iteration of the Dark Knight.

The George Clooney ending was reportedly chosen as it presented the least issues comparatively. Bringing Michael Keaton’s Batman back was seemingly intended to tie into the now cancelled Batgirl, and would have suggested that Keaton would be Batman going forward based on how much on-screen movie time is dedicated to his story, despite this not being the case for the DCU. Similar issues would have also been the case for Gadot and Cavill appearing at this point, as while DCU’s Wonder Woman casting is currently in limbo, David Corenswet is set to be the new DCU Superman. However, the decision to include George Clooney’s Batman in this final moment isn’t free of its own share of complications.

George Clooney’s Batman Cameo Creates Multiple Problems For Warner Bros

george clooney as batman in 1997 batman and robin

Whether anyone cares to admit it or not, the cost of bringing George Clooney’s Batman into the DCU far outweighs the fan-bait of doing it. Problem one: it suggests that Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom is now set in a completely different timeline to the rest of the DCEU (assuming it chronologically follows The Flash, anyway). If audiences were turned off The Flash because it felt untethered by the announcement of the DCU reboot, how bad will that get when Aquaman 2 is stripped of its link back to its own franchise? Yes, it exists off to the side, but there is absolutely an argument to say there is a vested audience interest in seeing how it closes the old DCEU because of its placement. Now, it’s a weird sort of epilogue.

Problem two: it promises more than it can deliver. George Clooney is not coming back to play Batman again, but The Flash presents itself as a timeline reset. In fact, the heavily-marketed link to Flashpoint meant the expectation was established that this would be the reboot point. Unless general audiences who actually care about this stuff are paying close enough attention, they’re going to miss the fact that the actual DCEU reset point is after anyone stops saying movies still belong to the old timeline. So, after Aquaman 2‘s release. Given the relative proximity of the release of Superman: Legacy, someone is going to have to pump marketing dollars into making sure everyone sees the full-stop. Which is hard when James Gunn is currently straddling both lines.

And finally, problem three: Andy Muschietti has now been announced as the director of Batman: The Brave & The Bold. Now, from an industry insider point of view, and even an informed audience position, that means little to nothing when continuity comes into it. But the problem of saying “the new Batman is being made by the guy who not only made The Flash but introduced a new Batman at the end” is one for word of mouth audience members. It sets expectations, and in this case, they are completely unhelpful to the DCU reboot cause. It’s like it hasn’t been thought through, but then, The Flashs new Batman cameo was the very definition of cobbled together.

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