Among the many cameos of The Flash, the one that nobody seemed to have any issues with was a joke that punctuated the ending. In the scene, Barry seemingly finds himself back home in his right time with no changes caused to the present after altering the past. When he gets a call from Bruce Wayne, expects either Ben Affleck or Michael Keaton to show up. Then, it is revealed to be George Clooney from the infamous Batman & Robin. It was perhaps the most harmless cameo of the movie as audiences had torn apart the CGI recreations of late actors like Christopher Reeve and George Reeves, as well as the de-aged Nicolas Cage, which he claims was nothing like what he filmed.
Clooney, the movie star-turned-director, has a new film coming out called The Boys in the Boat. While the director spoke with The Hollywood Reporter at the premiere of his movie, he was asked if, like Michael Keaton, his appearance in The Flash was a setup for possible future returns as his version of Bruce Wayne or if it was just a one-off. Clooney laughed and joked, “Oh yeah. Somehow there were not a lot of requests for me to reprise my role as Batman, I don’t know why.” Additionally, James Gunn had tweeted “absolutely not” when answering if Clooney was planned to continue his Batman reign in Gunn’s newly rebooted DC universe.
According to THR, “Warner Bros. and the team behind The Flash kept Clooney’s appearance in the film secret for close to six months, as DC heads James Gunn and Peter Safran reached out to Clooney’s agent at CAA, Bryan Lourd, and showed him a cut of the mostly finished film; Lourd then showed it to the star, who liked it and agreed to take part in a cameo.”
While fans of the Caped Crusader rejected the cheesy tone and over-the-top sensibilities that had overtaken the series with Batman & Robin, Clooney would always accept the blame for the film and admitted in the past that he was responsible for killing off the initial Batman franchise. In an extra feature on the Batman & Robin DVD release, an interview with the movie’s director, Joel Schumacher, featured him looking into the camera and personally apologizing for the film.