International heartthrob of the late 20th century and a contemporary silver fox, the career of George Clooney has been typified by consistent heights. Later viewed as an icon of classic ’90s Hollywood, it would take years of television work and minor supporting roles for Clooney to reach this height. Finding great success on NBC’s 15-season-long ER, Clooney would earn a cameo role on the international phenomenon Friends, making his name publicly known.
His entry into the movies was a smooth transition, ascending role-by-role by association with increasingly high-profile filmmakers. Starring in the films of Steven Soderbergh, Terrence Malick, David O. Russell and the Coen Brothers, all in the space of two years from 1998 to 2000, Clooney was catapulted to stardom, bridging the gap between 20th and 21st-century fame.
Clooney’s early film career was marked with failure, however, featuring in Return of the Killer Tomatoes! and Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin, the latter of which he regrets to this very day. The candy-coloured dreamworld created by Joel Schumacher for Batman & Robin was a bizarre farce of a film, featuring cartoonish caricatures and surreal action set pieces where Clooney featured as the titular Batman.
Recently discussing the film in an interview with Variety, when he was asked whether he’d be reprising his role appearing alongside Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck in The Flash, the actor simply replied, “They didn’t ask me”.
Continuing, he added, “When you destroy a franchise the way I did, usually they look the other way when The Flash comes by”. George Clooney’s wife, Amal, who also spoke to Variety, told the publication “He won’t let me watch it”. The actor then jokingly explained, “There are certain films I just go, ‘I want my wife to have some respect for me”.
Whilst Clooney may regret his time on Batman and Robin; the actor has enjoyed considerable career success in films such as Ocean’s 11, Up in the Air, Good Night, and Good Luck, as well as Syriana, where Clooney would receive an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
Appearing on the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017, Clooney spoke to The A.V. Club about his favourite film in the history of cinema. Speaking to the publication, Clooney explained, “I have to say, I think Network is. Network is one of my favourite films of all time. I think Paddy Chayefsky was a genius, I think what he wrote about in 1976 at the time was just a comedy, and everything he wrote about came true. I like that movie, I think that might be my favourite”.
Released in 1976, Network starred Faye Dunaway, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall and Ned Beatty and became an instant cinematic sensation, sweeping the acting awards at the Academy Awards as Finch, Dunaway and Beatrice Straight each walked away with Oscars. Check out the trailer for the classic film that remains George Clooney’s all-time favourite, right here.