‘DR ROSS’ ready to go on call at HBO?
Clooney said it himself. Your career goes in mapped out phases and an actor can take control of that. Accept fallow periods and setbacks when one is less cool. Then read the market for a mid to late life second wind renaissance, as mentor figures and the like, revisiting old templates.
A self fulfilling prophecy? Maybe. But a good one. There is solid precedent too: Sean Connery did it. Gene Hackman, too. In the mid to late 1990s.
And at that same time? Clooney was at peak ER fame and transitioning toward movie star (Dusk til Dawn, Peacemaker, One Fine Day, Batman and Robin).
Now, the circle is complete as George hits 60 and embraces full on star commercial crowd pleasing power again. He had shunned white collar action adventure romantic heroism for a while. Preferring worthier pictures.
Fine, except you don’t get the cash to make the cerebral stuff (no begrudging btw: George is v clever / articulate / philosophical) without $$$ backing from mass appeal.
Hence, perhaps, we now get DR. ROSS (‘D.R.’) at HBO and maybe even a BATMAN cameo. History, repeating. Remember this is JUST RUMOUR. Fake news, even? But makes a LOT more sense than his resurrecting BUCK ROGERS (a long defunct property with neither creative nor commercial merit?).
Think about it. Exactly 25 years on, Clooney repeats his 96-97 aura / schedule. ER and BATMAN. It is time! Revisionist nostalgia.
6 episode mini series arc for Dr Ross; briefest of brief cameo in a Batman feature? With option on renewals, should George see fit. Enables him to get on with his real world philanthropic work, just like Bruce Wayne.
Ah yes, Mr Wayne. Look, if Michael Keaton can return as Batman, so can George Clooney. NOT in a camp rehash of the movie Clooney fronted back in 1997, but as a matured, studied, cameo Bruce Wayne.
He IS that character and, contrary to his own belief, captured it well in places during Batman and Robin (the ‘don’t push me right now’ scene with Chris O’Donnell’s Robin). Payback! Revisionism! Wholly Metatextual irony! Etc.
Back to Dr Ross..where might that character fit in the world? He’s now a specialist / Professor?. Harvard Med? I suspect, also, a Dad x 3 (‘the two twins’ and the lost son).
Rather than be a deadbeat failure he is the opposite. Possibly even bullying his previously estranged son toward medical success to make up lost time (Doug was a bully on occasion, albeit a nice one who did not see he was doing it and reformed once alerted).
That, in turn, has estranged him from wife, Dr Hathaway? And Doug has therefore lapsed a bit into old habits: drinking, womanising, hints of something else?
Remember: addicts are never ‘cured’ and this can still be a flawed, sexy character alongside his core morality. It’s even ok to have some actual fun with that darker, sexier side to the man, provided reform is on the table as the final act.
He must conquer the regression and win back his wife again and somehow motivate his son (Zac Efron?) in the nicest way (ie yes be a great Doctor; but not coz of Daddy’s shadow and feel free to try other stuff..like acting!).
Meantime, you still get medical drama/thrills. Because Doug remains a sober, exceptional professional on the job and even meets with old colleagues (visits Mark Greene’s grave? Has a coffee / gossip / mini-affair with Sherry Stringfield?).
Doug is conflicted; somehow advancing to the highest echelons of his craft and yet also, craving the more egalitarian and even socialised medicine in this new half world between Obama Care and a post Trump, mid Biden package.
And MAYBE..Doug is also on the trail of the next emergent pandemic? ..Possibly he even detected / predicted it in a University lab? But nobody is taking him seriously enough (not so much his expertise as his macho delivery manner..has irritated the establishment within which he is rising, nonetheless).
So you get drama, conflict, community, academic action. Indiana Jones with medicine..age appropriate to a 60 something Clooney, yet preserving the charm of the Dr Ross character..maybe get Mimi Leder, Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino to direct episodes..
GO ON, GEORGE AND HBO/WARNERS. YOU KNOW IT MAKES SENSE!! I WILL WRITE IT MYSELF IF IT HELPS. JUST LOSE THE BEARD, GEORGE..Doug Ross would hate it! 🙂