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George Clooney Advised Ben Affleck Not to Take Batman Role

May 13, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
George Clooney Ben Affleck Batman

George Clooney knows what happens when you play Batman and the movie bombs, and he tried to spare Ben Affleck that same fate. Clooney spoke with THR’s Awards Chatter podcast and discussed his experience filming the much-hated 1997 film Batman & Robin, as well as his discussion with Affleck about the Argo director taking on the role for the DC Extended Universe films.

“I actually did talk to him about it. I said, ‘Don’t do it.’” Clooney said. “It was only from my experience, which is, you know.”

By ‘you know,’ Clooney refers to his negative experience doing Batman & Robin, which was a bomb on a critical and fan level as well as a major disappointment commercially. Clooney has often spoke critically about the film, apologizing on more than one occasion for his work and saying in 2015, “I always apologize for Batman & Robin. Let me just say that I’d actually thought I’d actually destroyed the franchise until somebody else brought it back years later and changed it. I thought at the time [Batman & Robin] was going to be a very good career move. It wasn’t.”

Clooney did defend Affleck’s performance though, telling THR, “He did great, though.”

The actor also talked about how little he made for Batman & Robin, saying, “[Arnold] Schwarzenegger was paid, I think, $25 million for that, which was like 20 times more than I was paid for it — and, you know, we never even worked together! We worked together one day. But I took all the heat … Now, fair deal: I was playing Batman and I wasn’t good in it, and it wasn’t a good film. But what I learned from that failure was, I had to rethink how I was working. Because now I wasn’t just an actor getting a role, I was being held responsible for the film itself.”