Ben Affleck was cast as Bruce Wayne in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice back in 2013, and the choice was met with a largely polarized reaction from comic book fans. As it turns out, some of that pushback came from none other than George Clooney, whose turn as the Dark Knight in 1997’s Batman & Robin has been the butt of countless jokes for more than 20 years.
According to Clooney, he advised Affleck not to accept the role while he was producing Argo, Affleck’s Oscar winning film. Via The Hollywood Reporter, Clooney revealed that he was worried about how the role might affect Affleck’s career.
“I actually did talk to him about it,” said Clooney. “I said, ‘Don’t do it.’ It was only from my experience, which is, you know.”
Despite his concerns and Affleck’s eventual retirement from the role, Clooney admitted that Affleck turned in a decent performance. “He did great, though.”
Clooney also reflected on the fallout from Batman & Robin. Apparently, the film’s poor critical and financial reception greatly informed how he chose projects going forward.
“[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!” said Clooney. “We worked together for 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.”
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