"In a way, we had very similar careers, highs and lows, ups and downs, and that's good, you know," Clooney says of Affleck

By Matt McNulty
May 14, 2019 02:32 PM
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George Clooney is getting candid about his time playing Batman — and the time he tried to persuade one of Hollywood’s biggest stars to steer clear of the iconic role.

Clooney, 58, donned the Caped Crusader’s outfit in 1997’s Batman & Robin, which is considered a low point for the Batman franchise.

Ben Affleck was the last actor to play the superhero in 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and 2017’s Justice League. Clooney says he tried to warn the 46-year-old Academy Award winner not to take on the part when they worked together on the Clooney-produced Argo, which Affleck starred in and directed. The drama went on to win the Best Picture Oscar in 2012.

“I actually did talk to him about it. I said, ‘Don’t do it,'” Clooney revealed on THR’s Awards Chatter podcast. “It was only from my experience, which is, you know…'”

“In a way, we had very similar careers, highs and lows, ups and downs, and that’s good, you know. No one’s trajectory is a straight line up,” Clooney added.

Ben Affleck as Batman, George Clooney
Credit: DC Entertainment/Warner Bros/REX/Shutterstock. Inset: Jeff Spicer/Getty

“He had worked his way back from actor jail, which happens when I do Batman & Robin and he does Gigli, so it’s that, he gets to that moment, and I think, ‘Don’t do something they can fire back off at you.’ He did great, though.”

In 2016, Warner Bros. announced Affleck would not only reprise his role as the superhero in a new standalone project, but that he would also write and direct it. He has since dropped out from the movie altogether.

Affleck told IGN in an interview that he was “never happy” with his script for the action film.

George Clooney
George Clooney
| Credit: Splash News Online

“That was part of the problem,” Affleck told IGN. “We worked on the script, I was trying to figure out how to crack it, and I was never happy enough with it where I thought it was worth going out and making it because I just didn’t want to do a version that I wasn’t really excited by, so I still don’t know.”

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Rumors had been swirling for a while that Affleck would be hanging up his Batman cape. In January, he tweeted a link to a Deadline story with the headline “Ben Affleck Passes The Torch To Next Generation Of Bruce Wayne,” and added his own caption: “Excited for #TheBatman in Summer 2021 and to see @MattReevesLA vision come to life.”

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Ben Affleck
| Credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

In February 2017, Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes) confirmed he’d signed on to direct and produce the new Batman movie.

The Batman, which still has yet to find its Bruce Wayne, will hit theaters on June 25, 2021. Clooney’s new Hulu series Catch-22 premiered on the network on May 17.