Ben Affleck jokes about turning down ‘Ocean’s Eleven’

Ben Affleck

Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s franchise roped in a procession of heavy hitters to lend support across the trilogy and subsequent spinoff Ocean’s 8, but it turns out that Ben Affleck wasn’t sold on becoming part of the crew.

While it remains entirely up for debate as to whether or not he was actually offered the opportunity to join brother Casey as part of the sprawling ensemble, the older of the Affleck siblings is clearly having a blast roasting George Clooney about it.

The two former Batmen have worked together before, with Clooney producing Affleck’s Best Picture winner Argo, and the latter directs the former in acclaimed drama The Tender Bar, which is gearing up for a theatrical rollout before coming to streaming via Amazon in January.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Affleck joked that he wasn’t sure if Clooney was a big enough star at the time Ocean’s Eleven came to cinemas in 2001, using his reputation as a stick to beat him over the head.

“He came to me on Ocean’s and I was like, ‘I don’t know, George. I don’t know if you’re a star. I don’t know if you’re doing good. I’m gonna see. How do these franchises work? Who are these other actors you assembled? Is this gonna be any good? Who is this Soderbergh? I’m not ready for this. And I don’t believe in you yet. I’m gonna keep you at an arm’s length.'”

Ocean's Twelve

Affleck’s tongue is clearly planted so far in his cheek that it’s almost coming through his jaw, but it’s always fun to witness a pair of A-listers roast each other at every available opportunity. Clooney is a notorious prankster himself, so a measure of revenge could be on the cards.