George Clooney has made no attempt to hide the fact that playing Batman was the lowest point in his career. One of the last true movie stars, Clooney donned the cowl in 1997’s Batman & Robin, best remembered today for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s icey puns than as a legitimate take on the Caped Crusader.
So, it should come as no surprise that when Ben Affleck signed on to play the Dark Knight in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, his good friend George Clooney attempted to talk him out of it. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Clooney was candid about his disdain for the role:
“I actually did talk to him about it. I said, ‘Don’t do it.’ It was only from my experience, which is, you know…”
Though Clooney admits Affleck did a great job with what he had, we all know that the movie itself was a bit of a train wreck, even if its intentions to deliver a fresh take on the DC characters were admirable. Despite panning the film, many critics showered praise onto Affleck’s performance, though it was somewhat overshadowed by director Zack Snyder’s controversial decision to depict Batman killing onscreen.
Even though Clooney was quick to pan Batman & Robin, he did mention that it had an upswing on how he viewed himself as a performer:
“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.”
Clooney spent most of the early 2000s reinventing his image, taking on smaller indie roles or lead parts in prestige pictures instead of diving back into major franchises. And after Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Affleck went on to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne in the critically maligned Suicide Squad and Justice League. Just last year, after numerous rumors, the actor stepped away from the character, which will have to be recast before Matt Reeves’ The Batman starts shooting for a June 25th, 2021 release.
Tell us, though, did you like Affleck’s take on the character? And who do you think should play the next Batman? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.