Ben Affleck will break a live-action record when he suits up as Batman for a fourth time in The Flash, and he’ll hit the landmark even sooner if you consider Zack Snyder’s HBO Max version of Justice League to be a brand new movie, which both the filmmaker and the other directors employed by the DCEU see it as.
So far, Affleck has shown glimpses of being one of the all-time great Caped Crusaders, but has largely been let down by the quality of the films he’s appeared in. Both the theatrical release and Ultimate Edition of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice had far too much going on to allow him to get into a real groove as the character, his involvement in Suicide Squad was limited to a cameo and everyone knows how Joss Whedon’s Justice League turned out.
The actor has headed back to Warner Bros.’ shared universe in a big way now after initially retiring the cape and cowl altogether, but one of the previous incumbents of the costume tried to warn him off the idea before he’d even signed on. Unsurprisingly, George Clooney’s experience on Batman & Robin was enough to convince him that he didn’t want his friend to suffer a similar fate, with the Ocean’s Eleven star explaining the following:
“I think also because I’ve been around, and also because I’ve done. I’ve sort of had both rounds, you know? I’ve been a big flop and I’ve bombed in things. And, I’ve had big successes and it doesn’t mean that they listened. Ben didn’t listen to me and he ended up doing a great job and I was wrong. But, I can only impart my wisdom from my experience. I just said don’t have nipples on the suit.”
Obviously, the circumstances are very different, with Clooney trying to carve out a career as a big screen leading man before inadvertently starring in one of the worst movies ever made, while Affleck was already a two-time Academy Award winner with decades of experience behind him who was in the midst of a mid-career resurgence when Zack Snyder convinced him to sign on the dotted line to become the DCEU’s Batman. But still, you can’t blame the former for trying to save his friend from making the same mistake he did.