George Clooney Told Ben Affleck Not To Play Batman

Clooney at Batman

It's no secret that superhero movies are everywhere. While all eyes are currently on the contents of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the genre goes back way before Tony Stark announced himself as Iron Man. On the DC side of things, there's been quite a few silver screen adaptations, especially when it comes to iconic heroes like Superman and Batman. The latter was mostly recently played by Ben Affleck, but it turns out that a former Bruce Wayne actually discouraged him from taking the role.

George Clooney had a brief stint as Batman, appearing in the final Joel Schumacher installment, Batman & Robin. The movie itself is known as one of the worst Batman movie, and Clooney has been the butt of countless jokes-- especially when it comes to his Bat nipples. Ben Affleck has officially hung up his cowl and cape, and Clooney recently revealed that he tried to talk him out of the role in the first place. As George Clooney puts it:

I actually did talk to him about it. I said, ‘Don’t do it.’ It was only from my experience, which is, you know.

It's been over 20 years since Batman & Robin hit theaters, and it looks like the experience still stings. Christopher Nolan's Dark Night Trilogy may have proved that a Batman movie could have quality, but that didn't stop George Clooney from discouraging Ben Affleck about taking on the mantle on the big screen.

George Clooney's comments to THR might not come as much of surprise, given how infamous Batman & Robin has become over the years. The over the top blockbuster was the final nail the Batman franchise's coffin, and is widely considered one of the worst movies of all time. So you can't blame Clooney for being a cautious regarding the Dark Knight's life on the big screen.

Affleck ast Batman

Ultimately Ben Affleck might have been wise to heed George Clooney's advice, as Batfleck had a rough go as Gotham's Protector. While Affleck brought a hulking physical presence and sense of jadedness to Bruce Wayne, the movies themselves left something to be desired. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was super divisive among the fandom, and sad Affleck became a viral meme.

Related: Ben Affleck Confirms He's Done Playing Batman

Justice League fared even worse critically, and was also a box office flop for the DCEU. And after dealing with substance abuse issues, Ben Affleck decided to drop out of the role, rather than reprising it in Matt Reeves' The Batman. So while it was a longer run as The Bat than George Clooney, Affleck's tenure was ultimately cut short.

The next DC release is Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.