George Clooney Warned Ben Affleck Not To Play Batman

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George Clooney has never been shy about his disdain for Batman & Robin, his one and only superhero vehicle. From the moment it was released, this film was perceived as an unmitigated disaster for all involved. While Clooney has spent the subsequent 22 years making light of this misfire, he revealed the true weight of his disappointment when he discussed the role with his Argo collaborator Ben Affleck. “I actually did talk to him about it,” Clooney told The Hollywood Reporter. “I said, ‘Don’t do it.’ It was only from my experience, which is, you know… he did great though.”

Looking back on Batman & Robin, Clooney acknowledges that it was the most crushing disappointment of his career, one that changed his path in Hollywood. “Schwarzenegger was paid, I think, $25 million for that, which was like 20 times more than I was paid for it… but I took all the heat,” he explained. “Now, fair deal; 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.”

After all these years, Batman & Robin has graduated to oddball cult movie status, thanks to Schwarzenegger’s idiotic one-liners and Clooney’s prominent bat-nipples. For a reminder of this notorious low point in superhero movie history, check out the trailer below.