Batman & Robin star George Clooney told Ben Affleck not to take the role when it was offered to him. The beloved actor explained the story to Howard Stern on his Sirius XM radio show. It’s no secret that Batman fans are protective about who gets to wear that cape and cowl. You only have to go back to last year’s announcement of Robert Pattinson to see how vocal the fanbase can be when it’s an unconventional choice. But, in Clooney’s case, he just wanted Affleck to know what he was getting into when he signed up. At the box office, none of these films have really lost a ton of money. But, when one of them merely meets expectations, the repercussions can be swift and decisive for your career. (Look over across the aisle at what happened to Andrew Garfield.) Luckily for DC fans, Affleck didn’t heed the warning and was an excellent addition to the live-action universe.
“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.”
“It’s so bad that it actually hurt watch. It’s physically like, you’ll be flipping the channels and it’ll just pop up and i’m like “Oh no no no no!” he laughed. “I couldn’t have done that one differently, you know? It’s a big machine, that thing. You got to remember at that point I was just an actor getting an acting job. I wasn’t the guy that could green light a movie. They paid Arnold 25 million dollars to be in it. They paid me like one, and we never even worked together. We never saw each other. It’s a big monster machine, and I just sort of jumped in and did what they said. The truth of the matter is, I was bad in it.”
Ben Affleck later would talk about understanding how much people love the character. The Flash director Andy Muscietti explained what makes his take on Batman so great,
“His Batman has a dichotomy that is very strong which is his masculinity—because of the way he looks, and the imposing figure that he has, and his jawline —but he’s also very vulnerable,” Muschietti said at DC FanDome. “He knows how to deliver from the inside out, that vulnerability. He just needs a story that allows him to bring that contrast, that balance.”
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