George Clooney told Ben Affleck not to play Batman

George Clooney and Chris O'Donnell in Batman & Robin (Credit: Warner Bros)
George Clooney and Chris O'Donnell in Batman & Robin (Credit: Warner Bros)

George Clooney warned Ben Affleck not to play Batman.

There’s a very good reason why Clooney was so vehement that Affleck didn’t go near the character, as he had such a terrible experience in 1997’s Batman & Robin. Often regarded as the worst Batman film of all time.

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Clooney has had no problem publicly mocking both the film and his performance since its release. Clearly he’s just as brutal about Batman & Robin in private, too. But Clooney told Howard Stern that even though he advised Affleck not to play Batman, he “didn’t listen and ended up doing a great job.”

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“I was wrong,” said Clooney, who then explained that he can only “impart [his] wisdom from [his] own experience.” That’s why he told Affleck “don’t have nipples on the suit.” Clooney’s Batman costume has been mercilessly mocked over the last 23 years because of this bizarre pectoral addition.

Ben Affleck as Batman (Credit: Warner Bros)
Ben Affleck as Batman (Credit: Warner Bros)

During the same discussion with Stern, Clooney took this opportunity to admit that he still can’t sit through Batman & Robin, insisting that it is “physically” painful for him to watch it. At the same time, though, Clooney has no regrets about doing the film, and says that there’s nothing he could have done differently with it.

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"It's a big machine, that thing. You have to remember at that point, I was just an actor getting an acting job. I wasn't the guy who could greenlight a movie … I just sort of jumped in and did what they said."

Batman & Robin was such a humungous production that Clooney says he never even saw Arnold Schwarzenegger during filming, despite the fact that the pair share several scenes together.