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George Clooney Says He "Destroyed" The Role Of Batman, Weighs In On Ben Affleck's Casting

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by Kevin Jagernauth
September 27, 2013 11:45 AM
7 Comments
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The year was 1997, the movie was "Batman & Robin," and it nearly destroyed a franchise and George Clooney's career. The reviled Joel Schumacher entry was easily the worst of the post-Tim Burton Batman films, with the nipple suit only being the first of the many problems with the flick. It ground the Warner Bros. property to a halt for almost a decade until Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins" came along in 2005, and along with the flop of "The Peacemaker," ended Clooney's dalliance (at the time) with being a blockbuster leading man. (He rebounded by teaming up with auteurs Steven Soderbergh and David O. Russell for "Out Of Sight" and "Three Kings" in 1998 and 1999). But the actor is fully aware he wasn't the right man for the cape and cowl.

Doing the rounds for Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity," Clooney caught up with Empire magazine and when asked to weigh on Ben Affleck's casting as Batman in the upcoming "Batman Vs. Superman," the actor was clear that he probably wasn't the right guy to have an opinion. "I am the least qualified person to comment on anyone playing the role of Batman since I so terribly destroyed the part," he said, adding: "I tend to look at it like this - let's just see what the movie is before everyone starts beating him up. He is a smart man, he knows what he is doing."

Kind and wise words from Clooney, who just happened to be one of the producers on "Argo," and who seems to be saying to the haters to chill until we see the results. So until July 15, 2015 (or whenever the first pic of Affleck in costume drops or the first teaser trailer arrives), you'll have to keep fighting it out amongst yourselves. [via Comic Book Movie]


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7 Comments

  • Mark | July 1, 2014 5:47 AMReply

    I don't believe George Clooney was the reason for destroying the franchise, if someone is to blame, I believe it was Joel Schumacher. Christopher Nolan only restored it's reputation. Both Joel Schumacher was a disaster, all 3 Christopher Nolan Batman movies, he even help with the Man of Steel and that movie was fantastic. Joel Schumacher should never ever touch another DC movie again! Joel Schumacher only made a few good movies, like falling down, St Elmo's Fire and The Lost Boys. That's it, everything else sucks.

  • Buddy | August 16, 2014 10:31 PM

    St. Elmo's fire was awful. But Falling Down is one of the best movies of the 90's and The Lost Boys is really good too.

  • batmanforever | September 30, 2013 11:24 AMReply

    Batman and Robin was a campy, big-budget B-movie that shouldn't even be held too close under a microscope. The Nolan films, however, take themselves seriously and should be adequately critiqued as such. Clooney saying he destroyed the role (you mean we should be subjected to a batman film ever 2 years with no breaks? I guess that's the format now.) is like Adam West saying as much. My pet peeve is picking on the lowest common denomenator in art. Why not pick on somebody your own size? Let's talk about "Gravity", shall we?

  • dryer | September 27, 2013 5:22 PMReply

    During his commentary for Batman & Robin, Schumacher split his fair share of the blame between himself & WB, the main culprit being solely it's marketing dept. Apparently WB lacked sales during RETURNS along with backlash from flyby night religious fervor soccer moms and McDonalds over DeVitos Penguin depiction. To make ammends as we all know this caused WB to recklessly give Burton & Keaton the boot and have Schumacher brought in for more family yet oddly sexual unsubtle films During FOREVER, WB saw a significant uptkick on toys & merchandise with vendors and retail at their own recently opened stores and elsewhere. On the heels of FOREVERs web of success, WB began a slight synergistic approach to filmmaking. This of course unwisely opened the doors to unrelenting levels from every industry lobby like toy manufactures to women's beauty products to frozen novelty snacks, each developer dictating and signing off on the final product. Essentially B&R is a Madison Ave movie. The script or plot didn't matter as long as Uma Thurman wore a certain Mayballene or Clooneys Batmobile featured a certain rocket modeled after a car, and don't forget Schwarzenneger must have this particular building to match the playset. It was an infantile product and buisness model that thankfully audiences rejected. Personally I believe somewhere somehow someone is paying dearly for cutting WBs ties with Burton, they had a great product and shuttered it over a response from McDonalds ? The Nolan films while great are very paper thin in retrospect and not the quite bear standards which fan boys believe. Burton however really created a universe worth exploring and truly captured the character. It would've been interesting to have seen a one or two more films under his direction.

  • THX1138 | September 27, 2013 5:34 PM

    Very well said and I completely agree with you. I would have loved to see more Batman films directed by Tim Burton.

    It's very easy to solely blame Schumacher for Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, but as you pointed out, the studio played a big role in ruining the franchise too. If anyone doubts Schumacher's ability to direct good and/or dark films, they should watch Tigerland and 8mm.

  • lenlenlen1 | September 27, 2013 1:36 PMReply

    It's actually pretty big of George Clooney to take credit for ruining Batman when it wasn't really his fault. Director Joel Schumacher is to blame, if anyone, for ruining that franchise and he's never admitted to doing so, unless I'm mistaken. The truth is that when a movie sucks it usually is the directors fault since he/she guides the overall vision for the film.

  • Chelsea | September 27, 2013 12:48 PMReply

    Very surprised to see George Clooney admitting that he screwed up on Batman & Robin. Even though I don't think it was really his fault that the movie didn't turn out so well (a lot was wrong with that movie), it takes a lot of courage for an actor to admit that he wasn't the right choice for a certain role. The more I read about Clooney off-screen, the more I like him. I loved when he spoke out against Daniel Loeb after he called for a restructuring at Sony Pictures. Loeb is in need of a reality check.

    Also, totally agree with him about Ben Affleck as Batman. While I wasn't really aware of this at the time, Michael Keaton received a ridiculous amount of backlash when he was announced as playing Batman, and he in my opinion gave the strongest portrayal of the character. Everyone also thought that Heath Ledger was a terrible choice for the Joker, and while I admit it seemed like a strange choice at the time, I don't think anyone out there now doubts the casting decision. Fans really need to wait until the movie comes out to judge Affleck. He's grown a lot since Reindeer Games and Gigli.

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