George Clooney Tried to Rescue Ben Affleck From the Dangers of Being Batman

It’s been 23 years, but George Clooney’s experience being Batman in 1997’s Batman & Robin was so scarring that, decades later, he apparently attempted to leap between Ben Affleck and his big-screen turn as the Dark Knight. In an interview with Howard Stern this week, the actor admitted that, despite his efforts to steer Affleck away from the role, in the end he “was wrong.”

“I’ve sort of had both rounds,” says Clooney. “I’ve been a big flop. I’ve bombed in things, and I’ve had big successes. That doesn’t mean they listen. Ben didn’t listen to me, and ended up doing a great job, and I was wrong.” Laughed Clooney, “But I can only impart my wisdom from my experience. I just said, ‘Don’t have nipples on the suit.’”

In case you thought his critical view of his turn as Batman might have mellowed with time, if anything, it seems Clooney hates Batman & Robin now more than ever. “It’s so bad that it actually hurts to watch. It physically hurts. You’ll be flipping the channels, and it will pop up and oh no, no, no!”

“The truth of the matter is, I was bad in it,” says the actor. “Akiva Goldsman, who’s won the Oscar for writing [2001’s A Beautiful Mind] since then, he wrote the screenplay. It’s a terrible screenplay. He’ll tell ya. I’m terrible in it. I’ll tell ya. Joel Schumacher, who just passed away, directed it and he’d say, ‘Yeah, it didn’t work.’” Says Clooney, “We all whiffed on that one.”

George Clooney Tried to Swoop In and Stop Ben Affleck Batman