Sometimes, playing Batman turns out great for an actor. Just ask Christian Bale, Michael Keaton, and yes, even Adam West.
On the other hand, it can be a bad thing to play Batman.
Just ask George Clooney and Ben Affleck.
In fact, Mr. Clooney told Mr. Affleck not to take the role of Batman!
“I actually did talk to [Affleck] about it. I said, ‘Don’t do it.’” Clooney told THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. “He did great, though,” Clooney added.
Clooney infamously played Batman in 1997’s BATMAN & ROBIN which essentially killed the first incarnation of Warner Bros. Batman film series.
Clooney went to say that he learned a very important lesson about the movie business with BATMAN & ROBIN…
[Arnold] Schwarzenegger was paid, I think, $25 million for that, which was like 20 times more than I was paid for it, and, you know, we never even worked together! We worked together one day. But I took all the heat. 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.
While the depiction of Batman in B&R is, well, not good, I’d argue that it really wasn’t Clooney who took all the heat as director Joel Schumacher received quite a bit himself — if not even more than GC.
As far as Affleck’s turn as The Caped Crusader, well, we know how that turned out.
While Affleck gave a very fine performance in BATMAN v SUPERMAN, the characterization of Batman was off-putting and divisive amongst fans.
In JUSTICE LEAGUE, he provided a mailed-in acting job in a film that no one cared about enough to, well, care.
And for the sake of time, I won’t even get into the whole drama/nonsense surrounding Affleck and THE BATMAN solo movie he was supposed to write, direct, and star in, so I won’t…maybe.
Here’s hoping that the next Batman actor — which Warner Bros. and director Matt Reeves is currently in search of the next Batman on film (thanks to Affleck stepping down/being invited to leave as writer, director, and star…I said maybe, OK?) — has a run like Keaton, Bale, and West and not Clooney and Affleck.
One more thing…
Poor Val Kilmer, “The Forgotten Batman, right?
He was a more than fine Batman in a film that was accepted very well by audiences and was a big box hit. The video below kinda says it all, no? – Bill “Jett” Ramey