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Josh Brolin Recalls Losing Out on Batman Role to Ben Affleck: “Would Have Been a Fun Deal”

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Josh Brolin has made quite an impact in superhero films as it is, but he’s reflecting on one that got away.

The actor — known for playing Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, along with Cable in Deadpool 2 — was a recent guest on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. During the interview, he discussed having been in contention to play Batman for director Zack Snyder before the filmmaker settled on Ben Affleck, who made his debut in the iconic role with 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

“That was interesting to me,” Brolin said about the prospect of playing the Caped Crusader. He then emphasized that he was eager to play the part, had Snyder not gone in a different direction: “That was his decision — that wasn’t my decision. That was his decision.”

The actor, who earned an Oscar nomination for 2008’s Milk, added that the role particularly appealed to him because he likes taking on projects that involve some risk. “Something that is set up to not work at all, or to work flyingly — I like those odds,” Brolin said. “I like playing with those odds. I’m like, ‘Am I the guy who’s gonna make it all fail?’”

This discussion led him to bring up George Clooney’s role in 1997’s often-mocked Batman & Robin, with Brolin saying about that film’s critical response, “You talk to Clooney, and he’s still joking about it — and it wasn’t his fault.”

Brolin, 54, went on to say that the conversations he had about playing Batman came prior to his work on Deadpool 2, which hit theaters in May 2018. “It would have been the older, more raspy, for lack of a better word,” he said of his discussed Batman portrayal. “Honestly, that would have been a fun deal, and maybe I’ll do it when I’m 80.”

This isn’t the first time the Outer Range performer has talked about coming close to getting the coveted gig. In 2018, Brolin told Comic Book Movie that everything worked out for the best. “I’m really glad it didn’t happen,” he said at the time. “I haven’t thought twice about it.”

Affleck, for his part, is set to reprise his role as Batman in the film The Flash, currently set for release on June 23, 2023.

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