Speaking at the 2023 TCM Classic Film Festival, Clooney and director Steven Soderbergh talked about how certain actors were in talks to play Linus, the pickpocket role that ultimately went to Matt Damon.
Clooney said: “Steven had just done Erin Brockovich and Traffic, and he was nominated for directing both films. So, people really wanted to work with Steven.”
Despite this, Clooney added that a few stars turned down parts in the movie, which went on to earn $450,728,529 at the worldwide box office (approximately £362m).
“They did,” he said. “Some very famous people told us to f*** right off. Mark Wahlberg, Johnny Depp [were both in talks for Linus]. There were others. They regret it now. I regret doing f***ing Batman.”
Clooney – who led the cast of Ocean’s Eleven as Danny Ocean, the ex-con who establishes the heist – often cracks jokes about his 1997 film Batman & Robin, which many consider to be the worst superhero movie of all time.
He said that, because he is older, he doesn’t focus on trivial things that he might have in his younger days. “Amal wants to paint the wall yellow,” he said.
“And if I was younger, I feel like that’s a stupid colour. And now you just go, ‘I don’t care. Who cares if a wall’s yellow?’”
Clooney can next be seen in the movie Wolfs, alongside Brad Pitt and Amy Ryan. The film follows two lone wolf fixers who are assigned to the same job.
He last appeared in romcom Ticket to Paradise with Julia Roberts. Read The Independent’s three-star review here.