‘They told us to f*** right off!’ George Clooney SLAMS Mark Wahlberg and Johnny Depp for turning down Ocean’s Eleven – and claims they ‘regret it now’
George Clooney says that both Mark Wahlberg and Johnny Depp turned down the role of Linus Caldwell, eventually played by Matt Damon, in the hit 2001 film Ocean’s Eleven.
‘Some very famous people told us to f*** right off – Mark Wahlberg, Johnny Depp – there were others,’ the Oscar-winner, 61, said Friday at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Los Angeles, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Clooney said, ‘They regret it now,’ adding, ‘I regret doing f***ing Batman’ of his stint as the Caped Crusader in 1997’s Batman & Robin.
Clooney appeared alongside Ocean’s Eleven’s director Steven Soderbergh in commemoration of the hit ensemble remake that was released more than 21 years ago.
The comedic crime thriller, which hit theaters in December of 2001, spawned the sequels Ocean’s Twelve in 2004 and Ocean’s Thirteen in 2007.
The latest: George Clooney, 61, says that both Mark Wahlberg, 51, and Johnny Depp, 59, turned down the role of Linus Caldwell, eventually played by Matt Damon, 52, in the hit 2001 film Ocean’s Eleven
The Lexington, Kentucky-born Clooney played Danny Ocean in the trilogy, leading an ensemble cast that included Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia, Elliott Gould, Casey Affleck and the late Bernie Mac.
The A-list actor noted that selling the starry cast on remaking the 1960 film was easy with Soderbergh at the helm.
‘Steven had just done Erin Brockovich and Traffic, and he was nominated for directing both films,’ Clooney said of the filmmaker, who won Best Director for Traffic in 2001. ‘So, people really wanted to work with Steven.’
Soderbergh said that he made the film, which tells the tale of a rogue squad robbing three Las Vegas casinos under Clooney’s Ocean, during a time he was looking to fuse big budget motion pictures with values from independent cinema.
‘It felt like the next iteration in my desire to work in the mainstream film business and make movies that could be released in a lot of theaters,’ said the director, who has also made memorable films such as Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Contagion and Magic Mike.
Clooney noted that the Sin City-based film – which made $183 million in domestic box office and $450 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo – was a departure from the cinematic fare in theaters in 2001.
‘It’s also important to understand where we were at the time,’ he said. ‘The studios were making very big, broad, not very good films at that time.
‘Steven had this idea of trying to infuse all of this independent film stuff that all of these young filmmakers were learning back into the studio system. It was going to get back to the things that they were doing from like 1964 to 1975.’
Both Wahlberg and Depp were offered roles in the 2001 hit, which spawned two sequels
Clooney played debonair ringleader Danny Ocean in the 2001 motion picture
Clooney was pictured alongside Matt Damon in the first film, which spawned two sequels
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