Michael Keaton explains why he quit Batman because of Batman Forever

Michael Keaton in Batman
Warner Bros.

“We weren’t going in the right direction in my opinion … But Joel didn’t want to move his position at all.”

He will be back in his Batmobile next November, for The Flash, then in the Batgirl intended for HBO Max. Michael keaton reconnects with his past of Batman this year, 29 years after playing the Caped Crusader for the last time, for Tim Burton.

It was in Batman returns and in the process, the actor left the franchise, in complete disagreement with Joel Schumacher and his “lighter” vision of the Dark Knight, for Batman forever. This is what reveals today Michael keaton in an interview with the “In the Envelope” podcast :

“For me, that role has always been Bruce Wayne’s. Never Batman… I know the name of the movie is Batman and it’s extremely striking and very cool and [culturellement] iconic. And because of Tim Burton, artistically remembered. But for me, I knew from the start that it was Bruce Wayne who interested me. His secret. I never spoke openly about it … but Batman done this, Batman does that … When I heard that, I kept saying to myself: “You are thinking the wrong way! The real subject is Bruce Wayne! What kind of person does that? Who becomes that?”

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So when Tim Burton let go of the character and Joel Schumacher introduced to Michael keaton his vision of Batman, the actor preferred to say no:

“When the director who directed the third installment arrived, I just said, ‘No, I can’t do that …’ Joel was a nice man, he’s passed away, so I wouldn’t speak badly of him. And even if he was still alive by the way … We had a few meetings to talk about the film. I somehow tried to rationalize, to convince him, to convey my point of view. weren’t going in the right direction in my opinion … But he didn’t want to move his position at all. “

According to Keaton, he told Schumacher he couldn’t play anymore Batman if the tone strayed from the dark nature of Burton’s films. Schumacher would then have replied: “I don’t understand why everything has to be so dark and so sad “. What the actor would have replied: “Wait … Do you know how this guy came to be Batman? Have you read the comics? I mean, it’s pretty easy to figure out … “

A real creative divergence. The break was over. The director’s vision being too far removed from that of the actor, Michael keaton passed his turn and this is how Val Kilmer was called to play Joel Schumacher’s Bruce Wayne in Batman forever.

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