Michael Keaton has been having something of a career renaissance as of late, with a starring role in 2014’s Best Picture winner Birdman and is even switching gears to play the villainous Vulture in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. Still, most moviegoers and especially comic book fans best remember Keaton for playing Batman/Bruce Wayne in both of Tim Burton’s Batman films, Batman (1989) and its sequel Batman Returns (1992).
Keaton notably exited the franchise once Burton was replaced by Joel Schumacher, with Val Kilmer eventually taking the title role. Of course that film, Batman Forever, received a much less warm reception from critics and audiences, and its sequel, 1997’s Batman & Robin, is widely regarded as one of the worst superhero movies ever made.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Keaton reflects on his time playing Batman and revealed what ultimately made him decide to give up the cape and cowl. As it turns out, Keaton knew something was wrong as soon as he read the script:
“It [the script] sucked. I knew it was in trouble when he [Joel Schumacher] said ‘Why does everything have to be so dark?”
One of the chief criticisms leveled at Batman Forever was its overly campy tone and neon-soaked cinematography, so it’s interesting to hear that Keaton seems to share the opinion of many Batman fans that the film was missing the darker tone that helped make Burton’s films a hit. On that note, Keaton also had nothing but positive things to say about his time playing Batman or getting to work with Burton, who he calls “an artist and a visionary.”
We’ll get to see Keaton’s take on a comic book villain on July 7th when Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters.
(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)