Michael Keaton Reveals Why He Stepped Down From Playing Batman

Actor Michael Keaton revealed in a recent interview that a clash over the tone director Joel Schumacher wanted to strike with 1995’s Batman Forever caused him to step down from the role of Batman.

“It was always Bruce Wayne. It was never Batman,” Keaton told the In The Envelope: The Actor’s Podcast of what originally drew him to the role. “To me, I know the name of the movie is Batman, and it’s hugely iconic and very cool and iconic and because of Tim Burton, artistically iconic. I knew from the get-go it was Bruce Wayne. That was the secret. I never talked about it. Batman, Batman, Batman does this, and I kept thinking to myself, ‘Y’all are thinking wrong here.’ Bruce Wayne. What kind of person does that?…Who becomes that?”

Keaton also recalled an exchange with Schumacher, who reportedly asked the actor about the Batman franchise, “I don’t understand why everything has to be so dark and everything so sad.” To which Keaton replied, “Wait a minute, do you know how this guy got to be Batman? Have you read… I mean, it’s pretty simple.”

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Author: David Wolinsky