Michael Keaton Explains Why He Left Batman Forever


Michael Keaton is now promoting his new film The Founder and in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter he talks a bit about his time as Batman and why he left when Tim Burton stepped down as Director for Batman Forever.


“an artist and a visionary”

{In Regards to Batman 3 with Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher’s lighter vision}-“I he (Tim Burton) were to say let me experiment with this, I would have been on board”


“If it went down, we were going down in a big way”


“It sucked,” Keaton says of the script he was shown. “I knew it was in trouble when he [Schumacher] said, ‘Why does everything have to be so dark?’ ”

“I (Michael Keaton) stayed on for multiple meetings, I just didn’t understand what he wanted to do with the character.”

The casting of Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman in 1988 was very controversial, even without the internet it was met with a huge backlash from fans who feared the Tim Burton film would be like the Adam West campy TV Series of the 1960’s, a tradition that continued when Heath Ledger was cast as The Joker and Ben Affleck as Batman, both being proven reasons why we should wait and see how well an actor will do before judging them.

You can listen to the full podcast where he discusses his career over at The Hollywood Reporter. If you want to start it where he begins discussing his time on Batman go to 29.20.

Eric Curto

Eric Curto

My name is Eric and I am loving this current comic book boom, I was around for the first one with Superman: The Movie, Supergirl(being the first female and crossover film) and Batman and have been enjoying the resurgence since Blade. Can't express how much I cannot wait for WB & DC to take back the film universe but until than I love the TV shows we have gotten. I only started reading comics about 10 years ago but am connected more to DC over Marvel or any other major company. If you wanna chat feel free to contact me
Eric Curto
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  • GAB

    I think that Batman Forever is a really good movie. Even if is a little bit lighter in tone than the two Burton movies, still has a dark vibe and tones, and Val Kilmer’s characterization is really great. I’m pretty sure that is reputation was compromised after the release of Batman & Robin. Back then, Batman Forever was a great success, but the sequel ruined his tone. I find hyporitical the fact that people have criticized Joel Schumacher for Batman & Robin, considering that Schumacher was always a director of thriller and pretty dark movies so I’m guessing that people that have criticized haven’t seen the other movies directed by him. If we have to be honest, the only responsibles to blame are the ones that complain. When Batman Returns arrived in cinemas, people complained about the tone, they said that was too much dark, it scared the kids, and stuff like that, so the studio decided to make the tone a little bit lighter, but then people complained again about the tone, and they said that was lighter and they preferred a dark tone. When the tone was dark, they complained, when the tone was lighter, they complained, maybe that kind of people just need to stop watching Batman movies. This kind of behaviour is the ruined of cinema. The same scenario was presented when Superman Returns arrived in 2006 and later when Man of Steel arrived in 2013. When Superman Returns was in theaters, people complained about the fact that was too much like the original Superman movies with the great Christopher Reeve, so the studio decided to made a reboot and Man of Steel was released, but this time people complained again because the tone and characterizations, were too much different from the original Superman movies. Who is the true common denominator? The ones who complains about everything, first of because they are the most hypocritcal beings on earth, considering that the complians no matter what, in every case. They complain if something is made in one way, but they complain even if something is made in the other way. People said that their favourite Batman is the one in The Dark Knight Returns because is dark and brutal, but they complained about Ben Affleck’s Batman because is dark and brutal. The truth is out there to see, some people are just hypocritical. A studio doesn’t have to listen to this complains, because they are just bs. One of the many reasons why I think that Zack Snyder is the greatest, is because he do what he thinks is right and he doesn’t compromises. He made a movie based on his vision and no critic will ever influence his work. He’s how a director should be, a guy who make a movie based on vision and talent.

    • lagz

      i agree with most of what you wrote — especially when you say that people who complain about *everything* have been the only common denominator for quite some time now in all the situations you mentioned.

      however, i just watched something about snyder and bvs that left me thinking for a *moment* — or, more accurately, about perhaps too many moments. i loved bvs, but this critic was able to put in words (and images) the one aspect that really left me wondering, although not disappointed.

      highly recommendable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38Cy_Qlh7VM.