For many fans, Michael Keaton stands as their definitive Batman. The actor donned the hero’s cowl back in 1989 under Tim Burton’s direction, but Keaton refrained from giving the hero a third go-around. And, now, the star is speaking out on why he left Batman behind him.
During a recent chat with The Guardian, Keaton was asked about his superhero legacy. The actor touched on why he didn’t return for a third Batman film, and Keaton said his decision boiled down to the sequel not being any good.
“[The film] just wasn’t any good, man. I tried to be patient, but after a certain point, I was like, 'I can’t take this any more, this is going to be horrible,'” Keaton explained.
“There was some really horrible taste in the '90s, and I probably contributed to that, unfortunately," Keaton added. "It was a time of nouveau riche excess – everyone was known for their jets and their stuff. And I thought, I’m in this job for the long run, I don’t want this. And the truth is, I’m not boasting, but I was correct. There are a whole load of people who ran things that are long gone.”
Of course, there are few fans who would argue against Keaton and his observation. If the star had a chance to preview Batman Forever script, there is no doubt Keaton would have run in the opposite direction. The 1997 film saw Burton hand over Batman’s reins to Joel Schumacher, and it received some very mixed reviews. It’s follow-up, Batman & Robin, stands as one of the hero’s most lambasted on-screen ventures. So, there’s little doubt Keaton exited the franchise at the best point.
A host of actors have suited up as Batman since Keaton hung up the cape. George Clooney had a brief stint as the hero before stars like Christian Bale and Ben Affleck swore to protect Gotham. The latter will soon reprise the iconic role in Justice League, so fans can anticipate the hero’s return this November.
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