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Michael Keaton Reveals Why He Turned Down 'Batman Forever'

Michael Keaton Reveals Why He Turned Down 'Batman Forever'

Michael Keaton is getting candid about his decision to step away from the Batman franchise.

In a new interview with the Backstage podcast, the 70-year-old actor revealed what caused him to walk away from the iconic role.

Click inside to find out what he said…

Michael explained that he and the late Batman Forever director Joel Schumacher did not see eye to eye on the trajectory of the character. While Joel wanted to honor the more traditional comic book elements of the story, Michael was interested in exploring the billionaire’s past and psyche.

“One of the reasons I couldn’t do it was — and you know, he’s a nice enough man, he’s passed away, so I wouldn’t speak ill of him even if he were alive — he, at one point, after more than a couple of meetings where I kept trying to rationalize doing it and hopefully talking him into saying, ‘I think we don’t want to go in this direction, I think we should go in this direction.’ And he wasn’t going to budge,” he said.

Michael recalled “walk[ing] away going, ‘Oh boy, I can’t do this.’ He asked me, ‘I don’t understand why everything has to be so dark and everything so sad,’ and I went, ‘Wait a minute, do you know how this guy got to be Batman? Have you read… I mean, it’s pretty simple.’”

When it came to the character, the actor said, “It was always Bruce Wayne. It was never Batman.”

“To me, I know the name of the movie is Batman, and it’s hugely iconic and very cool and cultural iconic and because of Tim Burton, artistically iconic, [but] I knew from the get-go it was Bruce Wayne.

“That was the secret. I never talked about it. [Everyone would say] ‘Batman, Batman, Batman does this’, and I kept thinking to myself, ‘Y’all are thinking wrong here. [It’s all about] Bruce Wayne. What kind of person does that?… Who becomes that?’” he added.

Michael is set to reprise his role as Batman in The Flash and recently signed on to play the superhero in the upcoming Batgirl movie.

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Photos: Getty Images
Posted to: Batman, Michael Keaton

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