Batman Wiki
Batman Wiki

Michael Keaton is an American actor. He portrayed Batman in Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns. Keaton was set to return in the third film when director Joel Schumacher took over the Batman franchise. However, he left the series, disliking the new lighter, glossier, campier tone the films were taking.

Keaton later reprised his role as the character in 2023's The Flash film, appearing as a variant from a "Flashpoint" universe created by Ezra Miller's Flash.[1] Keaton was set to reprise the role in DC Films following its release and replace Ben Affleck's Batman, even filming scenes for Batgirl and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. However, these appearances were abandoned after AT&T sold Warner Brothers to Discovery.

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  • When he first read the script for Batman, unaware of the comics and only seen a few episodes of the comedic William Dozier TV show. Keaton only agreed to read it as favor to Tim Burton, whom he had worked with on Beetlejuice and trusted his judgment. He became fascinated with what the film was trying to do, and finally accepted.
  • In preparation for the role, Keaton read Frank Miller's 1986 Dark Knight series.
  • When it was announced that Keaton was going to play the title character in Batman, Warner Bros. office was flooded with countless letters from comic-book fans, insisting that Keaton was the worst possible choice for the role. Batman creator Bob Kane was especially exasperated. Looking back, Keaton is now considered one of the best of the Batman performers, and other actors are personally measured by his example. Keaton remarks: "I am Batman. I'm very secure in that."
  • It was his personal idea to cut down on a lot of the lines of Batman in Batman Returns, so his character would seem especially enigmatic.
  • Keaton has been vocal about disliking the original Batman Forever script by the Batchlers. He has also commented that he was unimpressed by Akiva Goldsman's revised shooting script. His absence in the subsequent films has often been used in arguments disassociating the Schumacher films from Burton's.
  • Keaton would later star in the 2014 film Birdman, a film about an aged actor trying to move away from his reputation to be taken seriously. Commentators had noted the similarities between both him and his character (Riggan Thomson) as they'd both portrayed a famous superhero, dropped out of production due to distain for the franchises' direction and their career had suffered due to fame in their roles.