Michael Keaton has revealed why he stepped down from the role of Batman in Batman Forever, as revealed on the In the Envelope podcast.
The actor revealed on the podcast that he eventually stepped away from the third Batman film of the franchise due to creative differences with the film’s director, Joel Schumacher.
Keaton revealed that he disagreed on the campiness of the tone of the third instalment, preferring Tim Burton’s darker and sinister vibes.
When speaking about what originally drew him to the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, he revealed: “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 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 said that Schumacher came to him saying: “I don’t understand why everything has to be so dark and everything so sad.”
“Wait a minute, do you know how this guy got to be Batman?” Keaton then asked the director.
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Keaton was then replaced by Val Kilmer in Batman Forever, where it made $336.6 million in the box office with a $100 million budget.
The third instalment of the Batman series earned more than Keaton’s sequel Batman Returns ($266.9 million) but less than the original 1989 Batman. ($411.6 million).
Michael Keaton is set to reprise his role as the Dark Knight for the first time since 1992 with The Flash and The Batgirl, both set to release later this year.
Alongside his DC films, Keaton recently starred in the MCU’s Spider-Man: Homecoming as antagonist Vulture, and is set to reprise his role in Morbius opposite Jared Leto.