Michael Keaton explains why he left Batman forever over Joel Schumacher’s tone changes


For many fans, Michael Keaton is Batman, and even though he’s back in The Flash, he recently explained why he left the role after Batman Returns.


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In another universe, Michael Keaton possibly continued beyond his 1992s role as Batman Batman returns, but the actor explained in a new podcast that a collision with Batman forever director Joel Schumacher on the overall tone of the character spurred his departure from the franchise for thirty years. While we all know that Keaton will play his role as the original big screen iteration of the Dark Knight in The flash and Batgirl movies, there has always been a question about what would have happened if he had not left the role before the 1995 movie that brought in Val Kilmer as the new face of Batman, and this is one that Keaton covered while on appeared In The Envelope: The Actor’s Podcast.

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While Tim Burton’s Batman and its continuation Batman returns is still considered two of the best Batman movies to be screened, not everyone was keen on the director taking the helm of a third outing, which led to the baton being handed over to Joel Schumacher, who wanted to create something that was not quite so. dark like the previous Dark Knight movies. When it comes to the character, however, Keaton explained that he was always invested in the character’s darkness and that it was never really about Batman. He said:

“It was always Bruce Wayne. It was never Batman,” Keaton said. “For me I know the name of the movie is Batman, and it’s really iconic and very cool and [a] cultural icons and because of Tim Burton, artistic icons. I knew from the beginning it was Bruce Wayne. That was the secret. I never talked about it. [Everyone would say] Batman, Batman, Batman do it, and I kept thinking to myself, “You guys are thinking wrong here.” [It’s all about] Bruce Wayne. What kind of person does it do? … Who does it become? What kind of person [does that]?

“And then the director who directed the third one [came on] I said, ‘I just can not do that.’ And one of the reasons I could not do that was — and you know, he’s a good enough man, he’s dead, so I’ll not speak ill of him, even if he were alive — he, on ‘ stage, after more than a few meetings where I kept trying to rationalize it and hopefully persuade him to say I think we do not want to go in this direction, I think we should go in this direction go. And he did not intend to give way. I remember one of the things I walked away from and said, ‘Oh boy, I can not do this.’ He asked me, ‘I do not understand why everything should be so dark and everything so sad,’ and I said, ‘Wait a minute, do you know what this old Batman must have been like? “Did you read … I mean, it’s pretty simple.”

With the star and director being apart in where they believed the character should go, there would never be a compromise. While Batman forever two years later not completely lost from his dark edge Batman and Robin certainly, because it created a much more comical and colorful vision of Batman that was closer to the 60s TV show than Burton’s gothic fairy tale. However, everything happens for a reason, and thirty years later, Keaton once again embraced comic book superhero movies, with his appearance in Spider-Man: Homecoming for Marvel as The Vulture, a role he will play in upcoming Sony Spider-Man movies such as Morbius, and his return as Bruce Wayne / Batman in The flash this November.


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