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Michael Keaton's Unhappy "Batman" Memories

Posted: May 14th, 2011 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
Michael KeatonSubmit Comment
LA Times caught up with Michael Keaton who reflected on making "Batman" back in 1989 and how everyone was worried that the movie may look very silly on the big screen.

"It was an extremely difficult undertaking and Tim [Burton] is a shy guy, especially back then, and there was so much pressure," Keaton explained. "We were in England for a long time shooting at Pinewood and it was long, difficult nights in that dank, dark, cold place, and we never knew if it was really working."

He continued: "There was no guarantee that any of this was going to play correctly when it was all said and done. There had never been a movie like it before. There was a lot of risk, too, with Jack [Nicholson] looking the way he did and me stepping out in this new way. The pressure was on everybody. You could feel it."

Keaton went on to recall a particularly awkward moment. He said: "We're standing there at one point, I'm in my bat suit, Jack is in Joker get-up and I just looked at him and said, 'We're grown men, right?'"

The film went on to gross $411 million on a $35 million budget and spawned countless sequels and a recent reboot. So why didn't Keaton reprise the role in the third film?

He explained: "I knew we were in trouble in talks for the third one when certain people started the conversation with 'Why does it have to be so dark?' 'Why does he have to be so depressed?' 'Shouldn't there be more color in this thing?' I knew I was headed for trouble and that it wasn't a road I was going to go down."

Source: LA Times


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Displaying 36 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
YoungChris writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 5:53:29 AM

I thought the first Batman movie was made in Chicago ...hmmm
Kratos writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 5:56:13 AM

I still like Tim Burton's vision of Batman.
Benji writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 6:17:02 AM

Batman: Returns is still one of the best Batman films ever made!!! I loved the Dark Knight and Batman Begins but Danny DeVito was awe inspiring and fantastic!!! Best role the guy had before It's Always Sunny and that includes Taxi!!!
DaveThePhotoGuy writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 6:36:12 AM

Hard to compare both movies as they different visions of "Batman".

I understand why he has said this, I remeber when it came out and all the talk about, and yes it could have failed and failed miserabley.

Good choice on not doing the third one, he could see it was a disaster before filming but studios in their infinate wisdom eh?
rocketman writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 7:59:47 AM

Wise man
trailertrash writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 8:02:56 AM

I have unhappy memories of Jack Frost
bloodgear writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 8:14:55 AM

Wouldn't say these are "unhappy" memories, per se, just they never knew how it was going to turn out. Quite rightly so too.
He got out at the right time. More colour is exactly what Schumaker did, and while Forever isn't bad it wasn't Burton's true vision.

Always liked Returns more though. Still do.
BadChadB33 writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 9:09:45 AM

TT-lol
Personally I still prefer the 1st Batman. There's something in it that the Nolan film's lack.
SACdaddy writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 10:58:43 AM

Still one of my top 5 favorite films. Probably have seen it 100 times. Still cant decide which film (TDK or this) was better or who played the Joker the best. Jack really was born to play the part (and should have easily walked away with an Oscar), but Ledger's relentless performance is one of the best in modern film history imo. "Wait til they get a load of me" and "Why so serious" will go down as two of film's most memorable lines. Either way both films were awesome and groundbreaking. We all owe Burton a little appreciation for taking the Bat (and the superhero genre) in a darker direction.
Sleuth1989 writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 11:13:30 AM

You got to give him props for class. He isn't bias. I mean I actually liked Batman Forever and, I know I'll be executed for this, but Batman & Robin because of the fun nature of the films, but he is right that his role would have been betrayed with the third one. The first two are indeed the best (Seems to be a pattern with BOTH Superman and Batman films) with the third one being pretty good (I think we can all agree Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones were great in their roles), but unfortunately once the money get involved and getting a mass audience they seem to lose sight most of the time.I mean seriously, list off how many great superhero series ended on a bad note because they go too big.
Sleuth1989 writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 11:13:33 AM

You got to give him props for class. He isn't bias. I mean I actually liked Batman Forever and, I know I'll be executed for this, but Batman & Robin because of the fun nature of the films, but he is right that his role would have been betrayed with the third one. The first two are indeed the best (Seems to be a pattern with BOTH Superman and Batman films) with the third one being pretty good (I think we can all agree Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones were great in their roles), but unfortunately once the money get involved and getting a mass audience they seem to lose sight most of the time.I mean seriously, list off how many great superhero series ended on a bad note because they got too big.
secondbest writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 11:14:07 AM

At least he could see that the third was going to be a disaster.
Doomzdae writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 12:48:29 PM

michael keaton was the best bruce wayne ever!
Spankfish writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 1:22:21 PM

@doomzdae
I totally agree. He played the clueless, dozy millionare playboy awesome.

Bale plays it as himself, which is just as a c*nt.
Ranger writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 1:23:36 PM

Plus he had the added pressure of banging Couteney Cox back then. She had an intimate relationship with her cousin while living in NY (maybe to pay her share of the rent) previously. Maybe the bitch gave him venereal warts and he had to get them removed via liquid nitrogen. And that's never a picnic.

As for $35. mil making $411. mil. Not too many flicks (unless it's a Blair Witch or Paranormal...) make that percentage of return these days. Good for (wart-riddled) Keaton and Crazy Jack.

bandolero999 writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 1:31:12 PM

so much for Chris Odonnels career after Batman and RObin what a turd that was Not even Arnold can save that.

Ranger writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 1:39:36 PM

He did do a 2.5 Men episode at a trans-gender.

Yep... his career is over.
Doomzdae writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 1:43:53 PM

by the way michelle pfeiffer was the best catwoman. I love nolans batman because he
took it serious, which makes his batman
better than any other so far. but letting two-face die was dumb. two-face is one of
the best opponents batman ever had. I think
they can and should make it even better.
heath ledger did a great job with joker
and I would love to see somebody to take
it to another level.
minkowski writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 2:22:35 PM

Keaton is a smart man, from what I can tell, and, more importantly, Tom Burton's vision of the Caped Crusader is far more faithful to both the comic book visuals and the gothic ambience. Nolan's Batman is just some guy with a torn larnyx running around in the daylight wearing a Batman costume.
Champ1432 writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 3:43:53 PM

Well, he definitely got out at the right time. Batman and Batman Returns are much better than Forever and Batmand and Robin IMO. You can easily see how they did exactly what Keaton was saying they wanted to do, add color and change the tone. They certainly didn't hold back in that regard.

Batman Forever and Batman and Robin aren't completely unenjoyable in my opinion, they have their decent parts, but I think you have to look at them as almost completely unrelated to the first two films. Even though some roles have the same actors in all four films (Alfred, Gordon), the second two are such a different take on the character and the tone in general that I think you have to consider them totally separate.

And I agree with the thought that Keaton was the best Bruce Wayne out of all of them.
minkowski writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 4:11:27 PM

I do what most other intelligent people do: I don't 'consider' them at all.
mustardayonnaise writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 4:20:42 PM

I dunno, while I agree that Keaton was a great Batman (probably the best, but Bale is very good too), I think in general all of the original Batman movies are only okay. I mean, I don't think they've aged very well. The first one is great, no doubt, but have you watched Batman Returns lately? It doesn't really hold up. And the Schumacher ones are pretty f*cking terrible. I guess I'd need to give the Nolan movies another decade to see how they hold up, but in general, very few comic book movies have timeless longevity IMHO.
bandolero999 writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 4:30:03 PM

I would of prefered Guy Pearce as Batman not sure if he was in negotiations maybe he could play him in the Justice League movie
Crazyhorse writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 5:25:09 PM

"ITS TIME TO FREEEEZE!!!!!!!!"
minkowski writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 5:43:54 PM

What killed the dinosaurs?

The ice age!

.
.
.
.
.
.

No seriously, it was a big f*cking rock, but good try Arnold.
encoreyourface writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 6:04:03 PM

^

lol!!
Crazyhorse writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 7:00:42 PM

"Tonights forcast, a freeze is coming"
LEONCIO writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 7:13:53 PM

I love Burton's Batman movies, watched them when I was a kid and since then I've watched them a billion times. However Schumacher's films are more like a really expensive remake of the old 60s show (specially B&R). I wish Burton had made at least one more.
technoreaper writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 10:08:59 PM

Well Michael Keaton, the reason the conversations about color came up was because the 2nd movie was unreasonably dark and depressing. Batman Forever was not actually bad. Batman and Robin was when things really went downhill.

I still don't like the Batman series today. I feel DC needs to do what Marvel does and just make their own movies. Hollywood does not respect adaptations. Look at all of Marvel's comic book movies, and then look at what Fox has done with their Marvel properties. Even when Marvel slips up, like with Iron Man 2, their work is FAR superior to any of the X-Men or Spider-Man movies!
technoreaper writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 10:11:40 PM

I still believe most movies are made for around $35-75 million max. I do not believe a lot of the figures Hollywood puts out there at all. It's all for marketing purposes. I've seen a lot of sequels that did not look like they cost more than $100 million dollars. See Quantum of Solace, for example. If you know a movie is going to make $300-400 million or more globally because it's a sequel, why spend so much money on it? It's unethical, but it's smart business. I wouldn't do it because I'm not like that.
Ranger writes:
on May 14th, 2011 at 10:41:43 PM

Still one of the best scenes ever:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4v1hAnfy1I
trailertrash writes:
on May 15th, 2011 at 2:24:56 AM

Thats the 2nd best scene ever ranger

1st is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfD3l56kxQA
Chewbacca writes:
on May 15th, 2011 at 4:16:46 AM

Really? I had unhappy memories during Jack Frost you don't see me complaining.
mustardayonnaise writes:
on May 15th, 2011 at 1:59:11 PM

"I do not believe a lot of the figures Hollywood puts out there at all. It's all for marketing purposes."

Other than a few people inside the industry, who the f*ck gives a sh*t what a movie cost to make? No, more often than not, production budget numbers are far under their actual value, especially when you add in P&A, distribution, point participation, etc.- studios don't publish actual values because they'd likely be even more embarrassed if the movie becomes a flop.

Sequels, by the way, almost always cost a great deal more than first-run movies, unless you do a LOTR or Back to the Future II/III type of production when you shoot multiple movies back-to-back. The reason they cost more is that talent knows they have a hit on their hands and have leverage to ask for more $$, since they know the producing studio can afford it off the back of the first production.
snoop writes:
on May 16th, 2011 at 5:49:23 AM

He should have done Batman Forever, too. Then ditched the series. Forever is awesome. Still, I'm happy with Val's performance.
LastActionHero writes:
on May 16th, 2011 at 6:37:06 AM

ALRIGHT, everybody chilllll.

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