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View Full Version : So why did Michael Keaton REALLY walk away from the Batman films?


Dr. Fate
05-21-2006, 10:44 PM
Was it really that he didn't like the direction the films were heading in without Tim Burton, or was it just that the studio wouldn't meet his salary demands? Or was it both? Where is the truth in all this?

SHADOWBAT69
05-21-2006, 11:27 PM
This has been discussed many times. There is published interviews in both magazines and books as well as filmed interviews where he has said the reasons. It wasnt because of salary, they offered him alot of money. It was because of the story, he thought that the villains were overshadowing the Batman character and he didnt like the lighter approach. He has also said that he was a bit afraid of being type cast.

Mee
05-22-2006, 12:06 AM
Can't blame the guy for walking away from Shumacher. I've also read that he wanted a prequel/Batman Begins type movie for the third one.

Catman
05-22-2006, 12:29 AM
Yeah. . .he walked away because he didn't like the direction Schumacher was headed at.

Whack Arnolds
05-22-2006, 02:11 AM
This has been discussed many times. There is published interviews in both magazines and books as well as filmed interviews where he has said the reasons. It wasnt because of salary, they offered him alot of money. It was because of the story, he thought that the villains were overshadowing the Batman character and he didnt like the lighter approach. He has also said that he was a bit afraid of being type cast.Which is funny, because a) by then he was already typecast and b) the villains always over shadowed Batman in every movie up to that point...and would continue to do so. :up:

Dr. Fate
05-22-2006, 08:49 AM
Which is funny, because a) by then he was already typecast and b) the villains always over shadowed Batman in every movie up to that point...and would continue to do so. :up:
I've also wondered if perhaps Keaton felt he was getting too old to continue playing the ageless Batman/Bruce Wayne...

El Payaso
05-22-2006, 09:21 AM
Didn't dig the nipples.

Bathead
05-22-2006, 11:03 AM
I remember at the time, hearing both reasons. From the studio, that Keaton was making too many demands, financial and otherwise, and from Keaton's camp, that it was creative differences. I suspect it was both.

Jack Napier
05-22-2006, 02:07 PM
Haha, I read an interview with Keaton where he wasn't sure whether he made the right decision not to play Batman again, so he snuck into "Batman Forever", leaving confident in his decision after 20 minutes.:)

captain_jimbo
05-22-2006, 02:41 PM
Was it really that he didn't like the direction the films were heading in without Tim Burton, or was it just that the studio wouldn't meet his salary demands? Or was it both? Where is the truth in all this?

Keaton himself said: "I wouldn't have even considered doing it, if it wasn't Tim Burton doing this movie."

...and this was back when they were doing the first Batman movie in 1989, so I guess once they forced Burton out of directing, he probably thought it was time for him to leave too.

Two-Face
05-22-2006, 05:10 PM
Cos Batman Franchise was going down hill after he read the script


Keaton: "This script suck, Joel"

Schumcher "**** you" *dials Kilmer's number*

kilmer: "I'll do it"

Schumcher: "But you haven't read the script" (this bit is true Kilmer did accepted without reading the script)

Kilmer: I said I’d do it.

Schumacher: "ok"


Kilmer after reading finished script for B&R

Kilmer: "BF was good but this script is even crapper"

Schumacher: "**** you * dials Clooney's number*

Clooney: I accept"

Schumacher: "Welcome board"

You know the rest went.

Palpadious
05-22-2006, 06:13 PM
Haha, I read an interview with Keaton where he wasn't sure whether he made the right decision not to play Batman again, so he snuck into "Batman Forever", leaving confident in his decision after 20 minutes.:)

I wish Keaton had gone to the premeire. He would have gotten up and beaten the s hit out of Shumacer. :batman:

Bat Attack
05-22-2006, 09:07 PM
He was smart to have gotten out before Schumacher took over.

Bruce_Wayne29
05-22-2006, 09:39 PM
Money was never an issue (Keaton is driven by challenges and not by money - those in doubt check his paycheck for Game 6 which he did for virtually nothing - didn't even had a trailer and had to sleep on the floor - and for loving the script and character.
He wanted Batman Forever to go back to the route of the first one and still maintain that dark quality and Schumacker wanted to go do a Batman for kids. Keaton didn't have a problem with Schumacher until he said this. And that's why he left. What alot of ppl don't realize is that Keaton is a Batman fan himself and he didn't want the character portrayed that way. He said in 96 that nobody wanted to do the third one more than him but not like that.
And the guy was a class act and stood up for all of us who love the Dark Batman and refused 35 million dollars. Who of us would have the same balls ?
And his pay off was Warner tried a smear campaign by saying that he wanted more money, a way to try the fans to turn against him and embrace a new actor quicker. And I think they always resented Keaton for not selling out to them, just last year Keaton said in an interview that they never contacted him for the Batman special editions...
Well in the long run I'm pretty sure they got what they deserved and ate their words since they went back to Keaton everytime they wanted to do another Batman. He refused Batman and Robin but left the door open to come back for a fifth one if done right with a great script and director. Unfortunatly they never reached an agreement regarding a script or director. And though in the long run it gave us Batman Begins, those who like me love Keaton and think he gave Batman the portrayal and respect he deserved, will always be sad that never came to be.
That's why I'm still hoping for a DKR with him one day. He loved that book (it was the biggest proof that Batman could be done right that Burton used to convince him to do the movie) and he based his performance in the first one in it. So it's only natural that he should be the one to do it.

DocLathropBrown
05-22-2006, 09:55 PM
Money was never an issue (Keaton is driven by challenges and not by money - those in doubt check his paycheck for Game 6 which he did for virtually nothing - didn't even had a trailer and had to sleep on the floor - and for loving the script and character.
He wanted Batman Forever to go back to the route of the first one and still maintain that dark quality and Schumacker wanted to go do a Batman for kids. Keaton didn't have a problem with Schumacher until he said this. And that's why he left. What alot of ppl don't realize is that Keaton is a Batman fan himself and he didn't want the character portrayed that way. He said in 96 that nobody wanted to do the third one more than him but not like that.
And the guy was a class act and stood up for all of us who love the Dark Batman and refused 35 million dollars. Who of us would have the same balls ?
And his pay off was Warner tried a smear campaign by saying that he wanted more money, a way to try the fans to turn against him and embrace a new actor quicker.

I'm a huge fan of Michael Keaton as well as a huge fan of Batman. I've got the scoop. I've done my reading on the guy, in addition to seen the TV specials about him.

Keaton isn't a Batman fan. Probably never read anything besides DKR for research. But he did love the character. He knew what Batman was about and what he was like.

Warners didn't try a smear campaign of any kind. Keaton just publicly admitted that WB tired to lure him with an insane salary (35 million was the highest salary ever offered to an actor at the time I believe) and people have been getting the story wrong ever since. If there was any smearing over the matter, it was anti-Keaton people.

It is true that Keaton was willing to do BF even once Burton had left (Burton left way before BF got off the ground.... he never even toook one step toward making a third film aside from telling WB a few ideas in the meeting where they revealed they didn't want him back), and he even met with Schumacher a couple of times. Even after reading the script, he was willing do to it with some minor tweaking (He recently revealed that he wanted Forever to be more revealing about the origin, a'la Begins), but then he realized just how Schumacher was going to do the film and that he probably wasn't going to budge in his plans. So Keaton left. THEN Warners tried the insane salary, and he turned it down.

It wasn't ever about money, that's the truth. Keaton didn't do it because it wasn't going to be good or good for the character, and he didn't want to tarnish his name or the character, so he left the tarnishment of Batman to others.

El Payaso
05-22-2006, 09:58 PM
Which is why Keaton is a true hero.

AND Batman.

Bruce_Wayne29
05-22-2006, 10:11 PM
I'm a huge fan of Michael Keaton as well as a huge fan of Batman. I've got the scoop. I've done my reading on the guy, in addition to seen the TV specials about him.

Keaton isn't a Batman fan. Probably never read anything besides DKR for research. But he did love the character. He knew what Batman was about and what he was like.

Warners didn't try a smear campaign of any kind. Keaton just publicly admitted that WB tired to lure him with an insane salary (35 million was the highest salary ever offered to an actor at the time I believe) and people have been getting the story wrong ever since. If there was any smearing over the matter, it was anti-Keaton people.

It is true that Keaton was willing to do BF even once Burton had left (Burton left way before BF got off the ground.... he never even toook one step toward making a third film aside from telling WB a few ideas in the meeting where they revealed they didn't want him back), and he even met with Schumacher a couple of times. Even after reading the script, he was willing do to it with some minor tweaking (He recently revealed that he wanted Forever to be more revealing about the origin, a'la Begins), but then he realized just how Schumacher was going to do the film and that he probably wasn't going to budge in his plans. So Keaton left. THEN Warners tried the insane salary, and he turned it down.

It wasn't ever about money, that's the truth. Keaton didn't do it because it wasn't going to be good or good for the character, and he didn't want to tarnish his name or the character, so he left the tarnishment of Batman to others.

First of all nice to meet another huge Michael Keaton fan such as myself. When I said he's a fan of Batman what I meant is that he loves the character very much and cares for it, not necessarily that he read the comics, though I wouldn't be surprised if he did when he was little.
As for the smear campaign by Warner though not proven it has been widely reported that it was them and Schumacher to a certain point that had leaked to several newspapers that Keaton wanted more money.
It may have been them or the anti-Keaton ppl like you say, either way his integrity was put in question in a shameful way until he said his side of things and even so unfortunatly we still read posts from ppl asking or stating that he left for money or didn't care for Batman. And that is a shame because it's not true.
It's so funny that even when they don't ask him in interviews he always manages to mention Batman. When he went to the Tonight show and said he was trying to convince his son to dress up like Batman on Halloween and did the pointy ears without saying the name it got the biggest aplause from the audience. It says that even after all this time, he's still THE Batman to alot of ppl.

DocLathropBrown
05-22-2006, 10:50 PM
It's so funny that even when they don't ask him in interviews he always manages to mention Batman. When he went to the Tonight show and said he was trying to convince his son to dress up like Batman on Halloween and did the pointy ears without saying the name it got the biggest aplause from the audience. It says that even after all this time, he's still THE Batman to alot of ppl.

Ain't it grand? :)

SHADOWBAT69
05-22-2006, 11:26 PM
The sad thing is, there seems to be 2 groups of people, those who love Keaton and those who hated him. I loved him, nothing will ever compare to him in the Batman movies. He was a part of something that can never be recaptured. The thing i hat the most is how the facts and rumors and flat out wrong info gets blurred together when it comes to the Burton/Keaton era. If you read interviews with Keaton himself and see interviews on television you will know the true story. But even this will not stop the downright crap that gets spread.

Dr. Fate
05-22-2006, 11:40 PM
The sad thing is, there seems to be 2 groups of people, those who love Keaton and those who hated him.
Doesn't that apply to pretty much every actor/actress who has ever walked the face of the Earth?:p

DocLathropBrown
05-22-2006, 11:42 PM
Doesn't that apply to pretty much every actor/actress who has ever walked the face of the Earth?:p

Those pathetic enough to focus so much hate onto Keaton are so venomous that it goes way beyond anything the Cary Grant fanbase may have had to face...

Chaos Bringer
05-23-2006, 03:00 AM
I don't hate Keaton, ha, I don't know him. I do think he's a mighty fine actor. He was never Batman though. I think he's in better shape today then when he made the Bat-movies. Much too small to play Bruce.

Bruce_Wayne29
05-23-2006, 11:06 AM
Those pathetic enough to focus so much hate onto Keaton are so venomous that it goes way beyond anything the Cary Grant fanbase may have had to face...

You're absolutly right.

Dr. Fate
05-23-2006, 11:10 AM
Those pathetic enough to focus so much hate onto Keaton are so venomous that it goes way beyond anything the Cary Grant fanbase may have had to face...
What does Cary Grant have to do with Michael Keaton?

DocLathropBrown
05-23-2006, 07:43 PM
What does Cary Grant have to do with Michael Keaton?

Nothing, I just picked another actor randomly to make an example.

kooguy911
05-26-2006, 09:33 AM
i think he said on the special edition either forever or returns dvd that he was tired of playing the same character and the only reason he did returns was because it was something new and different and he wanted to stick with burton because burton is a different in a good way director and when he left keaton didnt like no burton and he didnt like the non-burton atmosphere.

batmaluco
05-26-2006, 11:28 PM
He didn't dig Robin's giant purple codpiece. :o

Dr. Fate
05-26-2006, 11:46 PM
i think he said on the special edition either forever or returns dvd that he was tired of playing the same character and the only reason he did returns was because it was something new and different and he wanted to stick with burton because burton is a different in a good way director and when he left keaton didnt like no burton and he didnt like the non-burton atmosphere.
Didn't he get a huge salary raise for Returns as well?

Bruce_Wayne29
05-27-2006, 03:51 PM
Didn't he get a huge salary raise for Returns as well?

I believe he got 8 million dollars for Returns. Had he done forever he would get 35 million (even though it's not sure if that would have been for more than one movie Bat-film or not).

The Joker
07-28-2010, 10:48 PM
This has been discussed many times. There is published interviews in both magazines and books as well as filmed interviews where he has said the reasons. It wasnt because of salary, they offered him alot of money. It was because of the story, he thought that the villains were overshadowing the Batman character and he didnt like the lighter approach. He has also said that he was a bit afraid of being type cast.

Sorry to bump an old thread, but this was brought up somewhere else on here, and I remember there being a thread about it a few years ago. So I went digging through the archives to see if it was still here.

I remember Keaton saying the same thing in some magazine interviews back in the day. I remember him saying he was particularly unsatisfied with his character in Returns in terms of how the villains really over shadowed him.

El Payaso
07-28-2010, 11:18 PM
Sorry to bump an old thread, but this was brought up somewhere else on here, and I remember there being a thread about it a few years ago. So I went digging through the archives to see if it was still here.

I remember Keaton saying the same thing in some magazine interviews back in the day. I remember him saying he was particularly unsatisfied with his character in Returns in terms of how the villains really over shadowed him.

Wait, wait, wait. So he was unsatisfied about that... and he refused to make a movie where his character had more focus and screentime?

The Joker
07-28-2010, 11:29 PM
Wait, wait, wait. So he was unsatisfied about that... and he refused to make a movie where his character had more focus and screentime?

He hated the lighter tone Schumacher was planning to go with the movie by all accounts.

El Payaso
07-28-2010, 11:55 PM
So how overshadowed he felt Bruce/Batman was was not his main problem.

It is, honestly, the first time I hear that.

The Joker
07-28-2010, 11:59 PM
So how overshadowed he felt Bruce/Batman was was not his main problem.

It was in the Burton movies. But he was prepared to return for Batman Forever. But then they changed the style, and he strongly disliked the lighter tone in contrast to the previous two movies. This is all on-line. I think it's on Wikipedia, and several other websites.

Think about it, would you as an actor portray a character in a style and tone you don't think is at all fitting for the character, regardless how much screen time and focus you're given? Keaton made the right choice, IMO. At least he can walk away with two decent Bat movies under his belt.

El Payaso
07-29-2010, 01:56 AM
Oh, Keaton's my hero for saying NO to BF.

He's the example I always use when people come and tell me, "Well, he didn't give a bad piece of acting, it's just that the direction and script were too bad for him." "Oh yeah?," I say, "well when that happened to Keaton he said freeking No!"

The Joker
07-29-2010, 11:32 AM
Exactly. And they offered him insane amounts of money to do BF, and he still said no. Gotta' respect an actor like that.