Was Michael Keaton too Old to be Playing Batman in 1989?

Playing a 18-19 year old. :yay:

Most characters who are in the their teenage years are almost always portrayed by actors in their early 20s and event early 30s (cough Smallville cough).
 
I know. That's what I'm saying. Tobey did a great job, as did Edward Norton, RDj and Michael Keaton.
 
I still think Keaton plays a better Batman in coustume then Bale did.
 
Keaton kicks ass. This thread doesn't.

Pity you only look at looks for a character. That's what's going against you, that's why you already lost.

It's not aobut how he looks it's about the actor. Burton stated a nice quote.

"If he was six foot five and muscular, he wouldn't need to put on a batsuit."

That's one of the most idiotic quotes to ever come out of that man's mouth. What's the context?
 
I agree with you more actually, and I know that too. But I always liked the Burton stuck up for Keaton and his physical look.

I like that Burton is standing up for Keaton too, but the logic he uses there is just wrong. Batman created the batsuit to inspire fear, not to hide that he wasn't a physically imposing man. I'm actually kind of surprised Burton said this, because he did a good job of stressing the urban myth aspect and showing how Batman can inspire fear in criminals.

Still though, anyone who's familiar with Batman's back story knows that the sole reason he dresses up as a bat is to inspire fear. Nothing else.

Doomed Hero said:
I still think Keaton plays a better Batman in coustume then Bale did.

I think there's a good debate for that. Bale's Batman reminded me very much of a Year One Batman. He relied heavily on his physical presence to intimidate (especially in fights), he was full of rage, and he made mistakes. Keaton's Batman was very much like a DKR/experienced Batman. He was cold, calculating, and controlled. I think Bale's Batman made a definite step toward Keaton's Batman in TDK. He seemed much more controlled and calculating in that movie, besides the interrogation scene with the Joker, where he let his emotions get to him. I'm expecting Bale to move even further in that direction in B3, and we'll likely end up with something close to how Batman was in TAS.

Both have detractors. For me, it was that I simply wanted to see more of Keaton's Batman. I wanted to learn more about him and see more of his character. In B89, I'd be surprised if he had more then 5 minutes of dialog total in the suit.

For Bale, it's the opposite. I think he has almost too much dialog in suit, and I think a big part of this has to do with his voice. Now, I don't mind it nearly as much as some, but it is distracting, and I don't think digitally deepening it helped any.
 
Last edited:
I like that Burton is standing up for Keaton too, but the logic he uses there is just wrong. Batman created the batsuit to inspire fear, not to hide that he wasn't a physically imposing man. I'm actually kind of surprised Burton said this, because he did a good job of stressing the urban myth aspect and showing how Batman can inspire fear in criminals.

Still though, anyone who's familiar with Batman's back story knows that the sole reason he dresses up as a bat is to inspire fear. Nothing else.

I think Burton was merely talking from the director's point of view, not the character's. That is, that he wasn't after an actor that was physically intimidating but one that looked "regular" so to emphasize the effect of the bat-suit and the bat-persona. In the movie it is stated that Keaton's Bruce Wayne works out.

I think there's a good debate for that. Bale's Batman reminded me very much of a Year One Batman. He relied heavily on his physical presence to intimidate (especially in fights), he was full of rage, and he made mistakes. Keaton's Batman was very much like a DKR/experienced Batman. He was cold, calculating, and controlled. I think Bale's Batman made a definite step toward Keaton's Batman in TDK. He seemed much more controlled and calculating in that movie, besides the interrogation scene with the Joker, where he let his emotions get to him. I'm expecting Bale to move even further in that direction in B3, and we'll likely end up with something close to how Batman was in TAS.

Both have detractors. For me, it was that I simply wanted to see more of Keaton's Batman. I wanted to learn more about him and see more of his character. In B89, I'd be surprised if he had more then 5 minutes of dialog total in the suit.

For Bale, it's the opposite. I think he has almost too much dialog in suit, and I think a big part of this has to do with his voice. Now, I don't mind it nearly as much as some, but it is distracting, and I don't think digitally deepening it helped any.

Agreed with everything. Bale had lots of new things to add to Batman. The voice wasn't the best but it didn't ruin the movies or anything for me.
 
How do you figure that? Read Bob Kane/Bill Finger Batman. It's quite accurate. No more or less then Nolans.

Bruce Wayne was a square-jawed bodybuilder type in Kane/Finger's Batman stories. He killed a few times, but not constantly. There are similarities. I love BATMAN, and will defend it to anyone, and I won't argue that Nolan made almost as many "changes" to the character and his mythos, but Burton's Batman was something entirely new on almost every level, short of some of the basics, and a few key character elements it drew from the mythology.
 
Bruce Wayne is a physically imposing man. He's big and strong, but the point of Batman (and BB and MOTP illustrated this nicely) is that, while we might be intimidated by a 6'5 muscular man, we won't be very afraid of him if we have a gun.
But Batman/Bruce Wayne while he may be strong and muscular he has more of an athletes body than a hulking brute and he's 6'2".
 
But Batman/Bruce Wayne while he may be strong and muscular he has more of an athletes body than a hulking brute and he's 6'2".

I was just putting out a random height to make the point that BB and MOTP both illustrated, and that was that a physically imposing man can be intimidating, but he's not scary, which is the issue I had with Burton's comment about the Batsuit.

And I really view Bat's structure on how they draw him. In some cases he does appear fairly lithe and athletic, while at other times (Miller or Jim Lee for example) draw him like a miniature hulk.
 
There was always people who didnt like the film.

Just as there are people today that don't think TDK or BB are great either. No movie goes over with everyone. Burton's Batman films are beloved, doesn't mean they're universially loved. Of course they're not. You can't win everyone.
 
In all honesty,I think Keaton was perfect. Who cares if he was pushing 40, it wasn't an origin story, you're supposed to assume he's been doing this for a while. Also, the main reason I love Keaton and prefer him to Bale, throughout all of B 89' he looks tormented and troubled. It's always bothered me that Nolan never really touches on this since its an integral part of the character.
 
In all honesty,I think Keaton was perfect. Who cares if he was pushing 40, it wasn't an origin story, you're supposed to assume he's been doing this for a while. Also, the main reason I love Keaton and prefer him to Bale, throughout all of B 89' he looks tormented and troubled. It's always bothered me that Nolan never really touches on this since its an integral part of the character.

About that; what I liked is how tormented he feels all the time even before they talk or explain about any traumatic fact in his past.
 
Michael Keaton was pushing 40 when he made this movie. By this phase in Batman's career, she should've already taken Dick Grayson under his wing. It has however, been suggested that this takes place at the early stages of Batman's crime fighting career. In the comics, Bruce Wayne was approximately, in his early 20s when he started portraying Batman.
No. Batman became Batman by his LATE 20's / early 30's. BEGINS and TDK have it right. He study and trained for much of his 20's till he returned at like 28 or 29.
 
In all honesty,I think Keaton was perfect. Who cares if he was pushing 40, it wasn't an origin story, you're supposed to assume he's been doing this for a while. Also, the main reason I love Keaton and prefer him to Bale, throughout all of B 89' he looks tormented and troubled. It's always bothered me that Nolan never really touches on this since its an integral part of the character.
True, but it was totaly different outlooks on the character. That's why Keaton's Bruce acts one way, and Bale's another. Let me explain.

Keaton's Bruce Wayne was a neurotic and visibily troubled man, which Burton thought was the best and most realistic way psychologically to express why a man would dress up as a Bat. So it would make sense for him to look visibily conflicted.

Bale's Bruce Wayne was a originally a lost young man, who learns guidance from people in his life, and he then dedicates himself. Bale's Bruce doesn't walk around troubled because they are distinguishly different takes on Batman.

Bale's psychological explanation is he's an extremely motivated man. That's why you always see that firey expression in Bale's Bruce's eyes. He turned a negative into an ultimate positive. You see his internal struggles with it at times in his needs for vengence v.s. justice, but that's all.

Keaton's Bruce shows his problems on the surface, looking visibily neurotic and crazy.
 
True, but it was totaly different outlooks on the character. That's why Keaton's Bruce acts one way, and Bale's another. Let me explain.

Keaton's Bruce Wayne was a neurotic and visibily troubled man, which Burton thought was the best and most realistic way psychologically to express why a man would dress up as a Bat. So it would make sense for him to look visibily conflicted.

Bale's Bruce Wayne was a originally a lost young man, who learns guidance from people in his life, and he then dedicates himself. Bale's Bruce doesn't walk around troubled because they are distinguishly different takes on Batman.

Bale's psychological explanation is he's an extremely motivated man. That's why you always see that firey expression in Bale's Bruce's eyes. He turned a negative into an ultimate positive. You see his internal struggles with it at times in his needs for vengence v.s. justice, but that's all.

Keaton's Bruce shows his problems on the surface, looking visibily neurotic and crazy.

That is, exactly, the difference between both approaches. And may I say that both were brilliantly done.
 
I always hear about Michael Keaton balding, he had a full head of hair in both films.Where's the balding thing coming from?

As for his age, he was a good age for an established Batman. Except that Batman 89 portrayed him as being a new figure to Gotham,so he had to be a rookie. In that light, yeah Keaton would have been a bit too old,but it's not as though he looked ancient. He looked like a man in his mid 30's, which he was supposed to be according to the novelization. Only we know that Bruce started as Batman in his 20's,if they were following established mythos they would have needed a younger actor.
 
Keaton's age at the time he filmed B89 was 38, and it never once bothered me at all. He looked and acted the part supremely. I even went into the viewing biased against Keaton, my initial thought was.. "BATMAN? They hired the comedian actor from Nightshift and Mr. Mom to play BATMAN?"...

Well, needless to say, he won me over big time. The guy gave the acting performance of his life. Not just in B89 but in Returns I think he was just as good if not even better.
 
I still think Keaton plays a better Batman in coustume then Bale did.

I'm inclined to agree, Keaton wins by the slightest fraction because of his voice and his crazy eyes.

Keaton and Bale are the two best batmen of all time!

True that, it was a sad day when Keaton declined to return, it's gonna be a day from the blackest pit of hell when Bale hangs up the boots.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top
monitoring_string = "afb8e5d7348ab9e99f73cba908f10802"