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‘Batman’ Star Michael Keaton Recalls Reaction From Comic Book Fans To His Casting: It’s “Still Baffling”

Michael Keaton recalls the initial reaction that comic book fans had when he was chosen to portray Batman in the 1989 Tim Burton-directed film.

Until then, Batman had been a character on a campy television series. However, Batman would mark a before and after for the superhero movie genre.

“When they said ‘We’re thinking of doing Batman,’ I said, ‘Wait, you’re thinking of making a movie about Batman?’,” Keaton said in an interview with GQ.

He continued, “The fact that Tim said ‘That guy, I want that guy’… the fact that people cared one way or another so much is still baffling. But that was a ballsy move on his part. We also had a nice working relationship from Beetlejuice, so he felt that he and I could get along and would work well together.”

Keaton played the titular role in the 1989 film and would reprise the Bruce Wayne character in 1992’s Batman Returns. More than 30 years later, the actor sported the Dark Knight suit once again for The Flash, in the DC film that brought the multiverse together.

The original Batman film made over $411.6M worldwide on an estimated budget of $48M. Samm Hamm and Warren Skaaren wrote the script, while Burton directed the superhero film.

Keaton shared credits with Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough, Jack Palance, among others.

Batman Returns saw the addition of actors like Danny DeVito as The Penguin, Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and Christopher Walken as Max Schreck.

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