Michael Keaton Wanted A Third BATMAN Movie To Be An Origin Story
Keaton, who played the Dark Knight in Tim Burton's Batman movies, looks back on how he became interested in the character, shares his thoughts on what he's seen of Christopher Nolan's films, and reveals where he wanted a third flick to go.
After making 1989's Batman and 1992's Batman Returns, director Tim Burton and actor Michael Keaton were attached to a third Batman movie for Warner Bros., the studio decided to move forward with a totally different direction. Instead of a dark and gritty atmosphere, WB figured that a more family-friendly tone would be more successful. Of course, this resulted in Keaton dropping out of the project and Burton being reduced to a producer role for 1995's Batman Forever. Appearing on the WTF With Marc Maron podcast (thanks to ComicBook.com for the transcript), Keaton looks back on how he became interested in playing the Caped Crusader. After doing Beetlejuice with Burton, Keaton was informed of the director's plans for a Batman movie and his interest in the actor reading the script. "I was familiar with the TV show, but I didn’t know the whole comic, the pulpy part of it." After reading Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, he became much more interested in the iconic character. And after sharing his take on Batman with Burton ("He’s ridiculously depressed. He’s a vigilante. He’s got this issue…"), the director totally agreed with the vision.
A while back, Keaton said that he has yet to see Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy, which stars Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader, in its entirety. It's still the case, but he loves what he has seen so far. "The guy who’s doing them now, Chris Nolan, he’s so talented, it’s crazy. But I say that like I’ve seen them, and I actually haven’t. I didn’t even see much of the second one that I did."
Back to Keaton's plans for a third film in which he would play Batman, the actor reveals that he wanted the movie to be an origin story, a la Frank Miller's Batman: Year One. "You look at where he [Nolan] went, which is exactly what I wanted to do when I was having meetings about the third one. I said you want to see how this guy started. We’ve got a chance here to fix whatever we kind of maybe went off. This could be brilliant. Didn’t want to do it, so I didn’t want to do it." In 2000, Warner Bros. hired Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler) to direct an adaptation of Year One, despite Batman Forever and Batman & Robin helmer Joel Schumacher's interest in the project. However, the production was abandoned when WB decided to move forward with a Batman Vs. Superman film, which of course was also canned. The studio finally produced a reboot in the form of 2005's Batman Begins, which was heavily influenced by Year One.
Would you have liked to see Michael Keaton star as Batman in an origin story? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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