Michael Keaton hasn’t played Batman on screen since Tim Burton’s Batman Returns came out in 1992, and there have been four other live-action big-screen versions of Batman since he last wore the suit. But a quarter century later, it seems the actor can’t quite get away from the Caped Crusader. Keaton, during one iteration of the cancelled Superman Lives project in the late ‘90s, was going to return to the Batman role, in a cameo opposite Nicolas Cage’s Superman.
In Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), the Oscar winner for Best Picture of 2014, Keaton starred in the very familiar role of an aging actor who had played a superhero on screen years earlier but never quite escaped the character's shadow. And as recently as last week, Batman producer Jon Peters made headlines when he alleged that Keaton had attempted to have an on-set affair with Kim Basinger on that first Batman movie. Now Keaton is starring in another superhero movie, and it appears he still has Batman on his mind.
Keaton, having moved over to the Marvel side of things, is playing Vulture, the primary villain in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. And in an interview with ShortList magazine, as cited by ComicBook.com, new Spider-Man Tom Holland said that Keaton had been quoting his old character on the set. When asked what it was like “going toe to toe with Batman,” Holland replied:
Pretty cool. He’s a badass. We have a fight in the movie and I punch him. He turns around and says [in a deep voice] ‘I’m Batman.’ He kept doing Batman quotes on set.
It would certainly make sense for an actor who had starred in one of the more seminal superhero movies in history to still have that film on his mind when starring in another movie in the genre so much later. However, such a thing might not mean quite as much to Holland — the 20-year-old actor was born in 1996, seven years after the first Burton Batman and four years after Batman Returns premiered in theaters. Though, given Holland's current major role in a comic book franchise, the actor likely researched his costar's history in the genre.
Certainly, it’s likely Keaton is able to offer valuable advice and mentorship to his costar on what it’s like to play an iconic superhero at such a young age — silly as "I'm Batman" may sound coming from the mouth of a 65-year-old man. At any rate, with Birdman, Spotlight, the new The Founder and now Spider-Man, Keaton has made a return to the top of the movie business that's quite welcome.
Source: ShortList [via ComicBook.com]
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- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
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- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019