Former Bond star Pierce Brosnan has explained why he turned down the chance to play Batman.
Tim Burton approached a pre-Bond Brosnan to play the caped crusader in 1989’s Batman, but the actor turned him down before any formal offer was made.
“It was the beginning of these huge movies, and I just thought, Batman?” Brosnan recalled in a new interview with Details. “Batman held such an indelible place in my own childhood, but I said something flippant to Tim Burton like, ‘Any guy who wears his underpants outside his trousers cannot be taken seriously.’ So, yeah.”
Michael Keaton would ultimately land the role of Bruce Wayne in Burton’s Batman, having worked with the director on the previous year’s Beetlejuice. When Keaton’s casting was announced, sceptical comic book fans sent more than 50,000 protest letters to Warner Bros. office, but the majority were appeased when they saw Keaton’s portrayal of the iconic character in the film.
Burton would also direct 1992’s Batman Returns starring Keaton, before being asked by Warner Bros. to relinquish the director’s chair for 1995’s Batman Forever, a decision which prompted Keaton to give up the lead role, which then went to Val Kilmer.