Michael Keaton has revealed why he didn’t choose to star in the lead role in the 1995 film Batman Forever, saying that the project “sucked.”
Keaton had starred as Batman in 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns (both of which were directed by Tim Burton), but opted out of reprising the role in Batman Forever three years later. Instead, Val Kilmer took on the role of the caped crusader.
The actor, who was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in Birdman in 2014, has reflected on this particular career decision in a new interview, revealing the reason why he didn’t choose to play Batman for a third time. “I can simplify it all for you: it sucked,” Keaton told The Hollywood Reporter. “The script never was good.”
Referring to director Joel Schumacher, who was directing a Batman film for the first time with Batman Forever, Keaton recalled: “I knew it was in trouble when [Schumacher] said, ‘Why does everything have to be so dark?’ I replied: ‘Okay, well, [Batman] witnessed the death of his parents.’ But [Schumacher said] physically it had to be brightened up too.”
“If Tim [Burton] had said, ‘I want to experiment with something’, I would have been way open to it because in this guy’s hands, who knows?,” Keaton continued. “I just couldn’t do it. Not that I’m above it or an artist or anything… I just don’t think I could do it without blowing my brains out.”