Michael Keaton Explains Turning Down Batman Forever


Michael Keaton arrives at the Hollywood Film Awards at the Palladium on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Michael Keaton is enjoying a Hollywood comeback, but he’s best known for his role as Batman.

He famously turned down a third Batman film in 1993. Val Kilmer would step in as Bruce Wayne for Batman Forever. George Clooney would take on the role in Batman & Robin.

In a new interview, the actor states he quit the series because the script for Batman Forever “sucked”. At first, he did stick around for a lot of meetings with the studio. During this time, Warner Brothers felt Tim Burton shouldn’t direct the third movie. Enter Joel Schumacher.

“I knew it was in trouble when he [Schumacher] said, ‘Why does everything have to be so dark?”, says Keaton.

According to CBS, he turned down $15 million to reprise the role for a third time. He describes Batman Forever as being “awful.”

Despite Keaton’s exit, he did play an actor who played a superhero in 2014’s Birdman. That role earned him an Oscar nomination. Keaton is returning to the superhero genre this summer. This time, he’ll be playing the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Michael Keaton Batman 1989
Who doesn’t love Michael Keaton as Batman?
Jonathan Bruce
Jonathan Bruce
I am an English teacher by day and a freelance writer at night. Specialities include news, reviews, opinion and commentary articles. When I'm not teaching, I participate in theatre, building sets and working stage crew as a hobby. I also enjoy reading and having an occasional glass of Scotch.