Michael Keaton Explains Why He Left the Batman Franchise

For many, Michael Keaton is the definitive Batman, based on his portrayal of the character in Tim Burton’s movies. This took place such a long time ago, but many still believe that the actor’s performance as the character will never be surpassed. Sure enough, Ben Affleck did an amazing job in bringing the Dark Knight’s fighting skills to life, while Christian Bale relied on some of the best scripts ever to give life to the Caped Crusader – but even so, only Michael Keaton can say I’m Batman and get away with it.

Batman Returns was released back in 1992, but the actor is still asked about his time as the vigilante. Most recently, an interviewer with The Hollywood Reporter asked Keaton why he left the franchise. To be noted, Batman Returns was the last movie directed by Tim Burton, who was then replaced by Joel Schumacher.

Batman Returns (Batman Online) Batman Returns (Batman Online)

Keaton bluntly replied, "Let me simplify it for you: It sucked." And we can't agree more – after all, Schumacher was the director who killed the Batman movies until the arrival of Christopher Nolan. Nonetheless, Michael Keaton also said why it sucked – and, to nobody’s surprise, he mentioned the tone of the Schumacher films:

The script was never good; I didn't understand why he wanted to do what he wanted to do, and I knew it was in trouble when he said, "Why does everything have to be so dark?"

Michael Keaton was then replaced in the role by Val Kilmer for Batman Forever (the most memorable thing about that flick is Seal’s Kiss from a Rose).  Kilmer was replaced by George Clooney (the most memorable thing about that flick were the BatNipples). So yeah – Keaton did make a great decision when he left the franchise.

Batman (Movie House Memories) Batman (Movie House Memories)

Next up, Michael Keaton will appear as the villain Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming.