Michael Keaton Thinks Back to Batman and Beetlejuice

Here’s the man that made me fall in love with Batman, well, not in that way. Michael Keaton to me was the best Batman in the line of live-action Batman films (Sorry Bale, but I have no idea what you’re saying). He had that mysterious and calm demeanor about him while still threatening enough to scare bad guys away. Who knew Mr. Mom could pull off a tough superhero.

On Batman, Michael Keaton talks about how making the movie was very different to him at the time compared to other films. He was questioning whether the film would be any good, since there wasn’t really a dark superhero back then to reference to.

“It was an extremely difficult undertaking and Tim is a shy guy, especially back then, and there was so much pressure. We were in England for a long time shooting at Pinewood and it was long, difficult nights in that dank, dark, cold place, and we never knew if it was really working,” Keaton said. “There was no guarantee that any of this was going to play correctly when it was all said and done. There had never been a movie like it before. There was a lot of risk, too, with Jack looking the way he did and me stepping out in this new way. The pressure was on everybody. You could feel it.”

The pressure was on and Michael Keaton felt really insecure about his role to the point where he asks Jack Nicholson if what they’re doing is normal.

“We’re standing there at one point, I’m in my bat suit, Jack is in Joker get-up and I just looked at him and said, ‘We’re grown men, right?’”

This man paved the way for future Batmans. None have come close. Not even Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and Christian Bale can touch him. One Batman can, and he is Kevin Conroy, the voice actor behind the 90’s Batman animated series. Even he has to thank Michael Keaton for change voices between Batman and Bruce Wayne.

Before Batman, he was Beetlejuice, a ghost that’s dirty and perverted. It’s weird how Michael Keaton mentions that being Batman felt a little weird, yet playing a disgusting ghost slob wearing striped clothing is fine.

“From an art perspective, I don’t know how you get better than ‘Beetlejuice.’ In terms of originality and a look, it’s 100% unique. If you consider the process of taking something from someone’s mind — meaning Tim — and putting it on the screen, I think that movie is incomparable.”

“I wanted him to be pure electricity, that’s why the hair just sticks out,” Keaton said. “At my house I started creating a walk and a voice. I got some teeth. I wanted to be scary in the look and then use the voice to add a dash of goofiness that, in a way, would make it even scarier. I wanted something kind of moldy to it, too. Tim had the striped-suit idea and we added the big eyes. I think that movie will go forever because it’s 100% original.”

Michael Keaton wasn’t satisfied with the way Batman Returns turned out. After Batman’s success, it’s pretty hard for a second film to top the original.

“We got to be back home [filming in Burbank] so that made me happy. It was quite the cast with Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito and everyone. It wasn’t as satisfying to me when I saw it, but maybe that’s because the bar was set so high on the first one. I think I only watched it one time. I knew we were in trouble in talks for the third one when certain people started the conversation with ‘Why does it have to be so dark?’ ‘Why does he have to be so depressed?’ ‘Shouldn’t there be more color in this thing?’ I knew I was headed for trouble and that it wasn’t a road I was going to go down.”

You can check out the full interview below.

Source: Hero Complex

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John Nguyen
John Nguyen 10383 posts

Assassin, scoundrel, head honcho.