Although Christian Bale recently confessed to being “jealous” when he learned Ben Affleck would don the cape and cowl for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, franchise veteran Michael Keaton says he never experienced that Bat-envy.
“Do you know why?” the actor told ShortList. “Because I’m Batman. I’m very secure in that.”
Much like the selection of Affleck, Keaton’s casting in director Tim Burton’s Batman stirred controversy, with sending 50,000 protest letters to Warner Bros. Now, 25 years after its release, the film is celebrated not only for its artistic and technical achievements but for giving birth to the modern era of superhero movies.
“Tim changed, or started, everything. And I’m proud of the choice I made, in terms of how to play Batman,” said Keaton, who reprised his role in 1992’s Batman Returns. “It’s probably easier now because Tim paved the way, and if I did anything to pave the way, I’m proud of that, too. I’ve never seen [a superhero movie] beginning to end. Oh actually, I saw the first Spider-Man – I thought that was really good. You can step into it more easily now, is my guess. Technically, [superhero movies] do everything for you. They create a world where all you’ve basically got to do is show up, not fuck it up too much and you’ll come off OK.”
Keaton is now earning critical acclaim for his role in Birdman, a black comedy about a washed-up actor trying to reinvent himself more than 20 years after rising to fame playing a superhero in a blockbuster movie franchise.
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