Michael Keaton Wanted to Make a Third Batman Movie as a Prequel
By now many Batman fans have taken to writing off Tim Burton's first dark, successful adaptation of DC Comics' hero because of Christopher Nolan's more successful and critically acclaimed trilogy with Christian Bale. However, Batman and Batman Returns deserve a little more credit than they've been given for making comic book films more acceptable to audiences and also giving them a much less fantastical style and presence in cinema. Part of that success was the surprisingly good casting of Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne, and for those who aren't aware, he was going to team with Burton for a third film before it fell apart and Warner Bros. decided to go in a different (and terrible direction) with Joel Schumacher. Read on!
Recently, Keaton sat down on comedian Marc Maron's always interesting WTF podcast (via The Playlist) and talked about where he wanted to take Batman for a third film. Though he mentions that he hasn't actually seen any of Christopher Nolan's Batman films (in fact, he admits he hasn't seen Batman Returns in its entirety), he's aware of the origin story from Batman Begins, and that's where he wanted to go with a third film. Keaton says:
"The guy who's doing them now, Chris Nolan, he's so talented, it's crazy. [Christian Bale] is so talented. It's so good. But I say that like I've seen them, and I actually haven't. I didn't even see much of the second one that I did. You look at where he went, which is exactly what I wanted to do when I was having meetings about the third one. I said you want to see how this guy started. We've got a chance here to fix whatever we kind of maybe went off. This could be brilliant."
And while Keaton tried to make this prequel/origin story work, Burton was already off the project and Warner Bros. had already replaced him with Schumacher, and they weren't interested in going that route. Thankfully, Keaton was smart enough not to stick around as he said, "I could see that was going south." Now it's easy to say that hindsight is 20/20, but at least Keaton was dedicated to developing Batman and Bruce Wayne as a character, and didn't just want to keep switching villains and changing up the action. In an alternate universe, we might have gotten yet another great Batman origin story, but instead we're here waiting to see Keaton as a RoboCop villain now. Thoughts?