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Michael Keaton Tells It Like It Is: “I’m Batman.”

Birdman is winning all kinds of accolades and recognition as we begin to dive into the 2014 awards season, and at the forefront of that attention is Michael Keaton. Keaton seems to be experiencing his own “McConaissance” as a result of his performance in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s latest feature. While fans will remember him from Clean and Sober, Beetlejuice, Multiplicity, Jackie Brown, Live from Baghdad and a zillion other truly excellent performances, he’s probably best known for playing Batman on the silver screen in Tim Burton’s 1989 film.

Now that superhero movies are a no-brainer in Hollywood, it’s hard to believe there was a time when they didn’t rule the box office. Recently, Keaton was asked about the impending Bat-fleck, coming soon to the Zack Snyder cinematic DCU in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. When asked if Keaton ever gets jealous of the latest actor to don the cowl, Keaton answered by lobbing a definitive verbal batarang, saying matter-of-factly, “No. Do you know why? Because I’m Batman. I’m very secure in that.”


While I’m actually not of the opinion that Ben Affleck will be a bad Batman, I have always thought that Keaton was the best in the role based on his portrayal of both Bruce Wayne and Batman. I also have always believed Keaton and Nicholson were the best on-screen Batman/Joker pairing, but hey, that’s just me. What say you, Bat-fans? Are you pro-Keaton’s Batman? Think Bale did it better or are you a lonely passenger on the Clooney train? Let us know in the comments below!

But don’t be surprised if Michael Keaton shows up at your house and instructs you to “tell your friends about” him. Because, after all…

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  1. Mell says:

    That’s hard to say because all movies seemed to have a different style to them. I loved Keaton’s Batman because I was a huge fan of the movie, even have it memorized word for word. He did fine as Batman, but honestly (and I know I’m going to get hit hard by people with this), I actually liked Kilmer as Bruce Wayne, not as Batman. I felt Kilmer really understood Bruce Wayne, and to me understanding the man under the mask is more important than wearing the tights and fighting the bad guys in superhero movies. While I love the newer versions of the Batman movies for the stories, as those were truly the best stories so far, I’m not a really big Bale fan as Batman or Bruce Wayne. I just don’t feel he really gets it. I won’t even talk about Clooney because that movie should never have been made… it was so terrible. I’m interested to see how Affleck will interpret both Bruce Wayne and Batman and will reserve judgement after I have seen the movie.

  2. I don’t disagree, but I don’t agree.  I love Michael Keaton as Batman growing up, but I don’t feel “He is Batman” as a true statement.  Not that he actually is Batman, but rather he was Batman.  He gave it up awhile ago.  To claim he is now, doesn’t seem right.  Val Kilmer did better then Clooney, Christian Bale did an amazing job in my opinion, keeping my thoughts neutral on Affleck.  Everyone hated Heath Ledger and look at what we got, it may not have been Nicholson’s Joker but we got one hell of a Joker!

  3. JJ82 says:

    Keaton has always been my favorite Batman. The look in his eyes as he marches down the street is the look on a man that is close enough to the edge to barely touch the insanity that he fights in his opponents. That’s something that all other actors playing that part has really lacked. 

    Keaton’s Batman vs Ledger’s Joker would have been amazing 

  4. fancycwabs says:

    Unfortunately, Burton has a nasty habit of taking an actor he likes and using them ad infinitum with complete disregard for whether they’re right for the part or not. Keaton was so completely amazing in Beetlejuice that Burton thought he’d Johnny Depp him for everything afterward, when he could have had Roadhouse era Patrick Swayze.

  5. JMREMPT says:

    The best batman/joker pairing is Kevin Conroy  and mark hamil.

  6. PapaFrita says:

    Keaton was perfect at portraying a Batman with a complete disregard for the law or human life. He committed the most felonies of any Batman on record.

  7. Nicole says:

    Michael and Jack were the best!!!!!!

  8. Agreed. Keaton/Nicholson own it.

  9. Erik says:

    Take LIVE tuna fish, and FEED ’em mayonnaise!

  10. Clueless Neophyte says:

    I read years ago that what really drew Tim Burton to Keaton for the part was his eyes.  Watch Keaton’s eyes, as both Batman & Bruce Wayne–Burton was spot-on.

  11. Dani-Man says:

    I am an Adam West fan lol

  12. uswess says:

    Keaton and Nicholson were easily the best Batman/Nicholson pairing. Not a typo.

  13. ts35 says:

    I’ve always thought Keaton was the best.  Though I think Heath Ledger’s Joker was better than Nicholson’s.  Some of that was based on the director though.  Give Nolan Nicholson and I think it would have been a spectacular performance.

  14. Just like Doctor Who each Batman brings something different to the role, Keaton was a great Batman but I liked the Adam West 60s version for its comedy.

  15. John says:

    Keaton was perfect for that first movie … and he’ll always be the first “Dark” Knight.  I actually didn’t hate Kilmer in the role, but Clooney’s portrayal was just too light.  Bale brought the dark back, so I’ll always appreciate his version.