Michael Keaton has featured in numerous Hollywood blockbusters since he began his career. One of his widely acclaimed performances came as an iteration of Gotham’s caped crusader. The actor played the DC role twice, in 1989 “Batman” and the sequel “Batman Returns,” which aired in 1992.
Subsequently, other actors had the honor of carrying on the legacy after Keaton did not return for a third stint. George Clooney is one of such, starring in the 1997 “Batman & Robin” alongside Chris O’Donnell as his character’s sidekick.
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Both Clooney and Keaton have subsequently starred on the same set in a less action-filled film. However, when the collaboration occurred, Keaton did not bond with his fellow Batman incarnate.
Read on for more details.
Michael Keaton Forgot Him And George Clooney Played The Batman Role
Being the face behind the mask of Gotham’s fearsome superhero is no easy task. Actors who once played the role had to master the mannerism of switching between the playboy alter ego and the vigilante demeanor of their character.
As such, having portrayed such a complex part, it won’t be surprising that these superstars might do well to remember who played the role across the years and compare the performance with their own.
However, when Clooney and Keaton starred in the 1998 crime comedy “Out of Sight,” the latter completely forgot they had both portrayed the “Batman” role. Astonishingly, when Clooney subtly reminded him, he still had no idea.
“I didn’t [talk about Batman with George Clooney], but he used to shout at me, ‘Hey, the brotherhood!’ And I’d go, ‘Hey!’ But I had no idea what he meant. I swear to God!” Keaton told The Guardian.
And he did it a bunch of times: ‘Brotherhood!’ And then someone explained it to me, and I was like, ‘Ohhhhh!’ I mean, I think I’d forgotten he was in [Batman & Robin].”
‘Batman And Robin’ Was A Critical Disappointment
Keaton’s failure to remember that Clooney was also part of the brotherhood of actors who had portrayed “Batman” could stem from many reasons. However, one most likely point might be drawn from the performance of “Batman and Robin” when it debuted in the theaters.
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The 1997 film starred Clooney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and other talented actors. Despite its star-studded cast, “Batman and Robin” flopped terribly, bringing in an average profit unlike the other installments of the superhero flick.
Perhaps the film’s failure to garner critical acclaim might have made Keaton unable to recall Clooney. Thankfully, Christopher Nolan recreated a new legacy for the franchise when he starred in 2005’s Batman Begins.
Keaton Left The Franchise After His Second Stint
If Keaton had stayed on, fans might have gotten to see a different “Batman and Robin. However, the “Beetlejuice” star left the franchise because he had issues with the script for the next sequel.
Though he had garnered fame and prestige in the role, Keaton felt it was time to sign out despite knowing that his departure would cost him some perks. After then, he starred in a string of critically acclaimed film projects that further etched his name among the maestros of Hollywood.
Keaton is currently 70 years old but does not seem ready to retire. When he eventually does leave the acting scenes, his storied career would definitely be a template for others to follow.
Keaton Will Star In ‘The Flash’ And ‘Batgirl’
Fortunately, when Keaton left DC in the late nineties, he did not shut the door on coming back to reprise his role with the film giants. As such, when the showrunners were looking for the best Batman incarnate to weave into the storyline of their upcoming standalone film “The Flash,” it was easy to choose the “Birdman” star.
Keaton will reprise his Batman role when the movie debuts in 2022. The blockbuster also stars Ezra Miller as the lead actor, who plays Barry Allen, the daring speedster and hero.
Fans will also see him in “Batgirl,” the female version of his caped crusader character also premiering in 2022.