BATMAN Star Michael Keaton On Why He Had To Walk Away From The Role And Deciding To Return For THE FLASH

Michael Keaton has opened up about his decision to walk away from the Batman franchise, revealing why now was the right time to return as the Caped Crusader in The Flash. Read on for his comments in full.

Michael Keaton played the Dark Knight in Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns, but declined to reprise the role when the franchise fell into the late Joel Schumacher's hands. Talking to SiriusXM (via The Hollywood Reporter), the actor looked back at his time as the iconic DC Comics character.

"It was a job," he said bluntly of the 1989 movie. "And then the next one was a job, and I enjoyed it. But then over time - and then the third one, I just couldn’t do. I just thought, 'Well, this is not good. This is not good. I just can’t do it. I’ll blow my brains out. Just can’t live with myself.' I walked away."

"At some point, you’re a jerk if you don’t go [to conventions]," Keaton continued. "This is a legitimate world. You’re no better or worse than this, but I’m naïve." 

Now, decades later, we'll see him suit up again in The Flash. Warner Bros. appears to have big plans for Keaton's iteration of the Caped Crusader as he's also set to reprise his role in Batgirl. As for what led to him deciding to return as Bruce Wayne, he explained: "I thought, 'Boy, what would that be like?' And then, coincidentally, there were murmurs, and I got a call from Warner Bros. They wanted to talk to me about something and there were hints of Batman."

The studio asked Keaton to read the script, and it sounds like he was immediately on board. "It has to be good," the actor admitted. "There’s no reason to do it if it’s not good. It’s not gonna really change anything. And I just jumped in and had fun. And why would you not? You know, I mean, director Andy Muschietti is fantastic, and it’s really creative. I don’t know. It’s fun."

There's a lot of excitement surrounding The Flash and what Keaton will bring to the table as this older Bruce Wayne. We're pretty sure he's going to don the cape and cowl again (just look at the concept art above), but whether another a solo movie is in the cards obviously remains to be seen for now. 

The Flash races into theaters on November 4.

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