Michael Keaton Was Reportedly Paid $2 Million For Cameo-Like Role In BATGIRL

Michael Keaton was expected to appear as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batgirl, which was ultimately canceled. Now, it's been reported that the actor was paid $2 million for his role.

Michael Keaton will return as Bruce Wayne/Batman in The Flash, after playing the character in 1989's Batman and 1992's Batman Returns. Following that, he was set to appear in HBO Max's Batgirl, which starred Leslie Grace (In the Heights) as Barbara Gordon. However, the movie was canceled earlier in 2022.

After the cancellation, The Wrap's Umberto Gonzalez claimed that Batgirl would have depicted Keaton's Batman as being retired and that he wouldn't be in the movie much, describing him as a "pivotal cameo." Now, the actor's salary for the scrapped film has reportedly been revealed.

In an article discussing actor salaries for superhero roles, The Hollywood Reporter stated that Keaton was paid $2 million for his appearance in Batgirl.

Per THR, the actor's role was small, and was described by sources as a "glorified cameo." While that may sound like a high sum for such a role, it makes sense, given Michael Keaton's status in the entertainment industry. The actor is one of Hollywood's most recognizable performers, having crafted a career comprised of large-scale projects like Spider-Man: Homecoming and Morbius, as well as smaller-scale movies, such as Birdman, Spotlight and The Founder.

Thus, his status calls for a large salary, even if he's only on screen for a few minutes. His pay also makes sense when compared to Robert Downey Jr.'s compensation for Spider-Man: Homecoming. Per Variety, the Iron Man star was paid $10 million for approximately 15 minutes of screen time. Homecoming had a reported budget of $175 million. Comparing that and Downey Jr.'s salary to Batgirl's $90 million budget (which reportedly grew from $75 million due to protocols and delays stemming from the pandemic), Keaton's pay seems fitting for the project's scale and his star power. 

Talking to TVLine in September 2022, Keaton was asked about Batgirl's cancellation, to which he stated: "I think it was a business decision; I'm going to assume it was a good one. I really don't know. [...] I don’t follow that that much."

Keaton was supposedly expected to have a big role in the DCEU after his return in The Flash, per a 2020 report from The Hollywood Reporter. Aside from Batgirl, he was also reportedly going to appear in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Yet, in July 2022, it was revealed that Ben Affleck was set to play Bruce Wayne in the sequel following confusion from test audiences about Keaton's Batman being in the film, casting doubt on his role.

In its report about actors' salaries, THR stated that it's unclear whether or not Keaton's role was indeed cut from The Lost Kingdom. So far, it's unknown if he is still expected to be a prominent figure in DC's big-screen franchise. 

Though the actor's status in Aquaman 2 remains a mystery, he will portray Bruce Wayne in The Flash, set to be released on June 23, 2023. 

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