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Michael Keaton Hasn’t Really Seen Comic Book Movies and Good For Him

Nothing but love for my Pittsburgh king, Michael Keaton

Michael Keaton as Batman

Michael Keaton may be Batman and Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but that doesn’t mean he is out here watching a lot of superhero movies. The actor, who is returning to the roles of Bruce Wayne and Adrian Toomes in The Flash and Mobius, spoke about comic book movies and how he just isn’t really into that genre.

Why do Keaton’s comments delight me? Because he’s not a jerk about it. It isn’t at the expense of those of us who love them. He just says it’s not his scene and that’s that. God, I love Michael Keaton so much.

Talking to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor was frank about his upcoming projects The Protégé, Dopesick, and Worth, but he also got into his return to the world of comic book heroes. Keaton was, for many of us, our quintessential Batman. In the 1989 Tim Burton film Batman, Michael Keaton brought Bruce Wayne to life on the silver screen and started an era of comic book movies becoming mainstream hits.

Keaton credits the rise of superhero films to Tim Burton’s Batman film, which he starred in. “What Tim did changed everything,” Keaton says. “Everything you see now started with him. If you really think about what happened between 1989 and now, on a cultural, corporate, economic level, it’s unbelievable.”

After the first two Batman films, Keaton wasn’t really in the comic movie scene for a while. Birdman was a commentary on actors who made their name playing these heroes but it isn’t to the same degree as a regular comic book film. But then in 2017, he returned to the superhero universe as Adrian Toomes (aka Vulture) in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Keaton went on to also admit that he hasn’t seen comic book movies. “After the first Batman, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an entire [comic book] movie,” Keaton says. “I just never got around to it. So you’re talking to a guy who wasn’t in the zeitgeist of that whole world. When I went down to do the Marvel things in Atlanta … It’s an entire city dedicated to Marvel … They’ll be doing Marvel movies forever. I’ll be dead, and they’ll still be doing Marvel movies.”

Michael Keaton is also reprising his role as Adrian Toomes in Mobius and while I love his take on Vulture, I think I like Keaton’s ability to pretend to care about the inner-working of the Marvel Cinematic Universe even more. “I’m nodding like I know what the fuck they’re talking about. I go, ‘Uh-huh.’ And I’m thinking, ‘You may as well be explaining quantum physics right now to me. All I know is I just know my guy. And I know the basics.’ So finally, they were looking at me, and they just started laughing. They said, ‘You don’t know what we’re talking about, do you?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t, no idea what you’re talking about.’“

Worried that Michael Keaton had some problems or fears going back to Batman though after all these years? Don’t be! He knew he could do it. “Frankly, in the back of my head, I always thought, ‘I bet I could go back and nail that motherfucker,’ ” Keaton said of returning to the role of Bruce Wayne in The Flash. “And so I thought, ‘Well, now that they’re asking me, let me see if I can pull that off.’”

The thing is: This is just nice and chill. Sometimes when people in the movie business say they don’t watch superhero films, they do so in a scornful way that disparages the genre. This exchange is simply Michael Keaton admitting he doesn’t really know much outside of his character arc and motivations and that’s good. It’s probably what makes him such a perfect choice for these characters. He doesn’t need to know which world Bruce Wayne is in/whether or not he has Damian Wayne or Helena Wayne to raise. I like that Michael Keaton isn’t tearing these movies down. It’s just … not his thing and that’s okay and he still enjoys being involved. More of this, please!

(via THR, image: Warner Bros.)

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She/Her. A writer who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.