Michael Keaton was originally a controversial choice to play Batman. When director Tim Burton cast him in his 1989 film, fans were outraged. How was the man known for “Mr. Mom” and “Beetlejuice” going to convincingly portray the Dark Knight? Well, as Burton saw it, Keaton was the kind of man who would need to dress up to become physically imposing enough to fight criminals. And that turned out to be an insightful take, as both “Batman” and “Batman Returns” proved huge box office hits, establishing Keaton as perfectly capable of leading a superhero movie.
And what was most surprising about the actor’s performance was that his slightly erratic comedic energy actually made him a truly convincing version of Bruce Wayne. Keaton did his best to contain that side of himself, resulting in a Wayne who, though quiet and brooding, felt like he could snap at any moment. But when Keaton met Andy and Barbara Muschietti for the first time to talk about “The Flash,” his high energy was clearly on display.
The director and producer recalled how Keaton was taken to lunch at an Italian restaurant, where, according to Barbara, he “trotted in, sat down, ate, literally put the script under his arm and trotted off too.” .” That led the producer to call him “the most energetic human being ever created.” And that energy carried over to the set of “The Flash,” where Keaton apparently had to keep busy because, as Barabara put it, “you don’t want that man bored.” But when it was time to don the Batsuit, Keaton seemed to enjoy a moment of quiet reflection.