Why Michael Keaton Walked Away from the Batman Franchise

"It Sucked"

Michael Keaton starred in two Batman films; 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns. He was offered $15 million to do the third film, Batman Forever but turned it down for one reason:

“It sucked,” he told the Hollywood Reporter.

“I didn’t understand why he [Joel Schumacher] wanted to do what he wanted to do. I hung on for many meetings … I knew it was in trouble when he said, ‘Why does everything have to be so dark?’”

The first two films were directed by Tim Burton but Batman Forever was being directed by Joel Schumacher. Keaton said the script wasn’t very good, and that Schumacher’s visions for the film was way more colourful, over-the-top, and corny than the films Keaton had starred in.

As we all know, Val Kilmer took over the role for Batman Forever, which only got a 40% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.