Michael Keaton has no worries about Ben Affleck taking on the role of Batman in Zack Snyder's upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice because, as he sees it, he is Batman.
There have been a few stars to channel their best Caped Crusader on the big screen — Christian Bale, George Clooney, Val Kilmer — but Keaton feels that his iconic portrayal 25 years ago set the standard for all future films and his legacy will live on.
Keaton was asked by the Shortlist if he was envious of Affleck donning the cape this time.
"No. Do you know why? Because I'm Batman. I'm very secure in that," said the actor.
BAM! POW! ZONK!!
— Variety (@Variety) December 14, 2014
The 63-year-old The Birdman actor played Bruce Wayne in two of four Tim Burton-directed movies, Batman in 1989 and Batman Returns in 1992, and said Burton started a lasting legacy with his revival of the superhero saga.
"Tim changed, or started, everything," said Keaton. "And I'm proud of the choice I made, in terms of how to play Batman. It's probably easier now because Tim paved the way, and if I did anything to pave the way, I'm proud of that, too."
— Esquire Magazine (@Esquiremag) December 16, 2014
"You can step into it more easily now, is my guess. Technically, [superhero movies] do everything for you. They create a world where all you've basically got to do is show up, not f--k it up too much, and you'll come off okay."
— JustJared.com (@JustJared) December 15, 2014
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be the eighth film in the Batman franchise that started with Keaton. George Clooney took over for Keaton in Batman Forever in 2005, and Val Kilmer starred in the final Batman film directed by Tim Burton, Batman & Robin, in 1997.
With Christian Nolan as director, Christian Bale played Bruce Wayne in 2005's Batman Begins, 2008's The Dark Knight, and 2012's The Dark Knight Rises.