Keaton Has No Regrets About Dropping Batman Role : Entertainment: The actor takes stock of his career. ‘There are a lot of other things I wanted to do, on stage and off stage,’ he says.


Batman no more.

That’s the word from Michael Keaton. And for good reason, according to the man who played the Caped Crusader in “Batman” and “Batman Returns.”

“I walked away from it (‘Batman’) because I had done two of them and, based on the script that I had read, I didn’t see anything that was making me jump up and down. I didn’t feel that it was going to be all that rewarding,” Keaton said.

“There are a lot of other things I wanted to do, on stage and off stage. . . . While it wasn’t the easiest decision in the world (not to do a third ‘Batman’), once it was made it was real easy.”


Val Kilmer will play Batman in the third big-screen installment.

In Keaton’s latest movie, “Speechless,” he and Geena Davis star as speech writers who are political rivals and fall in love along the campaign trail.

“I liked the idea of doing a romantic comedy ‘cause I’d never done one, and I liked the idea of working with Geena Davis,” Keaton said.

Keaton, 44, was philosophical about his career:

“You reach the point where you say, ‘How much time do I have left on the planet?’ And while I have a lot of time left on the planet, the next question is ‘How much time do I have left to do the things I really want to do and enjoy them and how does that fit in with my life right now this year?’ ”

After portraying a dying father in “My Life,” Keaton said he was ready for the lighter fare of “Speechless.”

“I’ve been hearing people say, ‘Do you do comedy anymore?’ I think that’s the good news and bad news.” “My Life,” a moving drama considered a box-office failure, received many positive reviews.

“That’s probably the best hero I’ve played. Actually, that movie did pretty well ‘cause it made some money and it didn’t cost any money. . . . It was really, really hard to do the role.”


The next role for Keaton is “Multiplicity,” a movie directed by Harold Ramis in which he plays a man who is cloned into four different people.

Keaton said he’s not much interested in starring in movies that depict graphic violence.

“Mostly what bothers me is the desensitization of it. . . . The news does that as much as movies,” Keaton said, noting that a script’s violent content could influence him to not make it.

“You don’t need to put that out there. Now this is tricky stuff. . . . I love action movies. I’ll tell you what . . . I loved ‘Speed,’ but I don’t like certain moments in ‘Speed.’ ”

Keaton said he monitors what his son watches in movie theaters and on television. “My son will get up and click the TV off when he knows there’s something on he can’t see,” said Keaton, adding that he feels it’s a parent’s responsibility to determine what their children see.

What about the desensitization of politics, as portrayed by the spin doctor Keaton portrays in “Speechless”?

“If it wasn’t such a light movie--and it is nice light entertainment--that’s all this movie is. If it was a political movie, I would’ve loved to play it more cynical, even more spin doctor,” Keaton said.


“I hope people are gettin’ cynical and not apathetic. I’m convinced that the most effective work gets done on the local levels and grass-roots level.”