Michael Keaton is still held up by a lot of fans as the best live-action Batman ever, but it would be an understatement to say he had to win the doubters over, given that thousands of furious letters were sent to Warner Bros. headquarters protesting the casting of an actor best known for his work in the comedy genre as the iconic superhero. But all doubts were assuaged once audiences had the chance to see him in action.
Even getting to the point of hiring someone to play the role proved a nightmarish task, with one early version of the project before Burton came aboard toying with the idea of going down the Adam West comedic route and setting Bill Murray as the Dark Knight, with Eddie Murphy as Robin.
Warner Bros. tried to pressure the director into either casting someone with experience in the action genre or a recognizable name capable of drawing in the crowds, but Burton was adamant they opt for the most suitable candidate. One of the names offered the gig was Pierce Brosnan, but he turned it down because he had no interest in playing a superhero.
One of the other A-listers under consideration was Harrison Ford, but there’s never been any confirmation that he was officially approached for Batman, which was probably for the best. After all, having someone with Ford’s level of star power that was so closely linked to both Han Solo and Indiana Jones may have proven to be a distraction in the long run, and you can’t deny that the right choice was made in the end, with Keaton back on our screens as Bruce Wayne next year when The Flash releases.