West. Kilmer. Keaton. Clooney. Bale. Affleck. Brosnan? Speaking in an interview with Details, former 007 Pierce Brosnan revealed that he was once offered the chance to play The Caped Crusader for Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film.
At the time, Pierce Brosnan was one of a number of stars in line for the coveted part, rubbing shoulders with Mel Gibson – fresh off the Mad Max trilogy – Tom Selleck, Charlie Sheen, Kevin Costner and Bill Murray. Ultimately, though, it was a role that never really caught the actor’s attention, and here he reveals exactly why he passed up the chance.
“It was the beginning of these huge movies, and I just thought, Batman? Batman held such an indelible place in my own childhood, but I said something flippant to Tim Burton like, ‘Any guy who wears his underpants outside his trousers cannot be taken seriously.’ So, yeah.”
Low and behold, it was Michael Keaton who donned the cape and cowl for Burton, eventually reprising the title role for Batman Returns three years later. Alas, had Brosnan agreed to play the part of The Dark Knight, it may have compromised his ability to play James Bond, a part he would later continue to portray right up until 2002.
Would Brosnan have made a convincing Bruce Wayne/Batman? It’s impossible to tell. Yes, his Bond may not be considered the best of the bunch, but his tenure with the license to kill produced such classics as GoldenEye and, er, The World is Not Enough.
Pierce Brosnan may have passed up the opportunity, but The Caped Crusader will be portrayed by Ben Affleck for Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, due to hit theaters on March 25, 2016.