Before the Christopher Nolan trilogy of Batman films, most Bat-fans would argue that the best big screen adaptation of the caped crusader was 1989’s Batman by Tim Burton. Michael Keaton made for a surprisingly good fit for the role despite the number of naysayers and Jack Nicholson brought forth The Joker with a delicate balance of goofiness and sadism.
Those actors are now 24 years removed from those iconic roles. Despite the amount of time passed, The Dark Knight producer Michael Uslan has presented the idea of bringing Keaton and Nicholson back for a new Batman film based on the graphic novel The Dark Night Returns! Not only that, an unlikely iconic actor is in his mind for an older Bruce Wayne as depicted in the futuristic Batman Beyond. Is he onto something here or is it too little too late?
Uslan was quoted below on his idea.
“Not speaking as a producer, but as a fan. One day it dawned on me that there are two actors out there who are the absolute right age right now to do ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ in live action; Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson.”
While having someone who played a role come back to portray an older version of that character makes sense, I’m not totally sold on Nicholson returning. He’s VERY out of shape based on how he looks whenever I catch a Los Angeles Lakers game. I have a feeling he has no interest in it either considering the lucrative contract he signed which grants him royalties on all Batman merchandise even to this day.
Another idea that Uslan presented was for a film based on the Batman Beyond universe. This is set in a futuristic Gotham City where Bruce Wayne, older and retired as his alter ego, trains a young kid to be the new Batman.
“How cool would it be to see a ‘Batman Beyond’ movie? With Bruce Wayne in his eighties training a young Batman, and how cool would it be to see Clint Eastwood as Bruce Wayne?”
Yes, that’s right. “Crazy Chair Talkin'” Clint Eastwood as Bruce Wayne! Sadly enough, this wasn’t the first time the grizzled actor was considered for the role.
After the disappointing Batman & Robin, director Darren Aronofsky was approached by the studio on how he would go about the next Batman film. He half-jokingly suggests to cast Eastwood as Batman and shoot in Tokyo to portray a futuristic Gotham City. The studio went as far as opening the idea for consideration.
It’s hard for me to even begin on why this wouldn’t work. Clint was a very good actor back in his Western days and has even found success in his own projects, namely Gran Torino and Million Dollar Baby. At this point, the window is completely shut on him portraying Batman even if it was just as a mentor role. He’s just not in the right shape to be believable and I seriously question if he’s even mentally all there anymore. I’d love to be proven wrong if something like this were to move forward but for now, I just don’t see it.
Let us know what you think in the comments below!