Retro 1980s Fan Petition to Have Michael Keaton Removed as Batman in Tim Burton’s Film
The initial casting of Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman in the 1989 Tim Burton-directed film was quite an unexpected surprise for some fans back in the day. I can see how it would have been hard to imagine Keaton as the Dark Knight, but as you all know, he ended up being awesome in the role and he was the perfect choice to take it on.
Some of the more hardcore Batman fans at the time were incredibly upset by the casting and they actually started a petition in the late 1980s to have Keaton removed from the role of Batman. Knowing what we know now, the petition is pretty damn funny. Here’s what it says:
It has recently been announced that the actor MICHAEL KEATON has been chosen to play the BATMAN in the big budget film being directed by TIM (BEETLEJUICE) BURTON for release in 1989 (the 50th anniversary of the BATMAN). If the producers of this movie are truly committed to leaving the camp image of the 60’s TV show behind and presenting to the world the DEFINITIVE DARK KNIGHT DETECTIVE they can’t allow MICHAEL KEATON to play this role! Don’t get me wrong, KEATON is a fine comedy actor who has done exemplary work in the past in such films as BEETLEJUICE, MR. MOM, NIGHT SHIFT, etc. but he’s definitely not the sort of imposing figure needed to define the ultimate creature of the night, the BATMAN! Help us to stop this ridiculous decision before filming starts in September/88—-sign the petition below and let’s bring the folks at WARNER BROTHERS FILMS to their senses!!!
We, the undersigned, strong insist that the decision to cast MICHAEL KEATON as the BATMAN is a major mistake and must by reversed before filming starts on BATMAN: THE MOVIE.
Back in those days it was a little harder to get people to sign petitions. It makes me wonder how much time these guys spent standing outside of movie theaters and traveling to comic shops to get the signatures that they got. One thing is for sure, and that is the passion of fandom still hasn't changed! We are seeing petitions like this all the time these days, it's just easier to get the signatures they need with the various online petition websites.
I’m curious to know what these people thought of Michael Keaton as Batman after they saw the movie.