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Monday, August 23, 2021 

Michael Keaton will only watch the superhero films he appears in

In a Hollywood Reporter interview (via Vanity Fair), the actor noted for playing Batman on the silver screen in the first modern movie from 1989, and looks to be reviving it in the upcoming Flash movie, discussed just what he likes to see or not among the adaptations. And most unfortunately, he also revealed his political standings:
As much as Keaton is at home here, after so many years, he also stands out. In a town where Trump 2020 signs are still ubiquitous eight months after the election, and someone has painted “Stop the Steal” on a nearby bridge, the actor has a bumper sticker for a Democratic Montana politician on one of his cars. Keaton, who changed his birth name of Michael Douglas for the Screen Actors Guild, grew up outside Pittsburgh, the youngest of seven children and an altar boy. His mother, a devoted Catholic, kept her kids home from school to watch Kennedy’s inauguration, and his father, a civil engineer, was involved in local Democratic politics. When Barack Obama was a senator running for president, Keaton introduced him at a Montana event, and he campaigned for Joe Biden last year in Pennsylvania. He tries to be judicious about how and when he wades into politics. “I learned a long time ago, you do more damage because you’re famous,” Keaton says. “I’ve told people, you don’t want me there. They’ll go, ‘Well of course he brought his Hollywood friend.’ You know what people forget? We all were just some person somewhere in Cincinnati or fucking Ottawa or fucking Cleveland.”
Well...I can't say I didn't see it coming. It's a shame Keaton's got to be so nailed on the liberal ideology, but there you have it. Does this mean he's got no issue with the catastrophous way Biden abandoned Afghanistan in the past week? If not, then to think an ignoramus like Keaton would take on the role of a character dedicated to justice is just stupefying (is that why he took on the Vulture role in Spider-Man later?). Here's more:
Early in his career, Keaton became known for turning down high-profile roles, including Tom Hanks’ part in Splash and the third Batman movie. “I was offered a couple of roles that I didn’t do that to most people didn’t make sense, but if you ask me, if you’re not betting on yourself, that would be worrisome,” Keaton says. “Back then, if I did have a strategy, I wanted to provide myself the opportunity where I could have some choices. I want to see how wide I can make this [career].” Barry Levinson, who directs Keaton in Dopesick, sees him as someone who puts his craft above his public persona. “Look, he had a franchise character in Batman, but he stepped away from it because he wanted to pursue other characters, as big as that was,” Levinson says. “He has a yearning to try things as opposed to worrying about, ‘What is my identity in the film world?’” Keaton started as a stand-up comic but never had a shtick, says Levinson, who used to watch him perform at The Comedy Store during the late 1970s and early ’80s. “Some of these comics have a comic personality about them,” Levinson says. “And he was just up there, talking. He had an ease, a natural quality.”
In fairness, Keaton did the right thing to let go of the Bat-role. It all went further downhill once Joel Schumacher got his mitts on the direction, and today, based on the LGBT allusions the late film director brought to his vision (particularly in the 4th film), that's why most advocates have since swept the negative reception of the time under the rug. Now, here's the real surprise from Keaton, something I don't think I'd known before, but seems to be the annoying problem with quite a few Hollywooders:
Even though he has appeared in films for both DC and Marvel, in which he plays the villain Vulture in the Spider-Man series, Keaton was never a comic book fan, and he has been stunned by the genre’s growth. He credits Burton with the industry’s realization that superhero films can be not just lucrative but also artistically ambitious. “What Tim did changed everything,” Keaton says. “Everything you see now started with him. If you really think about what happened between 1989 and now, on a cultural, corporate, economic level, it’s unbelievable.” While Keaton is awed by the phenomenon, he confesses he doesn’t totally get it. “After the first Batman, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an entire [comic book] movie,” Keaton says. “I just never got around to it. So you’re talking to a guy who wasn’t in the zeitgeist of that whole world. When I went down to do the Marvel things in Atlanta … It’s an entire city dedicated to Marvel … They’ll be doing Marvel movies forever. I’ll be dead, and they’ll still be doing Marvel movies.”
I wouldn't be too sure whether they'll still be doing Marvel movies within the next few years, if current box office receipts for Black Widow say anything, and if the lawsuit Scarlet Johansson filed against Disney corporation ensures there'll be no more entries. Or maybe Disney won't employ her anymore. But to me, this is a sign of how there's bound to be a substantial number of Hollywooders out there whose knowledge of comicdom is minimal, or none at all, yet they'll be delighted at the paycheck they're given. Such people are exactly why it'd be better if they didn't get involved in comic-based productions.

Maybe this is why, IMO, the Bat-films haven't aged well. I saw them years ago, but have not seen the ones filmed between 1989-97 in a long time since, and consider them as overrated as anything else that could turn up today. Worst thing about them is how they almost single-handedly marginalized Superman as a franchise, and illustrated Hollywood's idea of a comic movie ever since. It's just not healthy.

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