Why Michael Keaton Passed On Batman Forever

Michael Keaton doesn't pull many punches, and he definitely isn't afraid to say why he didn't return for 1995's Batman Forever.

When Joel Schumacher stepped in to replace director Tim Burton, it was obvious that the movie would have a different tone than the previous two installments. But Keaton recently revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that he knew when he had to walk away.

"It sucked," Keaton said. "The script never was good. I didn't understand why [Schumacher] wanted to do what he wanted to do. I hung on for many meetings and I was polite up to a point, saying, 'Do you think you're getting this?'... I knew it was in trouble when [Schumacher] said, 'Why does everything have to be so dark?'"

Before Batman and Batman Returns, Keaton had previously collaborated with Tim Burton on 1988's Beetlejuice, and he called the director "groundbreaking at almost every turn." There was a high level of trust there, and if Burton had been the one suggesting big changes to Batman Forever, Keaton said he would've been game. He couldn't say the same about Schumacher.

"Had [Burton] been saying, 'Hey, I want to experiment with something, I would've been way open to it," Keaton said. "But I thought, 'In this guy's hands, who knows?' I'm enough of an artist to go, 'I just don't think I can do this without blowing my brains out.'"

Val Kilmer was cast as Batman, and although the movie opened to record-breaking box office numbers, critics weren't quite as sold. Batman Forever has a 40% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Meanwhile, Keaton is set to return to comic book movies as the villainous Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, which hits theaters July 7. While we wait, check out messed up things you never realized about Batman.