Every comic fan has a favorite live-action portrayal of their beloved heroes, but Twitter users in America came up with the idea that Michael Keaton is the overall favorite and the best Batman among the other versions that have been portrayed over the years. The overwhelming reaction to Keaton's return as the Dark Knight in the upcoming movie The Flash shows just how much the world adores the original big-screen iteration of DC's most famous export. Now, a new poll has amplified the fans' sentiments that Keaton’s Batman is the greatest of all time.
According to data collected from over 150,000 tweets by home entertainment furniture company Valencia Theater Seating, Keaton is still the most popular actor to play Batman in live-action, winning 23 states and comfortably beating Christian Bale in second place with 18. The ranking is based on analyzing geo-tagged tweets from the previous three months that included phrases like "[Keaton/Bale/Clooney] is the best Batman," "best Batman," "GOAT Batman," and "best live-action Batman." Ben Affleck comes out on top, winning seven states to Robert Pattinson's two.
Keaton played Batman twice, in 1989 and 1992. His casting was considered controversial at the time as he was mostly known for comedic roles, but the actor managed to beat out an A-list of considered actors for the role of the Dark Knight, including Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, and Bill Murray. When it was first announced that Keaton would be reprising his role after more than 30 years, it came as a surprise. Originally, he was to reprise his role in the now-canceled Batgirl film, but his comeback will now be in The Flash when Barry Allen discovers his older Bruce Wayne while traveling through the multiverse.
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In August 2021, Keaton got candid about his return to the franchise after he left when Batman Returns underperformed at the box office. “Frankly, in the back of my head, I always thought, 'I bet I could go back and nail that motherf--ker,’” he said. “And so, I thought, ‘Well, now that they're asking me, let me see if I can pull that off.’”
Keaton continued, “[It was] weirdly and ironically easy. A little bit emotional. Just a rush of memories. Without giving anything away, which I can't, basically the first shot, not of the entire movie but let's say the introduction [of Batman], is so good that when we walked on and started talking about a couple of shots and the angles, I went “whoa, this is big. This is great.” I don't even mean for me. Just the imagery, it's great. And reminiscent, to some degree, of Tim Burton.”
The Flash arrives in theaters on June 16.
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