Michael Keaton had a 'really practical' reason for coming up with his Batman voice

Michael Keaton had a 'really practical' reason for coming up with his Batman voice

He's Batman.

Michael Keaton had a Batcave full of ideas when he first approached donning the cape and cowl of Gotham's favorite billionaire turned vigilante in Tim Burton's Batman.

Keaton thought about everything with his characterization, including the now famous gravelly Batman voice.

"He's got two personalities. The guy is not psychotic but not far from it. Controlled psychosis," Keaton told Empire magazine in a new Q&A. "In order for me to justify all this, I can't be changing the oil on the Batmobile and then saying, 'Well, I have to kill some people.' So he probably ends up going into some deep, deep trance, which is a scene that I don't think ever made it in."

Michael Keaton
Michael Keaton

Warner Bros/Dc Comics/Kobal/Shutterstock Michael Keaton as Batman

"How do you justify the voice?" Keaton continued. "It's cheesy but I figured once he's in the trance, he doesn't think like he does like Bruce Wayne, doesn't act like he does. So the voice came out of that, it was a really practical thing."

And the rest is history. History that has been repeated by every actor who's since slipped into Batman's cinematic rubber suit and brought their own take to that "controlled psychosis" voice.

Keaton was an unconventional choice to play the Caped Crusader, not that Tim Burton was all that logical either. But after the success of 1988's Beetlejuice, Burton approached Keaton with the role, and found a willing partner in his ideas for a movie he couldn't "imagine anyone would want to make."

Of course, Batman was a big hit and Keaton and Burton teamed up again for 1992's superior Batman Returns. Keaton will once again hop behind the wheel of the Batmobile as Batman in The Flash, and he and Burton are working together again with the long-awaited sequel to Beetlejuice.

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