As we prepare for to see Michael Keaton once again in the Batman suit in the new DC movie ‘Flash’, many will remember the performance that made him the quintessential Batman of an entire generation. And if there is something that has set a trend and has caused all the actors who have played Batman in subsequent films to copy his style, it is, without a doubt, the hoarse voice that differentiates Bruce Wayne from the Dark Knight.
Talking with EmpireMichael Keaton said that his iconic Batman voice, which proved to be one of the defining characteristics of his performance, played a genuine role in differentiating the man from the bat.
“He has two personalities. The guy’s not psychotic, but he’s not far from it. Controlled psychosis… In order to justify all this, I can’t be changing the oil in the Batmobile and then saying, ‘well, I have to kill some people,’ so I probably end up going into a very, very deep trance, which is a scene I don’t think it ever appeared. How do you justify the voice? It’s corny, but I thought once he’s in a trance, he doesn’t think like he does like Bruce Wayne, he doesn’t act like him. So the voice came out of that, it was a really practical thing.”
Whenever there’s a new actor playing Batman (and there are quite a few already), the first thing fans want to know is what the superhero’s suit will look like. But immediately after that, The most interesting thing is to know how the new Batman will sound… And the truth is that they all end up sounding more or less the same because of Keaton, who laid the foundation in the 1989 Tim Burton film.
Christian Bale took it to an overacting extreme, Ben Affleck got the help of a voice modulator, and Robert Pattinson tried to distance himself by doing something else… And it didn’t work out.. “Everyone does this kind of rough stuff, and I was like, ‘I’m going to do the opposite, I’m going to be whispery.’ And I tried to do it for the first two weeks, and they found it absolutely appalling. They told me to stop doing it”. However, Pattinson agreed with Keaton that the Batsuit does something to Bruce Wayne. “You put on the suit and you have to speak a certain way. It feels especially good.”
Although at first the fans of the character did not agree with the hiring of Keaton, time has ended up putting him in the place he deserves: For many, the best Batman in the cinema.
Fran is an expert in film and series, specializing in cultural outreach and film criticism. Although his favorite genre is horror, it speaks to you of the new blockbuster of Marvel’s UCM as well as of an auteur film to be claimed from the festival circuit.
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Fran has been writing for Fotogramas for more than a year, but her beginnings go back almost two decades in film forums and blogs such as Planeta Claqueta or Moviementarios. He was a founder and part of the board of directors of the digital publication of film criticism and analysis Revista Mutaciones and a member of the Association of Cinematographic Informants of Spain (AICE), the organization that awards the Feroz Awards, as well as a voter for the Blogos de Oro al indie movies.
After completing the Master’s Degree in Film Criticism at the Madrid Film School (ECAM) taught by Caimán Cuadernos de Cine, he has collaborated and/or covered film festivals such as San Sebastián, Sitges and Filmadrid as a specialized press for more than 10 years. along the way, interviewing relevant directors, actors and actresses from the national industry such as Penélope Cruz, Carlos Saura, Ana de Armas, José Luis Cuerda or José Sacristán and international ones such as James Wan, Edgar Wright or Dario Argento.
His knowledge and experience have led him to be a film video blogger for Fnac Spain and director and presenter of the Holocausto Zinéfago podcast, with more than 150 programs broadcast in which cinema and humor are mixed from a unique and original point of view.