Bill Murray explains why he turned down the role of Batman

Bill Murray in The French Dispatch
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Bill Murray details why he opted not to make a 1980s Batman flick alongside fellow 80s icon, Eddie Murphy.

Alongside Robert Pattinson’s emo turn as Batman, we’ve recently seen a glimpse of Keanu Reeves’ comic take on the Dark Knight for the upcoming animated DC Super-Pets film. The wide contrast in their performances has continued to show us that there is a broad ‘Batman Barometer’ that allows actors of very different styles to successfully stamp their own identity on the Caped Crusader.

One star that had the chance to do that in the 1980s was the mighty Bill Murray. At this point , the film was set to be directed by the late Ivan Reitman and would have adopted a more comic tone than the 1989 Tim Burton film that we eventually got.

Murray has recently opened up about the role, which would have seen him star alongside the red-hot Eddie Murphy as the Boy Wonder, Robin, in a dream team comedy double. Murray recalls the project not coming to fruition because of ‘vanity’.

He explained that “I talked to Eddie Murphy about it and Eddie wanted to play Batman. That’s as far as the conversation went…I don’t wanna be the Boy Wonder to anybody. Maybe much earlier, when I was a boy. But it was too late for that by the 80s. Also, I couldn’t do the outfit. Eddie looks good in purple, and I look good in purple. In red and green, I look like one of Santa’s elves. There was just a lot of vanity involved in the production. It wasn’t gonna happen.”

So there you go.

Sounds a bit like one of those playground arguments about who gets to play which character… only this stand-off resulted in us missing out on a Batman film. Oh well. Both would go on to stellar careers and the Burton film that would eventually follow would be a huge cultural phenomenon, so it seems like in this case, it all worked out for the best.


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