Before Tim Burton handed the role of the Dark Knight to Michael Keaton, Ivan Reitman considered directing an adaptation of “Batman” in the 80s. Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy were supposed to carry out the project, but they failed to agree.
Batman: Bill Murray could have been the Dark Knight
Since his first appearance as Adam West in 1966, but especially since Michael Keaton took on the costume under the direction of Tim Burton in 1989, Batman has regularly inspired cinema. Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, or even Ben Affleck have notably embodied it. Robert Pattinson is the latest to have slipped into the shoes of Bruce Wayne with The Batman by Matt Reeves, centered on a rookie superhero looking for a puzzle-loving psychopath.
In the 1980s, Bill Murray was almost the second comedian to be given the role of the Dark Knight created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. At the time, director Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Kindergarten Cop) is working on an adaptation. His goal is then to bring together two Hollywood stars, one being Bill Murray, the other being Eddie Murphy. The interpreter of Axel Foley in The Beverly Hills Cop sees offer to play the character of Robin. But the project will never go beyond the stage of discussions and pre-production…
“It couldn’t have been done”
During an interview for Yahoo! Entertainment, Bill Murray returned to the aborted feature film. If the film could not see the light of day, it is apparently because his former partner of the Saturday night live didn’t want to be relegated to a sidekick. The actor of Lost in Translation has explained :
I talked to Eddie Murphy about it and Eddie wanted to play Batman. The conversation didn’t go any further… I don’t want to be anyone’s child prodigy. Maybe before, when I was a little boy. But it was too late in the 80s. And the disguise was wrong. Purple looks good on Eddie, and looks good on me too. In red and green, I look like a Santa Claus elf. There was a lot of vanity at play in the production. It couldn’t have happened.