TODAY   |  March 04, 2014

Michael Keaton: Affleck will be a great Batman

The star of “Beetlejuice” and other movies joins TODAY to chat about two new films he’s in, “Need for Speed” and “Robocop,” and reveals his take on the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman, a role Keaton also played.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> most versatile actors in hollywood. michael keaton made us laugh in "mr. mom" and starred in "batman." and he's at it again in " need for speed ." take a look.

>> this is getting good.

>> i believe in you.

>> toby marshall versus tina brewster, that's a deep rivalry right there.

>> yeah.

>> i hear ya. two of you out there flying across the country to prove something while you're tearing up the american asphalt. born to run , baby, born to run .

>> michael keaton , good morning again to you.

>> i can't see. i have to find the monitor.

>> well, this was based, actually on the video game " need for speed ."

>> yeah.

>> do you ever play it?

>> no, i'm not a gamer. i'm game, but i'm not a gamer. but it was -- it's huge, this game.

>> yeah. and this is -- if you love racing, race cars , this is the movie for you. there's incredible action scenes.

>> it's amazing. this guy can really shoot. the director really wanted to, i think, this is how it goes, steven spielberg had seen his movie based on another game, i think, and really liked what he saw and talked to him about doing this. and the one thing he said is i want to shoot it the way movies used to be shot. i don't think there's any cgi -- let me show you.

>> special effects, basically.

>> right. no computer generated images for the race, which when you see it, the action is real, it's shot beautifully.

>> absolutely. and in the end in the climactic race, kind of the narrater, you play an interesting guy. and the producers, had you very specifically in mind for this role. they said they were looking for a guy who was incredibly charismatic, but totally bizarre at the same time. is that a compliment? it was you they were thinking of.

>> not so sure. yeah.

>> did you like doing the role? in a way, maybe it's a little bit lonely. you're basically acting in a room by yourself.

>> yeah, and you end up actually kind of explaining the movie. because it's based on a game. and so i'm sure they had to stay relatively true to the -- how the game works, at the same time tell a story, an original story. but i'd just come off of doing like three things in a row. now i can't remember the name of it, the larry david movie on hbo and robo cop at the same time. i was flying back and forth and i was getting ready to start or maybe i'd shot this movie called bird man. and so i was pretty beat by the time i got there, and there was long speeches. because the character lives up in a tower and he kind of sets up the race. interestingly, the original -- the guy's name originally was bird man. and there's a movie called bird man that i'm in. and so they had to change it to the monarch and i don't know why. but --

>> you're in a lot of movies. "bird man," " robo cop ."

>> yep.

>> the new robo cop has this big suit. wears a suit.

>> a suit.

>> you know something about this. you were batman. did you have sympathy for this suit?

>> no. because it's air conditioned and it's a whole other ball game . no, i actually kind of did. but they are -- it is much easier to wear. in batman, they were still trying to figure out how this whole thing would work. and the thing about it is, if it goes wrong, it goes way wrong.

>> yeah.

>> no one had ever done anything like this before. so when we were a little nervous about the whole thing working. he's great, wonderful actor.

>> by the way, you like ben affleck as the new batman?

>> yeah. he's going to be great. don't follow it much, but i guess there was some sort of -- i don't know why people get excited about things.

>> batman, it's iconic, as is beetlejuice. and there's rumors flying around.

>> yeah. you started. you're responsible.

>> exactly. i started it. let's finish it. is there going to be a sequel to "beetlejuice."

>> i don't know. i've been talking about it for years. it's the one thing if i ever did anything again, it would be that. or i'd want to do that. and, you know, the rumors would -- they've risen before and fall our way. and now if tim is involved and i think he might be involved, if tim would be involved, that would be more than interested. he's so original and you're either original or not original.

>> tim burton the director.

>> yes. and he's an artist, you know. there's nothing -- it's unique. nothing like it. you really can't compare it to anything. you know, it has to be done right, i guess. i don't know.

>> well, you'd have a lot of fans if it happens. come back and tell us about it if it happens.

>> i will.

>> since we started the rumor. we want to confirm it. good to see you.

>> thank you. nice to see you.

>> " need for speed " opens next friday march 14th . and check out " robo cop ," as well.