When comedy and drama stars turn to fist fights and shoot-outs
Michael Keaton, 'Batman'
Hardcore fans of the comic book franchise objected heavily to Keaton's casting as the Caped Crusader in director Tim Burton's 1989 feature film version, with a massive campaign resulting in thousands of letters of protest being sent to the Warner Bros. offices. Not only was Keaton not considered a traditional action star - particularly by the standards of the testosterone-driven 1980s - but his best-known roles up to that point had been of a broadly comedic variety, leaving fans fearful that Burton would be dabbling in the campier tone of the 1960s TV series. But they needn't have worried - Keaton not only proved a perfect fit for the film's somber, darkly comedic vibe, he also made a surprisingly adept action hero.
- Chris Eggertsen