Michael Keaton is arguably the best Batman actor ever. Yeah, we said it. His turn as the superhero movie character, against the likes of Jack Nicholson‘s Joker is genuinely iconic, and he struck the perfect balance between the caped crusader and billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne.
One of his best and most memorable moments was as Bruce Wayne when the DCU character was confronted by Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989). As it turns out, it wouldn’t have been quite so awesome if Michael Keaton hadn’t been able to whip out some impressive improvisation.
Speaking with Empire, the actor revealed that the famous ‘Let’s get nuts’ moment came from him. “I don’t think ‘Let’s get nuts’ was in the script,” says Keaton. “That was me.”
Elaborating on how it came about, Keaton continued, “That scene was never really that good as written, to be honest with you. That was one of the days where we went round and round. I think Kim’s in it, me and Jack, nobody could ever find it. I thought, ‘okay, pressure’s on, man. Pressure. Is. On’.”
That pressure (both felt by Keaton and Bruce Wayne in the scene) led to the character’s outburst. “I thought he’d probably said, ‘Okay, I’m kind of cornered, I only have one way to go and I’d better let this character know that we’re gonna throw down.’ There was so much figuring it out as we went along.”
Keaton’s recollection of events provides a fascinating insight into one of the best movies of the entire superhero genre. The line brings a new dimension to the character and puts him toe-to-toe with Nicholson’s villainous Joker, and frankly we can’t imagine what the scene would look like without it. Well, that’s a lie: it’d look worse.
Now, Keaton is back as Batman thanks to multiversal mischief caused by The Flash in one of the most exciting new movies of the summer. And, what’s more, he gets to repeat his improvised line, as seen in the trailers for the movie.