It’s difficult to imagine Michael Keaton as a comedy movie icon, with the actor known for drama movies and, of course, the Batman movies that made him a household name. Certainly, we couldn’t imagine him matching the career path of Bill Murray.
Keaton revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly (via Business Insider) that he was offered Murray’s lead role in Groundhog Day, but turned it down.
In the interview, the star confessed that he was presented with Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis’s script for the time travel movie, but just “didn’t get it”. To be fair, he also admitted that he doesn’t think he could’ve matched Murray’s famous performance.
Keaton said: “This guy sounds like the kind of wry, sardonic, glib young man I’ve played — and it ended up being so great. But you can’t do it better than Bill Murray did it.”
Interestingly, this casting combo almost flipped the other way around too. Murray was, at one point, in the frame to lead a DC movie as Batman, with Eddie Murphy involved as Robin. Neither of the stars was keen to play the sidekick, though, and Keaton became the Batman actor of the 1980s.