Michael Keaton To Team With Larry David, Hopes To Reunite With Jack Nicholson
With Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Rises making all things Batman topical again, I've been lucky enough to repeatedly talk about my favorite Batman and first movie crush, Michael Keaton, over and over again. It's a thrill that I especially value as the typically private star has fallen out of the spotlight since his '80s/'90s heyday. Though thankfully to those of us who still adore him, he's still popping up in memorable movie roles, like the fabulously fashionable Ken in Toy Story 3, and a frustrated police captain in Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg comedy The Other Guys. But now, Keaton has opened up in a surprisingly unguarded and intimate interview at Grantland, where among his respect for Stephen Colbert and his favorite movies, he has revealed some intriguing new projects he has in the works.
Out of the blue, Keaton gamely tells reporter Daniel Kellison, "I'm actually getting ready to do a movie with Larry David," explaining he and the Curb Your Enthusiasm star have known each other since both were attempting stand-up comedy, and adds, "I'm doing this movie — really an improvised movie — where he sets it all up in the outline and says, 'Here's what happens … '"
He went on to say he knows little else about the film; essentially he plans to show up and trust in David and his outline. But it seems clear that this is the film that David is planning for Greg Mottola to direct, meaning Keaton could be joining a cast that not only includes David, but also Mad Men star and deft comedian Jon Hamm. Early reports pin Hamm as the antagonist for David's likely apoplectic anti-hero. And while we have no idea what role Keaton might play, he's undoubtedly a great addition to this ensemble.
Keaton has a sharp sense of comedic timing that's served him well in a variety of comedy styles, from the twisted horror comedy of Beetlejuice to the sly one-liners of Batman, the daffy humor of Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, the everyman antics of Gung Ho, The Paper, Mr. Mom or Multiplicity, and the quick-witted camp of parody parts like the titular gangster Johnny Dangerously or his ill-fated janitor on 30 Rock, who true to hackneyed clichés is shot on his last day in the job. Seriously, I could go on and on. Any day I get to talk about Keaton is a red-letter day.
Anyhow, beyond the untitled Larry David improv comedy, Keaton also mentioned he has plans to direct a film, which would be a follow-up to his 2008 directorial debut The Merry Gentleman. Though he didn't talk plot or even genre, he did confess he had hoped to cast his Batman nemesis Jack Nicholson, but admits,
"I'm directing this movie, and I shouldn't say this, but I'm actually being very realistic, I think he's being very, very, very particular about what he wants to do now. He's not 29 years old anymore, and he just passed on a Nancy Meyers project. She's a very successful director, and he just said no to her. This is even a smaller budget project, and my guess is he's going to say, 'I love ya, but I'm not really doing that right now.'"
Despite his totally rational explanation above, I'll be hoping for a Keaton-Nicholson reunion. And I very much doubt I'm alone on this. In the meantime, Keaton fans will have the Larry David movie to look forward to, and eventually Toy Story 4, where he's expected to reprise his role as Ken, the day care center host with the most! And just in case you were wondering what Michael Keaton stand-up was like, Kellison was kind enough to track some down!
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