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When it comes to performing in uncomfortable superhero suits, Michael Keaton has been there and done that. The legendary comic actor best known for Mr. Mom or Beetlejuice blazed a trail for the modern movie hero by strapping himself into an immobile Batsuit for Tim Burton’s two Batman movies. And now that he’s acting alongside Joel Kinnaman in the latest RoboCop reboot, Keaton says he doesn’t want to hear any bitching and moaning about how complicated it can be to act in what’s essentially a casket.
Keaton doesn’t go anywhere near a suit in the new RoboCop, from director Jose Padilha. Instead, he plays Raymond Sellers, owner of the futuristic OmniCorp who has a hand in the creation of the groundbreaking half-human/half-cyborg hero at the center of the story. And while Kinnaman never approached Keaton for tips given his experience in Burton’s Batman suit, Keaton tells IGN that it was impossible not to make comparison to his time in the hero costume while on set. Keaton said.
Watching him, I just remembered all those things. It was actually much more critical, and the spotlight was really on us because no one had really done anything like this until Tim [Burton] did it. And now a lot of people do a version of Tim. Really talented people do a version of what Tim did with our Batman. Watching [Kinnaman], I started to remember all those things. And we had to adjust all the time. Because we never saw the thing until the day we were shooting. And we didn’t know if the suit would work. And it kind of didn’t, and we had to keep fixing it. And I realized that all the things I thought I was going to do, I couldn’t do them physcically. All my preparation, all my working out, all my martial arts, was just gone. I managed to do some things, but I was really restricted."
If you ask Christian Bale, he’d tell you that costume designers never figured out how to correct the lack of movement in the Bat suit, even though Bale had three cracks at it.
At least it didn’t have nipples, right?
Keaton goes on to say that Kinnaman has it so easy in this redesigned RoboCop suit, joking, "You can go out and play three sets of tennis! You can move, you can sit, it’s got air conditioning." It’s amusing that critics of the sleek, black RoboCop design lament that every character – from the X-Men to this new Cop – copy the dark elements of Batman, so I love hearing that a former Batman complete agrees.
RoboCop opens everywhere on Feb. 12.