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Michael Keaton’s The Protégé Let’s Him Do Something He’d Never Done On Screen

Michael Keaton has been a movie star since the 1980s and you'd think in that time the actor would have done it all. He's been Batman on the big screen, something only a handful of actors have had the chance to do. He's played Barbie's Ken, and Beetlejuice, and evil Walt Disney. But it seems that his role in The Protégé was something a bit different than anything he'd done before. One of the things about the role that interested him was that he'd never played anybody quite like the larger than life Rembrandt.

In The Protégé Michael Keaton gets to stretch his action muscles in some choreographed fight scenes. He gets to banter with the Maggie Q's hero Anna. On the whole, Rembrandt is a guy that knows all the angles and is ready for almost anything, and it was a character Keaton said he'd never really had a chance to play before, as he told our own Mike Reyes, saying....

He's a larger than life character and I don't know that I got to play, specifically, that type of person before or I think I never have. So it was fun. It's always the fun part to say, 'Well, you know, did I ever do this before?' I wonder if I could do that? Instead of sitting around in a trailer all day if you could go out and people photograph you making it look like you could beat up guys that are way tougher than you, that's always fun.

On paper Michael Keaton's Rembrandt is a "bad guy." He's in the employ of a man who tries to kill Anna, the man she's trying to get to. At the same time, Rembrandt is full of charisma, and he and Anna build something of a relationship despite the fact that they're on opposite sides. And he's able to put up a fight. Michael Keaton is nearly 70, and so one assumes Rembrandt is supposed to be a similar age, but the guy has some moves.

Maybe it was being able to do some fairly intense action scenes that Michael Keaton wanted to see if he could do. It was perhaps something of a warm up for donning the cape and cowl and playing Batman once again, as he will in the upcoming The Flash movie. How physical he'll actually get there is far from clear but it seems more than likely that he won't be sitting in the Batcave for the whole movie doing nothing.

It's somewhat surprising that Michael Keaton hasn't played a role like this before. There's a first time for everything i suppose. Keaton's performance is a highlight in The Protégé, which is otherwise a pretty run of the mill movie, so it's perhaps unfortunate that this is the first time he's had a role like this, as it fits him quite well.

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.