At this point, Batman is the American equivalent of James Bond with eight actors having donned the cowl (SDCC footage and moody grey snapshots give Affleck full membership status prior to the release of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice), but if Pierce Brosnan had less defined opinions about grown men in their underwear, his career could have gone in an entirely new direction. Yes, Pierce Brosnan could have starred in Multiplicity.
Also Tim Burton’s Batman, apparently. According to a Reddit AMA that Brosnan did in support of the release of The November Man (which may be a sequel to The Lawnmower Man that centers on a man who plows snow), the former Remington Steele star met with director and life-size build-a-figure who can be assembled from parts found at Hot Topic Tim Burton about playing the Caped Crusader once upon a time but it didn’t work out.
Brosnan clearly realizes that that wasn’t necessarily for the best, but I doubt he wells up with regret about it considering the career that he has had, Mama Mia not withstanding. Here’s the full quite from Brosnan on his almost-Batmanness.
“I went and met with Tim Burton for the role of Batman. But I just couldn’t really take it seriously, any man who wears his underpants outside his pants just cannot be taken seriously. That was my foolish take on it. It was a joke, I thought. But how wrong was I? Don’t get me wrong, because I love Batman, and I grew up on Batman. As a kid in Ireland, we used to get our raincoats and tie them round our neck and swing through the bicycle shed…”
When I was a kid, we played depressing POGS depressingly, but whatever, we can’t all grow up in a soap commercial.
If my careful Bing-ing has netted accurate results, we have to figure that this meeting took place in the very late 1980s, so post Remington Steele when Brosnan was still searching for his first big defining movie role, which he really wouldn’t find until he finally (his #RemSteel contract kept him from playing Bond in 1987) took over the mantle of Bond from Timothy Dalton on Goldeneye (the Bond movie that was inspired by the world famous game that I am better at then you are) in 1995.
Our curious nature demands that we tilt our head back, close our eyes and consider the idea of Brosnan as Batman upon reading this news, and after doing that, I make that face where you think, “Yeah, not bad” and then I say, “Alright”.
Brosnan had (still has) the charm and panache (I love you Word of the Day Calendar) to play Bruce Wayne, has the look, could get the voice down and we know that he has the action chops. My thing is, he rarely plays vulnerable and Keaton had to a couple of times in those films.
Oh well, what does it matter? Michael Keaton was amazing in two Batman movies, Brosnan was a really good Bond in his four stabs at the role (even if the films surrounding him diminished in quality as time went on) and he’s been a GREAT Bond in the dozen or so slick thief/secret agent/assassin roles that he’s played since then.
This ain’t no Dougray Scott losing out on Wolverine story, this one has a happy ending. Rejoice!