“I’ve kind of blown the plot here”: Before Tom Holland, Michael Keaton Spoiled the Entire Batman Plot in David Letterman Interview

Michael Keaton once frustrated DC fans by spoiling Batman's plot the day before its release.

Before Tom Holland, Michael Keaton Spoiled the Entire Batman Plot in David Letterman Interview


  • Tom Holland is infamous for inadvertently revealing MCU secrets in his interview.
  • During an interview with David Letterman, Michael Keaton did something similar nearly three decades ago.
  • The 1989 Tim Burton movie still managed to establish itself as a huge box office success.
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There’s little doubt about Tom Holland’s importance to Marvel Studios. Since the end of the Avengers series, the Spider-Man: No Way Home actor remains the only star to lead a Marvel movie to the $1 billion mark.

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Tom Holland as Spider-Man in the MCU
Tom Holland as Spider-Man in the MCU.

With Spider-Man 4 understood to be in development, there’s no doubt Holland will play an important role in the direction MCU takes. Having said that, the Englishman has also proven to be a huge cause of headache for Marvel bosses due to his tendency to inadvertently blurt out directions of his movies’ plots before they hit the theaters.


Interestingly, he’s not the first on-screen superhero to cause chaos by spoiling the plot of their movie. Long before Holland was even born, Michael Keaton spoiled Batman’s plot in an interview.

Read more: Tim Burton Felt “Tortured” While Filming Michael Keaton’s Batman, Called It the “Worst period of my life!”


How Michael Keaton Spoiled Batman’s Entire Plot

Michael Keaton is credited with bringing the best and most authentic version of Batman to the big screen through Tim Burton‘s Batman (1989).

Michael Keaton
Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson in Batman.

The dark and gloomy take on Gotham City’s masked vigilante – who battles Jack Nicholson’s Jack Napier (Joker) to keep Gotham’s citizens safe – was a huge hit, grossing a staggering $411.6 million at the box office.


However, to this day, many wonder if the movie could’ve earned more had Keaton not made an appearance on David Letterman’s chat show the day before the film’s release.

During the interview, the on-screen Bruce Wayne let Batman’s spoiler slip. Letterman asked the actor what the Joker had done to attract Batman’s attention. In his attempts to explain the context behind the superhero’s anger, Keaton went too far.


“Bruce Wayne witnesses the murder of his parents when he’s a kid,” he said. “Yeah, but he doesn’t know it ‘till later – I’ve kind of blown the plot here.” 

During a fighting scene with the Joker, who takes Vicki hostage, Batman reveals that Napier killed his parents and thus, inadvertently created Batman.

As soon as Keaton confessed his mistake in the interview, the audience groaned to express their frustration. Regardless, the movie collected nearly 10 times of its budget and everyone involved with the project went home happy – apart from the Joker.


Read more: Michael Keaton Absolutely Hated 1 Iconic Batman Feature That Zack Snyder Flirted With in Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight Avatar

Why Michael Keaton Left the Batman Franchise After Two Movies

Keaton reprised the role of Bruce three years later in Batman Returns, which also did well at the box office, albeit not as good as the original. However, the film, which also featured Michelle Pfeiffer (Catwoman) and Danny DeVito (The Penguin), proved to be Keaton’s last appearance as the lead of a DC Comics-inspired story.

Michael Keaton
Michael Keaton.

The producers replaced Burton with Joel Schumacher for Batman Forever (1995) because many critics considered Burton’s take too dark for the general audience.

During an appearance on The Playlist‘s Backstage podcast, the Beetlejuice star revealed he held talks with Schumacher and subsequently departed after a disagreement over the characterization of Bruce. Keaton was adamant about keeping the theme on the darker side due to his character’s sad backstory.


Val Kilmer ended up replacing Keaton for the third installment of the Caped Crusader-based series.


Written by Vishal Singh

Vishal Singh is a Content Writer at FandomWire. Having spent more than half a decade in the digital media space, Vishal specializes in crafting engaging entertainment- and sports-focused stories. He graduated from university with an honors degree in English Literature.