Pierce Brosnan Reveals 'Stupid Comment' To Tim Burton That Probably Cost Him Batman Role

While he's about to make his superhero debut in Black Adam, Pierce said he was once nearly cast as Batman — until he mocked the dark knight's costume.
Pierce Brosnan in the Tonight Show studio
Pierce Brosnan in the Tonight Show studio
NBC via Getty Images

Pierce Brosnan officially joins the DC Films Extended Universe with his upcoming portrayal of Doctor Fate in Black Adam.

However, during an interview on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, he revealed he was once nearly cast as Batman – until a “stupid comment” apparently cost him the job.

“I went up for ‘Batman’ way back in the day when Tim Burton was doing it and obviously I didn’t get the job,” Pierce told the host.

“I remember saying something stupid to Tim Burton. I said, ‘You know, I can’t understand any man who would wear his underpants outside his trousers’.”

Jimmy then feigned pity to audible laughter from the crowd when quipping Pierce “had to settle for” James Bond instead, and cheekily told him he was “so sorry” for the hardship.

Pierce then graciously said “the best man got the job” in reference to Michael Keaton’s casting in the 1989 film Batman.

Michael Keaton on the set of Batman
Michael Keaton on the set of Batman
Murray Close via Getty Images

At that time, Pierce was still eking his way into Hollywood and largely nabbing TV parts.

His role in the crime series Remington Steele eventually caught the attention of James Bond producers, who were searching for the next actor to helm the franchise after Timothy Dalton’s run ended in 1989.

Despite Pierce regretfully recounting his comments to Tim Burton, he conquered the silver screen by storm just a few years later. His GoldenEye debut in 1995 as 007 was a critically-acclaimed box office smash that led Pierce to portray the secret agent in three more instalments until 2002.

“For me, it was trying to walk a line between Roger [Moore] and Sean Connery and not being shy about taking from their work,” he recently told GQ. “I allowed myself the grace to try and get the sense of humour that both men brought to the part.”

Three decades after ruining his chance to play Batman, Pierce is donning a cape alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character of Black Adam.

The British star told ET Online that Doctor Fate was a man who “traversed the ages of time” — which the 69-year-old actor himself continues to do beautifully.


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