Pierce Brosnan Reveals Why He Was Not Cast As Batman

Pierce Brosnan spoiled his chances of becoming Batman by making a dumb joke to Tim Burton.

By Vic Medina | Updated

James Bond was almost Batman, but a sarcastic quip killed his chances. Actor Pierce Brosnan is joining the DC Cinematic Universe this fall with his role as Doctor Fate in Black Adam, but he nearly played the Caped Crusader for director Tim Burton back in 1989. In a recent appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show, Brosnan revealed that he auditioned for the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in the iconic flick, but admitted he remembered “saying something stupid to Tim Burton,” and he didn’t get the part, according to ComicBook.com.

While promoting the Dwayne Johnson film with Jimmy Fallon, Brosnan discussed his experience auditioning for Burton, but revealed that he told the director “I can’t understand any man who would wear his underpants outside his trousers.” While the underwear/no-underwear sentimentality has been long-debated by comic book fans, Burton probably felt it wasn’t the best mindset for an actor who has to play Batman. As we all know, Michael Keaton eventually won the role, and Pierce Brosnan would have to wait until 1995 to find his signature role as James Bond in Goldeneye.

Tim Burton would eventually work with Pierce Brosnan, when he cast him in his all-star sci-fi comedy Mars Attacks!

During The Tonight Show interview, Pierce Brosnan discussed the challenges of playing Doctor Fate, admitting that it wasn’t easy wearing an unflattering motion-capture suit, and the helmet he wore provided no visibility at all. He did, however say that he connected with the character, saying “Doctor Fate and I were meant to meet on the same page I think.” He also called star Dwayne Johnson “a magnificent fellow,” but admitted that he actually got to know him better on the press tour than he ever did on the set, when it was difficult to interact on a personal level.

In addition to Dwayne Johnson and Piece Brosnan, Black Adam stars Aldis Hodge as Carter Hall/Hawkman, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Sarah Shahi as Adrianna, Odelya Halevi as Shiruta, Noah Centineo as Al Rothstein/Atom Smasher, and Quintessa Swindell as Maxine Hunkel/Cyclone. The film is also rumored to have a Superman cameo by Henry Cavill, although that has not been confirmed. Johnson has teased the idea but has only recently confirmed that Black Adam and Superman will fight one day, but won’t say if it will happen in Black Adam.

Superhero films are just about the last film genre Pierce Brosnan hasn’t conquered yet. After rising to fame in the NBC series Remington Steele, he found success in comedy (in 1993’s Mrs. Doubtfire with Robin Williams), romances (1994’s Love Affair), sci-fi (The Lawnmower Man), fantasy (The Percy Jackson films)and animated films (The Quest for Camelot, Riverdance).

In case Marvel fans are wondering if Pierce Brosnan will ever crossover to Disney, Giant Freaking Robot reported that he is in discussions to join the MCU in an undisclosed villain role, but no additional details are yet known.

Pierce Brosnan appears to be as busy as ever with no less than six film projects lined up, including Mamma Mia 3, which is still in the planning stages but would allow him to show off his impressive singing ability again. He also just completed work on Fast Charlie, a thriller starring another comic book movie star, Deadpool’s Morena Baccarin. Giant Freakin Robot recently reported exclusively that Brosnan was secretly cast in a Star Wars live-action series, and speculated that he may be playing Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Black Adam opens in theaters on October 21.