Michael Keaton is Doing Another Comic Book Movie

Michael Keaton in Birdman

Fox Searchlight

It will be interesting to see if Michael Keaton ever makes an actual superhero movie again after doing Birdman. It’s almost ironic enough for the actor to be signing on to another comic book adaptation. The former Batman, who is experiencing a comeback thanks to his Oscar-nominated turn playing a former superhero movie star, is producing a movie version of the Boom! Studios comic “Imagine Agents,” which will be made at Fox. According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog, Keaton will also star in the movie, which is like Men in Black with imaginary friends in place of aliens. Keaton will play the “jaded” Tommy Lee Jones equivalent opposite a younger partner.

As strangely plagiarized as the idea seems (Boom! even sells the title on the Men in Black comparison), it sounds like it could be a lot of fun. And possibly thanks to the character Bing Bong in Pixar’s Inside Out, imaginary friends are going to be all the rage in movies again (who’s got a pitch for a Drop Dead Fred remake?). The one at the center of Imagine Agents, Furdlgurr, is also teddy bear-like, and that will surely allow for comparisons to the Ted movies. More wholesome, though. Other works cited by Boom! and others as similar include Monsters Inc. and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Technically this will be Keaton’s first movie based on a comic book since 1992’s Batman Returns and only his third following that and the first Batman from 1989. His character in Beetlejuice got his own comic book after the movie came out, and some of his other movies have spun off into comic books, too, including Pixar’s Toy Story and Cars. He also co-starred in the remake of RoboCop, the original of which had been adapted into a comic book series.