Ray Liotta. What popped in your mind when you read his name? Something Wild, Goodfellas, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City? Is that voice of his flowing through your head? Could you imagine him vocalizing a Bat-growl, as it’s often called? It almost, kind of, happened. Towards the end of the ’80s when the Batman film project was getting underway, Tim Burton made a call to Liotta’s agent. The actor, thinking it was silly, didn’t go meet with Burton and still regrets his choice.
In an interview with LA Times, the Shades of Blue actor discussed his biggest regret and explained his reasoning at the time.
“The first movie I did was the movie Something Wild, right around that time they were thinking of doing Batman and Tim Burton was the director of it, and I got a call from my agent that Tim Burton wanted to meet me for the role of Batman. And at that time, this was 1986 or 1987, it was really the first comic book movie that I know of that was coming out and I always regret — ’cause I think Tim Burton is a just great, great director, and I’ve always regretted not going and meeting him. Just to meet him, just to talk… I couldn’t understand to play Batman, that seemed silly.”
Coming off the campiness left behind by the Adam West acted Batman TV series, “silly” is an understandable response, especially for an actor who was just beginning to make a splash in the industry. Had he gone through with the meeting and been cast, his Batman would have stood a bit taller than Keaton’s, and fans can only dream of what his Bat would have sounded and moved like.
While we will never see him don the cape and the cowl, we can hope he one day makes an appearance in a superhero film. For now, though, we’ll have to place Liotta’s regret in the corner with the other Batman things that could’ve been.
Images From GoodFellas Courtesy of Warner Bros.