Birdman | EW.com

Movies

Birdman

BIRDMAN Michael Keaton and Edward Norton

BIRDMAN Michael Keaton and Edward Norton (Alison Rosa/FOX)

In Babel director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s dark comedy, Michael Keaton is Riggan Thomson, a former A-lister best known for playing the superhero Birdman. Hoping to recapture some of his earlier glory, Riggan writes, directs, and stars in a Broadway play — then suffers a breakdown in the process. In the film’s mysterious trailer, he can be seen jumping off a tall building, sprouting Black Swan-like wings, and walking through Times Square in tighty-whities. Keaton admits he was worn out by the shoot, which included intense choreography and a long rehearsal period. ”My guess is that there are some actors who don’t like that,” he says. ”Alejandro is a perfectionist and detail-oriented and constantly striving for more.”

Birdman might remind you of a certain caped crusader the actor made famous in the late ’80s, but it was another classic Keaton role that made costar Edward Norton a fan. ”I was in high school when I first saw Night Shift and remember being like, ‘What is that?”’ Norton says. At the start of production, he says, ”one part of you is a professional but the other part is excitedly waiting for him to show up.”