With each being the gold standard for their portrayals of their respective superheroes, there aren’t many people who wonder what it would be like if Michael Keaton and Christopher Reeve had switched roles.

Source: Superman (1978), Warner Bros. Pictures

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That was until now as the digital artist and fan The Imaginative Hobbyist has rendered head swaps in new images that make Reeve Batman and Keaton Superman.

‘’If it had been the other way around…A fun little experiment,” The Hobbyist said of his fantasy exercise followed by sundry tags including “#GOATS” and “#WhatIf.”

The result is interesting and looks natural, especially where Reeve is concerned. It’s easy to see him, with that look on his face, jumping off rooftops at night and either punching criminals or leaving them dangling several stories up.

Keaton subbing as the Man of Steel is a harder sell. Standing at 5’ 9’’, the Dopesick actor comes up short as the typically six-foot-something Boy Scout.

Source: Batman (1989), Warner Bros. Pictures

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Other than height, however, there is an issue with the personality Keaton often conveys on screen. Usually, he plays an average-man type to some degree, but going back to Johnny Dangerously, he’s always brought an air of overconfidence to his parts.

Even his Batman, as brooding and reticent as he was, came across at times as a guy who thought he can’t lose. That works for a pulpier Dark Knight but it’s not who Superman is — whether or not he goes low enough to kill.

Source: Superman The Movie (1978), Warner Bros.

This veneer of an everyman quality with a suspicion something darker lurked beneath is precisely what convinced Tim Burton to cast Keaton in the first place. In the director’s mind, Mr. Mom looked more like the type of guy who had the secret life of a vigilante than your textbook square-jawed Chad with nothing to prove.

Michael Keaton did get the opportunity to play a grizzled Caped Crusader in The Flash which comes out next summer. After that, a trip to Neo-Gotham in a potential live-action Batman Beyond could be on the table.

Source: Batman (1989), Warner Bros. Pictures

Sadly, Christopher Reeve is no longer with us although paralysis would have kept him from playing an older Superman styled after his Kingdom Come appearance, for example, in the modern era.

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  • About The Author

    JB Augustine

    Writer, journalist, comic reader. I cover all things DC and Godzilla. Fan since Batman TAS was brand new. Favorite character is between Swamp Thing and Darkwing Duck.