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‘I Don’t Wanna Be the Boy Wonder to Anybody’: Eddie Murphy Almost Landed Comedic Role as Batman, But Bill Murray Refused to Play Robin

Saturday Night Live,” NBC’s premier late-night comedy variety show, has produced some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Names like Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Tina Fey, Dan Aykroyd, Maya Rudolph, Jimmy Fallon, and Will Ferrell are just a few names of people who starred on the show and left to conquer Tinseltown.

But few have made as great of an impact as Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy.

So, when director Ivan Reitman decided to bring one of America’s greatest superheroes, Batman, to the big screen his hope was to capitalize on both Murray and Murphy’s star power to get butts in theater seats.

However, after approaching both comedians about the script, neither one of them wanted to play Robin, the Dark Knight’s sidekick.

NEW YORK CITY – MARCH 12: Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy attend Hard Rock Cafe Grand Opening on March 12, 1984 in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Murray said in a Yahoo! Entertainment interview, “I talked to Eddie Murphy about it, and Eddie wanted to play Batman. That’s as far as that conversation went.”

In the 1980s, when they were being considered for the role, there was no bigger box office draw than comedian Eddie Murphy. 

Though Murray had worked with Reitman on the mega-hit film “Ghostbuster,” he knew that Murphy wasn’t budging. 

Murray said, “I don’t wanna be the Boy Wonder to anybody.”

“Maybe much earlier when I was a boy. But it was too late for that by the ’80s. Also, I couldn’t do the outfit,” he joked. “Eddie looks good in purple, and I look good in purple. In red and green, I look like one of Santa’s elves. There was just a lot of vanity involved in the production. It wasn’t gonna happen.”

Fans were mixed on the idea of the two of them in the DC Universe classic.

Some seem to be happy that it didn’t happen. One fan tweeted, “Whoa. I never knew this could’ve been a thing and…THANK GOODNESS IT DID NOT HAPPEN. whew. Bullet dodged.”

Others wish that it would have, “There is an alternate universe that exists where Ivan Reitman made his #Batman movie with Bill Murray as the Bat and Eddie Murphy as Robin and it’s a real bummer I don’t live in that universe. I bet that universe version of me loved it.”

Then there were those, who simply don’t believe that the two ever were options to play the dynamic duo.

Zach tweeted, “I don’t care what proof you show me, I will never believe that Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy almost played Batman and Robin.”

But it was a serious consideration. Executive producer Michael Uslan, who produced every Batman film since 1979, confirmed Reitman’s vision, further backing up Murray’s story. His goal was to try anything to make the character Batman a huge success in theaters.

Uslan concluded, “Things are meant to happen, and they happen.”

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