Michael Keaton at the 'Clear History' Premiere on July 31, 2013Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Back when Tim Burton cast his "Beetlejuice" star and comedian Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight in 1989's "Batman," people weren't exactly thrilled. This guy is going to be Batman? was generally the shared sentiment. But since that happened pre-Internet, there was (mercifully) no widespread, meme-driven outrage.

Keaton went on to deliver perhaps the definitive dramatic interpretation of the beloved DC Comics superhero, and after the movie everyone who'd doubted Keaton's abilities could be seen sheepishly tugging on their collars. Following the similar indignation that's met Zack Snyder's casting of Ben Affleck in the cape and cowl for his forthcoming "Man of Steel" sequel, an intrepid TMZ photographer asked Keaton what he thinks of the decision.

"He's gonna be great!" exclaims Keaton, who played Batman in both "Batman" and "Batman Returns," the nightmarish descent into Burtonian madness that was also supposed to be a kids' movie (complete with Happy Meal tie-ins).

So there you have it -- an old Batman endorses a new Batman, just as Val Kilmer and Adam West have already done. With George Clooney missing his chance to sound off, we now wait with baited breath for Christian Bale's take. (Or not.)

Affleck steps into the rubbery shoes of those who came before him in February. "Man of Steel 2"/"Batman vs. Superman"/"Superman vs. Batman" (with Henry Cavill once again playing the titular Man of Tomorrow) will be out in the summer of 2015, alongside "Star Wars: Episode VII," "Pirates of the Caribbean 5," and "The Avengers: Age of Ultron." Sorry, arty movies, you've been put on notice.

[via TMZ h/t Variety]

Michael Keaton's Thoughts on Ben Affleck as Batman