Val Kilmer Explains Why He Hated Playing Batman
Val Kilmer, who played Batman in 1995's Batman Forever, has explained what drove him away from the role, and why he didn't return for Batman and Robin.
Val Kilmer taken on some huge roles in his time, including Jim Morrison in The Doors and Doc Holliday in Tombstone, but there's one major role he took that perhaps did him more harm than good. Val Kilmer played Batman in 1995's somewhat ironically titled Batman Forever, and dropped out before Batman and Robin. The reviews were not kind--and neither was director Joel Schumacher, who has not been particularly charitable when talking about the actor.
Now, in a lengthy (and excellent) deep-dive into his career and current life with The New York Times, Kilmer--who has difficulty speaking now after receiving a tracheostomy for throat cancer--has opened up about the role. Although he has previously cited scheduling conflicts as the reason for stepping away, it turns out that Kilmer just outright did not enjoy playing Batman, and that a set visit led to a realization for him.
In the piece, Kilmer recalls that Warren Buffett and his grandchildren visited the set to meet Batman, and that he stayed around in the suit for their sake. However, once the kids arrived, it became clear that they didn't actually care about meeting Batman, and wanted to play with his gadgets instead. "That’s why it’s so easy to have five or six Batmans," he told the reporter. "It’s not about Batman. There is no Batman." On top of this, the suit was extremely uncomfortable to wear.
The article also shows off a weird trinket from Kilmer's home--a big, detailed Batman statue, with Batman's head removed and replaced with the head of Mark Twain.
Val Kilmer is set to appear in Top Gun Maverick on December 23, reprising the role of Iceman.
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