More than 25 years after its appearance in 1995 Batman Forever, Val Kilmer opens up on why he stopped playing the Dark Knight. Kilmer’s time as the dark knight was short lived, appearing in the Joel Schumacher-direction directed alongside Chris O’Donnell like Robin, Tommy Lee Jones like Harvey Dent / Two-Face, Jim Carrey like The Riddler, and Nicole Kidman like Dr. Chase Meridian.
Before Kilmer’s comments were published earlier this week in a long New York Times profile, the only side of the story we had to go through was that the allusions to Kilmer may have been difficult to work with. Schumacher’s comments from 2017 via The Hollywood Reporter include his own explanation of why Kilmer stopped playing Batman: “He wanted to do Doctor Moreau’s Island because Marlon Brando was going to be part of it. So he dropped us off at the eleventh hour. Now Kilmer sets the record straight when he leaves Batman, helping to clarify the exact moment he wanted to leave the role.
While speaking with the NYT Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Kilmer recalled a moment that made it clear to him that he didn’t want to play Batman after Batman Forever. By Kilmer, one day between filming, he stayed in costume because he heard that visitors were coming to the set who wanted to see him in his costume. These visitors turned out to be Warren Buffet and his grandchildren, who were apparently less interested in seeing Kilmer all adapted and started and more interested in looking at the sets and accessories, including the Batmobile. Kilmer told Brodesser-Akner that moment made him realize that no matter who plays Batman: “This is why it is so easy to have five or six Batman. It’s not about Batman. There is no Batman. “
Kilmer also addressed these past stories that have circulated about the difficulty of working with and perhaps the loss of work due to this reputation. He shared: “Everyone must find their own salvation. How to live and according to what moral, and I found that the part that hurts me hurts someone in the process. “
Kilmer’s franchise to leave Batman will no doubt be invaluable to fans looking to deepen their understanding of the actor’s time playing Batman. While a number of A-listers have tackled the role of Batman after Kilmer – George Clooney, Ben affleck, Christian Bale, etc, Robert Pattinson – It’s the Batman Forever alum’s contributions to the role and playing time of the Dark Knight, which remain a unique moment in the character’s film history.
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