Val Kilmer famously appeared in Batman Forever back in 1995, and at the time, many wondered why he never came back to the franchise. A new report from Collider pointed to a New York Times profile in which it was insinuated that Val was difficult to work with. Details have never been revealed, however.
In 2017, the director of Batman Forever, Joel Schumacher, said to The Hollywood Reporter that Val Kilmer had the option to come back as Batman but he “dropped them at the eleventh hour” to appear in Island of Doctor Moreau.
Val wanted the role in the aforementioned film because Marlon Brando was going to be in it. During his conversation with Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Kilmer told, in his own words, why he chose not to star as Batman for the second time.
According to Kilmer, one day, between takes, Warren Buffet and his grandchildren stopped by the set and they were reportedly less interested in meeting Val Kilmer, the man who starred as Batman, than the actual set and gadgets, including the Batmobile.
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Kilmer explained that he suddenly realized that it didn’t matter who starred as Batman. That’s why there can be six or even seven of them. “There is no Batman,” Kilmer remarked. Additionally, Kilmer addressed the long withstanding rumors that he was a challenge to work with.
Kilmer said to the reporter that everyone in the world has their own moral code that they’re trying to live by, however, he truly feels bad about the way he treated others in the process. It appears as though Val is having some post-career regret.
With all that said, it’s possible that Val was correct anyway, considering there have been many different actors to portray Batman, including George Clooney, Christian Bale, Michael Keaton, Ben Affleck, and Robert Pattinson.
It’s probably not unreasonable to compare James Bond to Batman. Many actors have taken on the role of 007 over the last sixty years, including Daniel Craig, Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and many others, and the vast majority of them haven’t achieved legendary status, with the exception of Connery.