Nearly 25 years after it hit theaters, the response to Batman Forever hasn’t gotten any kinder. But it’s still more fondly remembered than Batman & Robin. The movie was also notable for featuring Val Kilmer’s sole appearance as the Caped Crusader. Now, Kilmer is sharing new insight into why his Batman tenure didn’t last beyond a single film.
Kilmer reflected on his time as the world’s greatest detective in a recent interview with The New York Times. He once again cited scheduling conflicts with 1997’s The Saint as the primary reason for hanging up the cape and cowl. However, he claims that another reason for his departure involved billionaire Warren Buffett visiting the Batman Forever set during production. Apparently, Buffett brought his grandkids to the shoot and they wanted to see the Dark Knight in the flesh, so Kilmer remained in costume to appease them. But the kids were only interested in wearing the mask or sitting in the Batmobile’s driver’s seat. Kilmer recalled that as the moment that he realized that the actor behind Batman’s cowl is irrelevant.
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“That’s why it’s so easy to have five or six Batmans,” said Kilmer. “It’s not about Batman. There is no Batman.”
There have been previous stories about the tense mood on the set of Batman Forever. In an interview published after Batman Forever was released, director Joel Schumacher called Kilmer “psychotic.” But during a sit-down with Vulture last summer, Schumacher conceded that the actor was “a fabulous Batman.”
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Recommended Reading: Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 1