Val Kilmer opens up about quitting Batman
In 1995, audiences saw the return of DC Comics’ Dark Knight on the big screen in Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever that saw Val Kilmer (Top Gun) take over the role from Michael Keaton (Spider-Man: Homecoming) and despite its success, the star left the role before 1997’s Batman & Forever and now Kilmer has opened up about his decision to quit. (Via The Hollywood Reporter)
Previous interviews with Schumacher stated that Kilmer’s decision to not return for Batman & Robin came from the star’s desire to star in The Island of Doctor Moreau alongside Marlon Brando, saying Kilmer dropped Batman “at the eleventh hour,” but he reveals the bigger reason came from being unimpressed with the role and recalling a moment when billionaire Warren Buffett visited the set with his grandkids.
He described how the Buffetts visited one day while he remained in the Batsuit after hearing there were special guests stopping by the set, but after seeing the kids show no interest in talking to him and only wanting to play with the props and ride in the Batmobile, he realized there wasn’t anything special about the character and that anyone could take on the role.
Kilmer describes how he “relished” playing characters with some depth, such as Doc Holliday in Tombstone, and that he felt if he couldn’t do that he wanted to have fun playing his characters, even mentioning a desire to have been on Saturday Night Live, but that he had a moment of realization on the set of Batman Forever in which the character was neither unique nor entertaining for him to portray.