Val Kilmer on Batman Forever: ‘It’s so bad, it’s almost good’


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“I was excited about being Batman, but not for artistic reasons,” Kilmer wrote. “With two franchises going-Batman and The Saint-I could start an artist community, write poetry and plays, and become the wild author I saw as my destiny.”

However, after accepting the Batman forever role without reading the script, his illusions about playing the Caped Crusader were quickly shattered. He eventually guessed the part was a trap, “and the trap was the suit.” The suit weighed nearly a hundred pounds and essentially deafened him, leaving Kilmer feeling isolated and seeking solace in the special chaise lounge they had set up for him.

“The chair became my friend, my crush, and my only comfort,” Kilmer said. “Oh, how I loved the chaise lounge!” It allowed him to sit back without bending over in all that rubber. The alleged greatest martial artist in the world couldn’t even sit back in a typical La-Z-Boy. Noting the other best part about the role being “half the Hollywood community” bringing their kids to meet him in costume, Kilmer has few positive thoughts about the production beyond that. In fact, he looked at those kids where he realized they didn’t care who was in the suit, noting that he might as well have been Betty White.

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Kilmer’s struggles with acting through the costume apparently informed some of his tension with director Joel Schumacher — whom he otherwise speaks glowingly about in his memoir — and his decision not to go through with the part. In fact, the documentary is more explicit about admitting that he chose not to make another Batman movie after that. Batman forever because of that experience, as opposed to scheduling conflicts (Kilmer quotes Warmth on the page as part of the reason it was unavailable for Batman & Robin, despite Warmth filmed almost two years earlier B&R went for cameras).

As regards Batman forever himself, Kilmer is fondly dismissive of its quality. In a telling anecdote, he recalled agreeing to show the film to his kids a few years after its release, but had to drive from his New Mexico ranch to the city to buy it because he didn’t have a VHS at home. had a copy. After the movie started, his kids quietly shuffled out one by one within the first 20 minutes, and Kilmer found himself watching the rest of the movie only “like a sucker.”

His review? “I mean, it’s so bad, it’s almost good.”

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