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Batman Forever What the Hell Happened to Val Kilmer?


Mar 22, 2008
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In the 80′s, Val Kilmer was Tom Cruise’s rival both on-screen and off. Top Gun launched the actor to super stardom and Batman cemented his status at the top of the A-list. But then, Kilmer’s career spiraled out of control. Today, the former sex symbol is a bloated tabloid joke and his movies go straight to video.

What the hell happened?

1993 was a busy year for Kilmer. It started off slowly with the utterly forgettable Kim Basinger heist movie, The Real McCoy. The couple had so little chemistry on-screen that it caused Basinger’s Vicki Vale to be written out of Batman Forever.

When Michael Keaton was set to star in the third Batman film, Warner Brothers wanted to bring back Basinger’s Vicki Vale character from the first film. But when Keaton left and Kilmer took on the role, the studio remembered how they stunk up the screen in The Real McCoy and decided to create a new love interest for Kilmer’s Batman.

According to one exec on the set of The Real McCoy, Kilmer once became enraged when a scene wasn’t altered to his liking. Kilmer reportedly started firing his prop gun at a car.

By now, Kilmer had paid his dues. With 1995′s Batman Forever, it was finally time for him to make the A-list. When Michael Keaton decided he was rich enough not to have to deal with any more crummy Batman movies, Val Kilmer was picked to usher in the Age of Schumacher.

Opinions on Kilmer’s turn as Batman are divided. For my money, he looked okay in the Batsuit. But he slept-walked through his scenes as Bruce Wayne.

In recent interviews, Joel Schumacher picked Kilmer as the best screen Batman. Over Keaton. Over Bale. Even over Adam West. You might think this is unsurprising given that Schumacher cast Kilmer in the role. But remember, Schumacher would go on to fire him before Batman and Robin.

Despite the fact that nobody really liked it very much, Batman Forever was a huge hit at the box office. It was lighter and more kid-friendly than the previous Batman movie which gave Joel Schumacher a lot of pull with Warner Brothers when it came time to make a sequel.

This was unfortunate for Kilmer. His on-set antics put him at odds with Schumacher. Schumacher claimed that the fights escalated into a shoving match. The end result was that Kilmer was out as Batman after only one film.

Schumacher recounted working with Kilmer on Batman Forever. “He was being irrational and ballistic with the first AD, the cameraman, the costume people. He was badly behaved, rude and inappropriate…We had two weeks where he did not speak to me, but it was bliss.”
I call BS on the Vickie Vale thing. not that maybe they were thinking of doing it at one point,but that once Kilmer came on they took her out and made up a new love interest. cause it's widely known that Chase Meridian was going to be the love interest even before Keaton dropped out. Rene Russo was cast opposite Keaton,and when he dropped out they decided she was too old for the younger Kilmer's Batman,so they cast Nicole Kidman to replace her.

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