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HomeEntertainmentVal Kilmer's Biggest Challenge Playing Batman Isn't What You'd Expect

Val Kilmer’s Biggest Challenge Playing Batman Isn’t What You’d Expect



Val Kilmer fought a harrowing battle with throat cancer after being diagnosed in 2014 (via People). Kilmer beat the disease, but the aggressive treatment significantly diminished his ability to speak, which is chronicled in the 2021 Prime Video original documentary “Val” — assembled from thousands of hours of personal video footage the actor took throughout his career. Only able to speak through a breathing tube in a low, raspy tone, Val Kilmer had his son, Jack Kilmer, read the story of his life and career in “Val,” which included some pointed observations about his time on “Batman Forever.”

As it turns out, even though the film had all the makings of an exciting blockbuster with a cast that included Nicole Kidman as Dr. Chase Meridian, Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face, and Jim Carrey as The Riddler, Kilmer found his time in the Batsuit limiting and ultimately, heartbreaking. “I took the part without even reading the script, but whatever boyish excitement I had going in was crushed by the reality of the Batsuit,” Kilmer explained through his son’s narration in the documentary (via Syfy). “When you’re in it, you can barely move, and people have to help you stand up and sit down.”

Kilmer also noted how he couldn’t hear anything while wearing Batman’s cowl, and eventually, people stopped talking to him. “It’s very isolating. It was a struggle for me to get a performance past the suit, and it was frustrating until I realized that my role in the film was just to show up and stand where I was told to,” Kilmer recalled.

The actor passed on another chance to play Batman, and the role went to George Clooney for 1997’s “Batman & Robin.” The film ended up being the last in the four-film series, earning only $238.2 million in ticket sales worldwide against a $125 million production budget (via Box Office Mojo). 

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