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Val Kilmer details "frustrating" time on the set of Batman Forever

Val Kilmer in Batman Forever
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Batman Forever remains one of the most controversial comic book movies of all time. Val Kilmer's only appearance in the Cowl, Batman Forever was met with poor reviews and remains the butt of many Bat-jokes – though, not as many as George Clooney's sequel Batman & Robin.

Kilmer has spoken about the role on many occasions and his most recent words on the Batman role are perhaps the most revealing. Amazon Prime US has released a new film, Val, documenting the actor's life and told through filmed footage shot by Kilmer himself. However, due to previously having throat cancer, the actor now uses an electronic voice box, and the documentary is instead narrated by Kilmer's son, Jack Kilmer. The words being said, though, are Val's own.

"I was in shock and disbelief, mostly because I had just been exploring a remote bat cave," Kilmer recalls of being offered the Batman role (via ComicBook). "By Hollywood standards Batman is the ultimate leading role and a dream come true. 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. 

"When you're in it, you can barely move and people have to help you stand up and sit down. You also can't hear anything and after a while people stop talking to you, 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 went on to discuss his follow actors, Tommy Lee, who played the villain Two-Face, and Jim Carrey, who portrayed The Riddler. "Actors like Tommy Lee Jones had designed this whole performance, and so had Jim Carrey...It was just so huge I think it made no difference what I was doing," Kilmer says. "I tried to be like an actor on a soap opera. They way I would turn to Nicole [Kidman, who played love interest, Dr. Chase Meridian]. Go count how many times I put my hands on my hips. I don't how they come up with this style of acting but they seem to go 'Go to soap opera school.'"

Many actors who have taken up the Batsuit have lamented the experience, but at least Kilmer's was not beset by Bat-nipples... Anyway... Batman will return to the big screen next year in The Batman, with Robert Pattinson taking on the role. the character will then appear again in The Flash, with Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck returning to the role. It's going to be a Bat-party.

Meanwhile, Kilmer's documentary is streaming on Amazon in the US, while the actor is said to have a cameo role in the Top Gun sequel, Top Gun: Maverick. For more, check out the most exciting upcoming movies heading our way.

Jack Shepherd

I'm the Entertainment Editor over here at GamesRadar+, bringing you all the latest movie and TV news, reviews, and features, plus I look after the Total Film and SFX sections and socials. I used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film