There are few comic book heroes with more live-action or animated adaptations than Batman. From the campy but beloved Adam West version of the 1960s to the dark and gritty reimagination of Robert Pattinson’s The Batman, much of the character stays faithful to the source material. However, not every version of Batman goes over well with fans. After the success of Tim Burton’s two Michael Keaton-led films, Batman and Batman Returns, Warner Bros put the third movie in motion. The only issue is that Tim Burton left the project, along with Keaton. The franchise was then handed over to Joel Schumacher and Val Kilmer, taking a lighter and more kid-friendly approach to The Dark Knight. Batman Forever did not do as well as its predecessors but became a cult classic. Recently, the actor addressed the possibility of his return.
Jim Vejvoda of IGN took to Twitter to document his email correspondence with Val Kilmer. While most of the back and forth focused on Top Gun: Maverick‘s digital release, Vejvoda asked a few other questions that delved into his other famous roles. The first was which sequel to one of his films he would like to be involved with, to which he responded with Heat. The second was if he could return to the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman now that we have multiverses and continue to see past actors return to their old parts. Kilmer responded with a simple, “Yea please.” Kilmer recently appeared in one of his most famous roles, Iceman, in Top Gun: Maverick, bringing a deep level of emotion to the film. A similar revisit to Batman could serve as an incredible swan song for the actor.
Val Kilmer appeared as Batman in the 1995 film Batman Forever and saw the Dark Knight take his fellow orphan, Dick Grayson (Chris O’Donnell), under his wing. The timing for his connection with his ward couldn’t have come at a better time as Gotham had to deal with Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and Riddler (Jim Carrey). The film also featured Nicole Kidman as Dr. Chase Meridian; a psychiatrist obsessed with Batman but in love with Bruce Wayne. One critic said it was flawed and brilliant and messy but impressive, playing on its own Two-Face duality. The film was successful enough to call for a fourth movie, but Kilmer opted out, saying he felt isolated in the suit and wanted no part of a sequel.
Don’t hold your breath for an appearance from Val Kilmer in any Batman feature coming up. While Ben Affleck is returning for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and Michael Keaton is set to reprise in Flash, the DCEU seems to be winding down under the Discovery merger. There is also the matter of Kilmer’s health. While he ultimately beat throat cancer, the chemotherapy and multiple surgeries left him without a voice, causing the team to find a workaround in his recent Top Gun sequel. Bruce Wayne struggling the same way is probably not how Warner Bros. wants to portray their most profitable character. Still, it would be amazing to see him show up in a cameo at some point.