Batman has come a very long way on screen from its relatively humble Adam West roots. DC Comics' beloved crimefighter is in a bit of an odd spot right now following the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, with Ben Affleck set to reprise his role in Justice League and probably a solo Batman movie after that, but the future beyond is less certain. So, what should Warner Bros. do if they need to fill those shoes once again? Well, they could always give Val Kilmer a call again, because he would be totally up for it.
The 57-year-old actor recently did a Reddit AMA and at one point, he was asked about the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne, which he took on in 1995's Batman Forever. Specifically, he was asked whether or not he would reprise the role one more time, given the chance. His response was very simple and definitive.
Val Kilmer had a pretty tall order when he took over the role of the Caped Crusader in director Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever. Not only was he taking over for Michael Keaton, but director Tim Burton was stepping aside to make way for a much different take on the material. Plus, he had to try and match both Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey at the height of their powers as two very charismatic, if silly, villains. It was an unenviable task that he couldn't really live up to. Here is how critic Brian Lowry put it in his review of Batman Forever, which sums things up pretty well.
"As for Kilmer, he gamely steps into the dual Batman/Wayne role but can't get much traction, finding, as Michael Keaton had, that beyond a stern jaw there's not much to be done with it, since the suit does most of the work."
Despite being a box office success, grossing in $336.5 million worldwide, the movie didn't do very well with fans and critics. Batman Forever currently holds a lousy 40 percent approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. That helped pave the way for Batman & Robin, which brought in George Clooney as Batman and is easily regarded as the worst movie in the history of the franchise. Those who truly hate Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice would do well to revisit that movie. So, even if Val Kilmer wasn't the best Batman (not by a long shot), he probably wasn't the worst.
The odds of Val Kilmer ever getting the chance to play the Dark Knight again are slim to none. But nothing is impossible. There are plenty of animated DC Comics movies and there is nothing that says he couldn't voice the character in an animated Batman movie. Arnold Schwarzenegger also expressed interest in possibly playing a comic book movie villain again. Maybe the two could pair up? But probably not, because Warner Bros. is committed to the DCEU at this point and, let's be honest, nobody really wants to see an almost 60 Val Kilmer playing Batman again.