Batman has been a staple of Hollywood for decades now. During that time, many big stars have taken on the role, including Michael Keaton, Christian Bale and Ben Affleck - each of them putting their own unique stamp on it. However, one major performer who often finds himself overlooked when it comes to the men behind the Bat is Val Kilmer.
Kilmer took on the mantle of the Caped Crusader in 1995's Batman Forever and, despite leading the film rather well, he just doesn't receive the attention that his fellow Dark Knights do. That's more than likely down to the fact that his performance landed somewhere in the middle of the spectrum as far as the original Batman franchise was concerned.
It's true that he never quite reached the heights of his predecessor Michael Keaton, who turned in two incredible performances in both Batman and Batman Returns, but he also never hit the dramatic lows of George Clooney's overly campy offering in the reviled Batman & Robin. He wasn't the best and he wasn't the worst and, as a result, less people have an opinion on him.
That being said, there was a certain charm to Kilmer's offering that deserves more appreciation, and with that in mind, he may just be the big-screen's most underrated Dark Knight.
10. He Was In A Different League To George Clooney
Let's get this one out of the way first.
Much of the underappreciation of Kilmer's turn as the Dark Knight stems from the fact that he appeared in a Joel Schumacher Batman movie, and due to the crimes that Schumacher committed against the franchise in the abominable Batman & Robin, fans are quick to criticise everything he touched. Thus, Kilmer's Batman (and Batman Forever in general) is also unfairly dragged along for the ride aboard the shame train.
George Clooney's performance in Batman & Robin felt more like a tongue-in-cheek caricature of what the character was supposed to be and that played a large part in why the film was received so negatively. Kilmer, on the other hand, was far more believable in the role and managed to provide us with a strong Caped Crusader - both in story and appearance.
It's nothing short of ridiculous to compare them.