Why Val Kilmer Quit Batman

How an encounter with a billionaire changed Batman movie history...

Val Kilmer Batman
Warner Bros.

Since the first ever Batman serial was released all the way back in 1943 we've seen a whole host of actors don the famous cape and pointy ears in various films, defending Gotham city against a colourful assortment of compelling villains... and Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr. Freeze was there as well.

Some of these portrayals cemented an actor as a bonafide Hollywood superstar, such as Christian Bale's iconic iteration of Bruce Wayne/The Dark Knight and even Ben Affleck's Caped Crusader was lauded for a spell. Some actors loved playing the character so much that they had no desire to leave. Michael Keaton would have returned if Tim Burton hadn't left and Adam West loved Batman so much he tried to buy the rights to make more movies and when that didn't work he just made up his own rip-off called SuperBat.


However, there have been some performers who quite clearly despised their time walking in Wayne's shoes or Batman's boots or both and this led to them eventually choosing to leave the world of Gotham behind for good. George Clooney really didn't have a good time, for instance and Ben Affleck has been pretty vocal on his struggles under the cowl.


Lifts rubber and metal. Watches people flip in spandex and pretends to be other individuals from time to time...