US actor Val Kilmer in costume as Batman in scene from the film Batman Forever.
US actor Val Kilmer in costume as Batman in scene from the film Batman Forever. Supplied

Why star quit after one Batman film

Val Kilmer is finally coming clean about one of his most famous one-off Hollywood roles that left many wondering why he didn't continue.

The 60-year-old starred in the 1995 film Batman Forever as the secretive Bruce Wayne and opened up about his decision to step back from playing the caped crusader after just a single film.

Simply put, the Top Gun star told the New York Times in a Sunday feature that he walked away from donning the superhero's cape because he took umbrage with the fact that fans were more concerned about Batman's look and lifestyle instead of Kilmer's performance.

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"That's why it's so easy to have five or six Batmans," he said. "It's not about Batman. There is no Batman."

Driving home his notion, Kilmer recalled a moment when Warren Buffett brought his grandchildren to the set during the filming of the movie, and Kilmer took the extra time to stay in costume so Buffett's grandkids could meet Batman.

Kilmer as Batman: He said it felt like he could’ve been anyone under the iconic batsuit.
Kilmer as Batman: He said it felt like he could’ve been anyone under the iconic batsuit.

Instead, Kilmer said the little ones weren't exactly interested in him as Batman, so much as they wanted to encompass the hero by putting on the mask and riding around in the famed Batmobile.

Additionally, the actor was at the top of his game and had multiple projects in the works, including the 1997 thriller The Saint, which would have created a scheduling conflict in the event Kilmer did elect to sign on for another Batman flick.

As of late, Kilmer has been increasingly open about his journey in and around Hollywood.

Kilmer’s career was riding high when he took on the role of Bruce Wayne.
Kilmer’s career was riding high when he took on the role of Bruce Wayne.

Last month in a published excerpt from his memoir, I'm Your Huckleberry, the Kiss Kiss Bang Bang performer revealed the epic dichotomy shared between Tom Cruise and himself during the pair's filming of Top Gun. Kilmer claimed Cruise was "laser-focused" on shooting the movie while Kilmer and his cronies "were the party boys" of the bunch.

"Every night we'd hit the San Diego nightlife," he revealed in excerpts published by the Daily Beast at the time. "Once we were stuck at an intersection where all four lights were red. I peeled out, spinning and burning rubber in a perfect circle, showing off. Until we cozied right up to a cop car. He looked at me like, 'Really, dude?'"

Kilmer wrote in the excerpt that the officer "didn't even bother turning on his lights," and Kilmer knew he was busted.

Kilmer starred alongside Nicole Kidman – then-wife of his old Top Gun co-star Tom Cruise – in Batman Forever.
Kilmer starred alongside Nicole Kidman – then-wife of his old Top Gun co-star Tom Cruise – in Batman Forever.

"I just pulled over and begged my drunken passengers, in my firm Iceman voice, to sit up straight and to let me do all the talking," Kilmer explained. "Since I hadn't been drinking, I was able to quickly rely on my actor's instinct."

The Heat star said the crew got lucky when they were sent on their way with just a slap on the wrist.

Meanwhile, Cruise, now 57, took the gig a lot more seriously, and the time spent perfecting his performance was noticed by everyone.

"Tom refrained from our revelry, with good reason," Kilmer recalled, according to the excerpts obtained by the outlet.

"From day one, he was laser-focused on a singular goal: to become the greatest action hero in the history of film. He was up nights learning lines; he spent every waking hour perfecting his stunts. His dedication was admirable. Of course, even more admirable is the fact that he achieved his goal."

This story originally appeared on Fox News and is republished here with permission.

Originally published as Why star quit after one Batman film

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