The Joel Schumacher era isn’t exactly held in high regard by fans, which is completely understandable when Batman & Robin is still regarded as one of the worst comic book adaptations ever made, but Batman Forever is far from the unmitigated disaster that its predecessor was. It’s not a classic by any means, but it remains a reasonably diverting blockbuster by mid-1990s standards.
That being said, the behind the scenes stories are arguably a lot more entertaining than the majority of the movie itself, in terms of what happened both before and during production. Ethan Hawke was the first name to be offered the title role only to turn it down, something he admitted that he regretted in the aftermath, and then Val Kilmer signed on without reading a script or knowing who the director was.
That turned out to be a bad move in hindsight, with the actor and director famously not getting along. Then there’s the infamous bitterness from Tommy Lee Jones towards Jim Carrey, who openly admitted that he didn’t like his co-star and refused to sanction his buffoonery.
Yesterday marked the 26th anniversary of Batman Forever‘s release, though, and Kilmer took to social media to celebrate the occasion, as you can see below.
￼￼￼Has it really been 26 years since Batman Forever? I always love learning more about this character. So complex and nuanced. Here’s one you might find fun, especially if you’re a fan of Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One. Bruce Wayne becomes Batman at age 26. Forever yours pic.twitter.com/GTHo4dZWEV
— Val Kilmer (@valkilmer) June 16, 2021
Factor in tales of Michael Jackson lobbying hard for the Riddler, a young Leonardo DiCaprio auditioning for Robin and Rene Russo being booted out of the Chase Meridian role for being deemed too old to be Kilmer’s love interest, despite the fact that the actress is only six years older than the leading man, and it paints a fascinating picture of how wild the journey of Batman Forever really was, even if it ultimately served as the beginning of the end for the original franchise.