The Batman franchise is at a new crossroads with the onset of a brand new director and actor combination in the form of Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson. Together the two will chart a new course for the Dark Knight in Reeves The Batman project, bringing a new actor to a legacy that includes Christian Bale, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and most recently Ben Affleck. The Kilmer Clooney era was steered by director Joel Schumacher, and in a recent interview, Schumacher reiterated his pick for best Batman in the franchise, which according to him is Val Kilmer from Batman Forever.
During that interview, the interviewer brought up two directors on The Island of Dr. Moreau that said Kilmer was a nightmare to work with, and while Schumacher is aware of what happened during that film, his experience with Kilmer was nothing but great (via Vulture).
"I was not there," Schumacher said. "I think Richard Stanley, South African indie-horror director Richard Stanley, who had been obsessed with The Island of Dr. Moreau since childhood, was fired from his passion project three days into production to appease Kilmer and replaced with John Frankenheimer. Stanley snuck back on set for the remainder of the production disguised as one of Moreau's "humanimals." Told me he had a nervous breakdown. I do know Marlon Brando threw Val's cell phone in the bushes and said, 'Young man, don't confuse your ego with the size of your salary, ever.' Here's the difference between Val Kilmer and Tommy Lee Jones. I don't care what state Tommy is in emotionally, when that camera rolls, there is no bad take. Val is a different story. But he was a fabulous Batman."
In a previous conversation, Schumacher said Kilmer was his favorite over Keaton and Clooney, and he isn't changing his tune, though he did make sure to point out the failure of Batman and Robin was not Clooney's fault. "You know George always says [the failure of] Batman & Robin was his fault. No, it's not," Schumacher said.
It was brought up that during a whole press tour Clooney joked he killed the franchise, but Schumacher says that is not the case. "Well, you know, that's very George," Schumacher said. "First of all, Batman has survived since 1939 — we're the same age. Nothing has ever stopped Batman."
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