See the Cast of ‘Batman Forever’ Then and Now
Way back before Christopher Nolan made his amazing ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy, there was the neon-colored and wacky ‘Batman Forever,’ starring Val Kilmer as the caped crusader. Let’s take a look back at the cast of the film and see what they’re up to now.
Val Kilmer, Bruce Wayne/Batman
Then: Val Kilmer wasn’t originally supposed to be Batman — Michael Keaton was going to return for the third film after starring in the first two, directed by Tim Burton. But after meeting with director Joel Schumacher for ‘Batman Forever,’ he declined. Other actors considered for the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman before Kilmer: Alec Baldwin, Daniel Day-Lewis, Kurt Russell, Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp. Kilmer took the role without even reading the script.
Now: Kilmer has had a very diverse career, often playing edgy and dark roles in films like ‘Wonderland’ and ‘The Salton Sea.’ He had a bit of a career resurgence a few years ago when he played the villain in the underrated comedy ‘MacGruber.’
Chris O’Donnell, Dick Grayson/Robin
Then: When Tim Burton was still attached to direct the film, his choice for Robin was Marlon Wayans, but when Schumacher took over, Christian Bale auditioned for the part. (Bale would of course go on to play Batman in Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed trilogy.) Chris O’Donnell ended up getting the part, and although he had to use a professional gymnast for his stunts, he demanded to be allowed to drive the Batmobile. (Unfortunately he ended up crashing it into a curb.)
Now: O’Donnell was a star to watch in the ’90s, but in recent years he’s been a little less front and center. He had a recurring role on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ for nine episodes, and currently stars in ‘NCIS: Los Angeles.’
Nicole Kidman, Dr. Chase Meridian
Then: Rene Russo was originally cast as Dr. Chase Meridian when Michael Keaton was still attached to play Batman, but when he dropped out, Schumacher looked to Nicole Kidman. At first, he wanted Kidman to play the role of Poison Ivy, but then he decided that three villains was too many, and cast Kidman in the role of the psychologist who woos Batman.
Now: We hardly have to tell you what Kidman’s been up to — the wildly successful Australian actress won the Academy Award for best actress in 2003 for her role in ‘The Hours.’ She was seen most recently in the dark drama ‘Stoker,’ and can be seen next as Princess Grace in ‘Grace of Monaco.’
Jim Carrey, Edward Nigma/The Riddler
Then: When Burton was still attached to direct, he considered former Monkees band member Micky Dolenz for the role of The Riddler. When Schumacher came on, he wanted Robin Williams, but Williams was still upset over being used as a pawn to lure Jack Nicholson into playing Joker in Burton’s ‘Batman.’ The role eventually went to rubber-faced comedian Jim Carrey, who impressed Schumacher with his antics in the ‘Ace Ventura’ films.
Now: Carrey still does his comedic schtick on the big screen, but over the years has evolved and played more mature roles, like heartbroken Joel in ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.’ You can see him next in the dark superhero comedy ‘Kick-Ass 2.’
Tommy Lee Jones, Harvey Dent/Two-Face
Then: Tommy Lee Jones was Schumacher’s first choice to play the role of Harvey Dent/Two-Face thanks to their work together on ‘The Client,’ and Jones accepted because Two-Face was his then 11-year-old son’s favorite character.
Now: Jones is known mostly for his work in dramas, but ‘Batman Forever’ and ‘Men in Black’ showed audiences a different side of the serious star. The actor is still quite busy at the age of 66, and had three films last year: ‘Hope Springs,’ ‘Men in Black 3′ and his acclaimed turn in ‘Lincoln,’ for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Drew Barrymore, Sugar
Then: Well-known actress and former child star Drew Barrymore had a small role as Sugar, the “sweet” assistant to Two-Face.
Now: Though Barrymore had been acting steadily since childhood, it wasn’t until a couple of years after ‘Batman Forever’ that she began to break out as a big star. In 2009, she made her directorial debut with ‘Whip It,’ a film in which she also starred, and that same year she played Little Edie Beale in the HBO film ‘Grey Gardens,’ earning her several award nominations.
Debi Mazar, Spice
Then: Actress Debi Mazar was cast as Spice, the naughty assistant to Two-Face. Often cast as a Jersey Girl type, Mazar had previously worked with Val Kilmer on ‘The Doors.’
Now: In addition to acting, Mazar is known for being quite the foodie. She was a guest judge on the Bravo series ‘Top Chef,’ and hosted the ‘Extra Virgin’ show on The Cooking Channel.
Jon Favreau, Extra
Then: Actor, writer, and director Jon Favreau had a very small role as an extra in ‘Batman Forever’ — it was during the scene in which Bruce Wayne meets with corporate businessmen. That’s him on the far left in the photo above.
Now: Favreau went on to direct superhero movies of his own: ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Iron Man 2,’ in which he also starred in a supporting role. Up next for Favreau, he’ll be directing the comedy ‘Chef,’ reuniting him with his ‘Iron Man’ buddies Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson.