FLASHBACK: 'Batman Forever' Turns 20! The Cast Gushes Over Franchise
By Denny Directo
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20 years ago Joel Schumacher pulled Batman out of the dark and gothic cave Tim Burton created in 1989's Batman and 1992's Batman Returns. What emerged was a fantastically campy, and vibrant take on the franchise in Batman Forever.
ET was with the star-studded cast back in 1995 when star Val Kilmer, who took over for Michael Keaton as the caped crusader, explained it wasn't a hard sell for him to sign on for the latest incarnation of Batman.
"Everything was different about this job than I'd experienced before," Kilmer told ET. "The size of the character and how strange it was that Michael Keaton had decided not to do it-- I just said yes, without reading the script."
Kilmer wasn't the only actor who jumped at the chance to join the franchise. In what was one of the more unexpected casting choices of the movie, Nicole Kidman signed on to play Batman's love interest Dr. Chase Meridian.
"I love the idea of doing something that was completely unpredictable for me," she said. "It's great to be able to go, 'Ok throw logic away!' Let's do something fun here and enjoy it and have a great time doing it."
"Batman is just this big, fun, Hollywood picture," Chris O' Donnell said, who was just 25-years-old when he was cast as Robin. "Sometimes you feel like I'm getting paid to run around on these giant sets."
Forever-- which premiered on June 16, 1995-- also featured high-profile actors such as Tommy Lee Jones as Harvey "Two-Face" Dent and Jim Carrey as The Riddler, the token villains of the film. For Carrey, it was an opportunity to be part of the history of one of his favorite superheroes.
"Just being a part of the Batman [folklore] it's something that I was into when I was a little kid," Carey told ET at the Hollywood premiere in 1995. "It's just part of Americana and it’s nice to be part of that."
Batman Forever was a box-office hit, collecting $350 million at the box office and earning three Academy Award nominations.
While the sequel, near-franchise killer Batman and Robin was much more divisive, Forever will stand as a pivotal turning point in the Batman franchise: one chock full of even more eye-popping visuals and blockbuster action than previous installments.
Consider it a colorful chapter in Batman's history book.