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Batman Forever is a 1995 superhero film based on the DC Comics character Batman. Joel Schumacher directed the film, which stars Val Kilmer as Batman, as well as Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman and Chris O'Donnell. Batman Forever tells the story of Batman (Kilmer) trying to stop Two-Face (Jones) and the Riddler's (Carrey) villainous scheme of draining information from all the brains in Gotham City. Batman gains alliance from psychiatrist Dr. Chase Meridian (Kidman) and adopted sidekick Robin (O'Donnell).
The film opens with Batman (Val Kilmer) stopping a hostage situation in a bank caused by Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones), alter ego of physically/emotionally scarred former district attorney, Harvey Dent. Two-Face escapes. Edward Nygma (Jim Carrey), a researcher at Wayne Enterprises develops a device to beam television directly to a person's brain. Bruce Wayne rejects the invention, noting that "it raised too many questions", and Edward resigns from his position.
After meeting psychiatrist Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman), Bruce invites her to a charity circus event. Two-Face and his henchmen storm the event in an attempt to discover Batman's secret identity, while acrobat family The Flying Graysons are murdered. The youngest member, Dick (Chris O'Donnell), survives and stops a bomb from exploding caused by Two-Face. Upon his return, he discovers Two-Face killed his family and escaped. Bruce assumes responsibility for Dick and allows him to stay at Wayne Manor. Dick declares his intention to kill Two-Face in revenge for his family's murder, and when he discovers Bruce's secret identity as Batman, he insists on becoming his sidekick, "Robin".
Meanwhile, Edward has become psychologically obsessed with Bruce, leaving riddles for him. He decides to become a criminal known as "The Riddler" and allies with Two-Face. With his invention, Edward can read and control people's minds, and steal their intelligence quotient. At a business party, Edward discovers Bruce's secret identity, while Robin saves Wayne's life. However, Two-Face and Riddler converge into the Batcave, destroying most of the equipment, and leaving another riddle.
Solving the last riddle, Batman and Robin locate the Riddler's lair. Robin is caught by Two Face. This leads to The Riddler holding both Robin and Dr. Meridian as hostages, giving Batman the choice of only being able to save one of them. He finds a way to save both, destroying the brainwave-collecting device and warping Riddler in the process. In the battle, Two-Face falls to his death. The Riddler is committed to Arkham Asylum, and Chase is asked to consult on his case. Riddler offers to reveal the identity of Batman to her, but he thinks himself Batman. Chase then meets Bruce Wayne outside and tells him his secret is safe.
The film ends with an image of the Bat-Signal, with Batman and Robin appearing as if running from the signal itself towards the camera in slow-motion, sometimes seen as a homage to the 1960s television series.
Even though Batman Returns was a financial success, Warner Bros. felt the film should have made more money. The studio decided to make the film series more mainstream. Joel Schumacher replaced Tim Burton as director, while Burton decided to stay on as producer. Burton approved of Schumacher. Lee and Janet Scott Batchler were then hired to write the script. Akiva Goldsman was brought to perform a rewrite. He delivered a "production draft" in June 1994. Production went on fast track with Rene Russo cast as Dr. Chase Meridian. Michael Keaton decided not to reprise Batman because he didn't like the new direction the film series was heading in. Keaton also wanted to pursue "more interesting roles", turning down $15 million to appear in Batman Forever. Val Kilmer was cast days later, and the filmmakers decided that Russo was too old for Kilmer, replacing her with a different actress.
Robin Wright Penn, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Linda Hamilton were in competition for Dr. Chase Meridian, with Penn appearing as the favorable choice. Nicole Kidman was eventually cast. Robin Williams turned down the Riddler, while Michael Jackson was attached to the role, but the filmmakers ignored him. Jim Carrey was eventually cast. Robin appeared in the shooting script of Batman Returns but was deleted due to too many characters. Marlon Wayans was cast in the role, and signed for Batman Forever. It was decided to replace with Wayans with a different actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Chris O'Donnell became the top two choices, with O'Donnell winning the part. Mitchell Gaylord served as O'Donnell's stunt double.
Filming started in September 1994. Rick Baker designed the prosthetic makeup. John Dykstra, Andrew Adamson and Jim Rygiel served as visual effects supervisors, with Boss Film Studios and Pacific Data Images also contributing with visual effects work. Schumacher had problems filming with Kilmer, while "Jim Carrey was a gentleman, and Tommy Lee was threatened by him. I'm tired of defending overpaid, overprivileged actors. I pray I don't work with them again."