Val Kilmer has weighed in on the Batman sex controversy that has the Internet buzzing recently. In a Twitter post, Kilmer shared a GIF from Batman Forever, in which he starred as the Caped Crusader himself, featuring a famous scene where Nicole Kidman’s Dr. Chase Meridian hits on Batman while meeting up with him under the Bat-Signal. With his signature wit, Kilmer captioned the GIF with the question, “Does he or doesn’t he…?” clearly putting a playful spin on Meridian’s dialogue, inspired by the current explicit context hanging over the public discourse on Batman.
DC’s Harley Quinn animated series loves to put an adult-oriented spin on the Batman mythos and characters and, just earlier this week in an interview with Variety, co-creator and executive producer of Harley Quinn, Justin Halpern, revealed that there was one joke that the show couldn’t get past the execs at DC and Warner Bros., which would have featured Batman performing oral sex on Catwoman.
Does he or doesn’t he…? pic.twitter.com/oGVfqf0tUx
— Val Kilmer (@valkilmer) June 16, 2021
“In this third season of Harley we had a moment where Batman was going down on Catwoman,” Halpern said. “And DC was like, ‘You can’t do that. You absolutely cannot do that.’ They’re like, ‘Heroes don’t do that.’ So, we said, ‘Are you saying heroes are just selfish lovers?’ They were like, ‘No, it’s that we sell consumer toys for heroes. It’s hard to sell a toy if Batman is also going down on someone.’”
Understandably, the anecdote sparked all sorts of discussion on social media, with Kilmer even getting in on the hilarious banter.
This conversation also confirms that Batman is such a merchandising cash cow for DC and Warner Bros. that the companies are insanely rigid about how characters from the brand are used and depicted. In fact, this isn’t the first time the company has had to throttle back the character’s sexualization.
In 2018, The Dark Knight made more tantalizing headlines when one of DC’s adult-oriented Black Label comics (Batman: Damned) featured a panel of Bruce Wayne stripping out of his costume, with readers quickly pointing out how much of his anatomy was exposed, resulting in the publisher censoring the scene both in print and in digital copies of the book.
So far, it seems Zack Snyder has been the one to push the idea of Batman and his sex life the furthest in media, thanks to Ben Affleck’s Batman having not-so-subtle flirtations with Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman throughout Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, while another scene saw him waking up in his lakehouse bed with a model, pills, and alcohol.
Harley Quinn Season 3 is expected to debut on HBO Max later this year.