Get lost, Superman—it’s Batman who’s faster than a speeding bullet. Just months after the Caped Crusader raked in $183 million at the box office and ran both the Riddler and Judge Dredd out of town, Hollywood is revving up the Batmobile for 1997’s Batman and Robin, the fourth chapter in the superhero’s saga. Both Val Kilmer and Chris O’Donnell are expected to return to the title roles, but who will they fight and flirt with? A flock of rumors have taken wing—some correct, some clueless. To wit:

Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl. Was the star of Clueless hiding a cowl in that well-stocked closet? Batman Forever‘s director, Joel Schumacher, denies nothing: ”How could Alicia not be on the list?” Silverstone (pictured, right), who starts shooting Excess Baggage in early ’96, would only say, ”Batgirl—that sounds good. I’m a really good friend of Joel’s and would die to work with him.” No one else has been mentioned to play the furtive teen crime fighter who rubs feathers with Robin.

Julia Roberts or Demi Moore as Poison Ivy. Has a battle royal broken out over the role of a psycho botanist? Schumacher won’t touch that one, although he bucks a rumor that Moore’s casting is all but certain. ”How do you know I’m thinking of her?” he asks. ”How do you know if I’ve even offered it to her?” Insiders think Schumacher may hand the leaf to Roberts, thanks to a friendship dating back to 1990’s Flatliners. Still, Moore’s and Roberts’ $12 million price tags might make them prohibitively expensive and lead to the casting of someone cheaper, like Sharon Stone, who earns a mere $7 million—though her pay-dirt performance in Casino may up her stakes.

Patrick Stewart as Mr. Freeze. The idea of Star Trek‘s Stewart playing a walking Popsicle may sound like an Internet daydream, but Schumacher has confided to Stewart’s agent that his client is ”on the list.” The problem: Stewart is already booked to shoot three movies in ’96. As for perpetual Batbridesmaid Robin Williams, he may have frozen himself out of the role by balking at the Riddler once too often.

Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman. Scratch that rumor. Pfeiffer is game to do a Catwoman flick, but an early script didn’t make her purr. In the meantime, count on even more baddies rooting around in the alleys of Gotham. May we suggest Babe as…Batpig?

Jeff Gordinier, with reporting by Jeffrey Wells

Batman Forever

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 122 minutes
  • Joel Schumacher