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We never got a recording of that live with Jim and now we've got it." However, Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek was less than enthusiastic with how Morrison was portrayed in Stone's interpretation.In the early 1990s, Kilmer starred in the mystery thriller Thunderheart, the action comedy The Real Mc Coy, and again teamed with Top Gun director Tony Scott to play Elvis Presley in True Romance, which was written by Quentin Tarantino. Originally a stage actor, Kilmer became popular in the mid-1980s after a string of appearances in comedy films, starting with Top Secret!(1984), then the cult classic Real Genius (1985), as well as the military action film Top Gun (1986), the fantasy film Willow (1988), and Doc Holliday in Tombstone (1993).George Clooney replaced Kilmer as Batman in 1997's Batman & Robin.There were also reports that Kilmer had not had a good working relationship with Schumacher, as another reason for not reprising the role. That year, Kilmer starred alongside Michael Douglas in the thriller The Ghost and the Darkness.In 1993, Kilmer played Doc Holliday in the western Tombstone alongside Kurt Russell.
His big break came when he received top billing in the comedy spoof of spy movies Top Secret! Kilmer sang all the songs in the film and released an album under the film character's name, "Nick Rivers." Following roles in the television films The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Man Who Broke 1,000 Chains, Kilmer played Madmartigan in the fantasy Willow; he met his future wife, co-star Joanne Whalley, on the film's set.Kilmer memorized the lyrics to all of lead singer Jim Morrison's songs prior to his audition, and sent a video of himself performing some Doors songs to director Stone.Stone was not impressed with the tape, but Paul Rothchild (the original producer of The Doors) said "I was shaken by it" and suggested they record Kilmer in the studio.Kilmer starred in the Colorado Shakespeare Festival production of Hamlet in 1988.In 1989, Kilmer played the lead in both Kill Me Again, again opposite Whalley, and in TNT's Billy the Kid.
That same year, his first off-stage acting role (excluding television commercials) came in the form of an episode of ABC Afterschool Special called One Too Many, which was an educational drama on drinking and driving; it also starred a young Michelle Pfeiffer.