The classic 1962 Batman TV show is making a comeback this weekend with the premiere of a new animated movie, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, at New York Comic Con. A sequel to that throwback movie has already been announced, and while the future of the campy Batman looks bright, it doesn't hurt to look into the show's past. While at the Con, actor Adam West revealed the guest star he wanted most to appear on the show: Kim Novak. It never happened but West remembers the story of how he met the actress.
One day, Kim Novak called my assistant and said, 'Do you think he would have lunch with me?" Should I spill? So, I put on my bathrobe over my costume, took off the cowl. Up pulls this Jaguar convertible, with her driving. And I said, 'Oh my god, I'm the luckiest bat in the world.' I got in the car, and we had lunch. And we had a good time. And she drove me back to stage and I just had a feeling that she really wanted to do the show with me. And she just came off that wonderful movie with Jimmy Stewart, called Vertigo (1958), so I was quite impressed and I would have loved to have worked with her --- as one of the characters.
While at New York Comic Con, Adam West was asked by ComicBook.com what he regretted not getting to do on the show or any actors he didn't get a chance to work with. Seeing as how West got to do everything from fighting egg people to beating the Joker in a surfing contest, there probably wasn't much he didn't get to do, but guest stars is a whole other story. West revealed that Kim Novak -- who was a big actress at the time -- wanted to be on the show so bad that she arranged a lunch with the Batman star. To put that in a modern perspective, that's like if Jennifer Lawerence called Stephen Amell so she could be on Arrow. It's unclear why Novak didn't get to be on the show if she wanted it so badly, but it's possible she just wanted to fangirl with Batman himself.
Batman had no shortage of guest stars in its 120 episode run, with cameos from stars like Jerry Lewis, Dick Clark, Sammy Davis Jr., and even the Green Hornet and Kato. (That's right, kids. Bruce Lee and Batman worked together.) Most of these cameos took place during the classic Bat-Climb scenes, in which Batman and Robin would scale (and by scale I mean walk) up a building and then have a conversation with a "civilian" from their window. It's easy to imagine Kim Novak popping her head out and seeing the Dynamic Duo right outside her window. But if she'd have wanted to follow big names like VIncent Price and John Astin by playing a villain, that would have been great, too.
For those who don't know, Kim Novak was an actress who had some of her biggest roles in the late 1950's. She appeared in successful films such as Picnic and The Man with the Golden Arm, but her most prominent role was in Alfred Hitchcock's iconic Vertigo opposite Jimmy Stewart. She was a Marilyn Monroe-type, but her career, unfortunately, simmered down in the sixties, and she later retired from the craft. Maybe she could come back for a voice role in a completely unspecified animated feature about a duo that is dynamic.
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders hits home video on November 1, with its sequel already scheduled for a 2017 release.