Batman Returns (1992) Poster


When asked during a 2007 talk show appearance if she ever felt nostalgic and put on the cat suit to amuse her husband, Michelle Pfeiffer stated that once filming was over, she never wanted to see the costume again for as long as she lived.
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Michael Keaton was alleged to have earned $11 million for reprising his role as the Caped Crusader. The Warner Brothers executives were very uneasy with this; however, director Tim Burton stated that he personally believed Keaton deserved it.
Michelle Pfeiffer went through 60 catsuits during the 6 month shoot, at a cost of $1,000 a piece.
Danny DeVito was advised by friend Jack Nicholson, aware of his own financial success with the first Batman (1989) film, to take the role of the Penguin.
The first film made in Dolby Digital.
It made $47.7 million in its first 3 days, a record at the time.
Several modifications were made to the Batsuit, including the color scheme and chestplate logo. At the request of Michael Keaton, a zipper was also added to the pants.
According to casting director Marion Dougherty, Tim Burton was reportedly uncomfortable with casting Christopher Walken as Max Shreck. When she asked him why he said, "Because that man scares the hell out of me." However, the decision must have ultimately grown on Burton, as Walken was cast again in Burton's Sleepy Hollow (1999). He was also cast to play Brainiac in the aborted Superman Lives project.
The production wanted to use King Penguins but the only tame ones in captivity were at a bird sanctuary in the Cotswolds deep in the English countryside. So the birds were flown over to the States in the refrigerated hold of a plane, they were given their own refrigerated trailer, their own swimming pool with half a ton of fresh ice every day, and had fresh fish delivered daily straight from the docks. Even though the temperature outside frequently topped 100 degrees, the entire set was refrigerated down to 35 degrees. The birds also had a round-the-clock bodyguard. Clearly the birds enjoyed the experience as, following their stint in Hollywood, most of them had mated and produced eggs - the sure sign of a contented penguin.
Burgess Meredith, who played the Penguin on the Batman (1966) TV series and in "Batman the movie" (1966), was asked to play the Penguin's father in the opening of the film but illness prevented him from it.
Warner Bros. had to constantly submit new Catwoman posters for various cities as many of the bus stop ads were being stolen. It got so bad that police officers had to patrol bus stops in order to catch perpetrators before they could break the Plexiglas containers. Today the large scale Catwoman bus ads are worth a great deal of money.
During an A&E Biography, Michelle Pfeiffer said that her Catwoman costume was vacuum sealed once she was fitted into it for scenes, so she actually had only a short amount of time to perform before she would have to have it opened or she could become light headed and pass out. She also admitted that when she first was learning to use the whip she accidentally cut her trainer's face with it, at which he acted as a complete gentleman and continued with their training.
At least 50% of the Warner Brothers lot was taken up with Gotham City sets.
Danny DeVito remained in character between takes.
In an interview for television, Stan Winston told a little anecdote about how his crew were collecting the mechanical penguins after a day's shoot and found one of the live penguins snuggled up asleep against a mechanical one.
Danny DeVito refused a stand-in for the scene where the Penguin gets pelted with rotten food by an angry mob.
The final Christmas ball scene is quite symbolic: since it is a masquerade party all the guests are in disguise. The only two guests there who actually aren't wearing masks are Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. This implies that their real personalities are Batman and Catwoman respectively, and that their public appearance without a costume is just a disguise for society.
The crew had a hard time getting the shot where the monkey delivers the letter from Batman to the Penguin. Evidently, Danny DeVito's make-up terrified the animal.
Bruce Wayne chastises Alfred, saying "Who let Vicki Vale into the Batcave?" This is actually writer Sam Hamm's none-too-subtle jab at the rewrites given to his script by Warren Skaaren. Hamm's script never included a scene where Alfred leads Vicki into the cave, and as the script was re-written during production, Hamm felt this was a particularly sloppy revision.
The massive Gotham City sets were all constructed to be mobile, and were often shifted between days of filming. Michelle Pfeiffer routinely got lost on her way to filming each day.
Neither Tim Burton nor Michael Keaton had been signed up in advance for a sequel; Burton came on board only after the script met all his demands (he hadn't been entirely happy with the first Batman (1989)'s screenplay), whilst Keaton only agreed to do the second film after a serious hike in salary and Burton's assurance that it would be mostly a stand-alone movie rather than a direct sequel.
The catsuit was so tight on Michelle Pfeiffer that she often had trouble hearing her own voice. Tim Burton had to tell her to lower her voice register because she would often shout her dialogue instead of just saying it.
Annette Bening was cast as Catwoman, but was replaced by Michelle Pfeiffer when she became pregnant. Pfeiffer's $3 million salary was $2 million more than was offered to Bening.
Although this is considered to be the darkest of the four original Batman films, it was lambasted as too grotesque and pessimistic. Strangely enough it is the only one of the four films which does not include a single reference to the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents (which was always regarded as the crucial driving force for his anti-criminal crusade).
Batman doesn't wear boots in the movie, they're Air Jordan 6's connected to an upper which give the boot-like feeling.
During one scene, Michelle Pfeiffer had to put a live bird in her mouth. They had bird puppets on set, but Pfeiffer thought they all looked too fake.
This is the only sequel to one of his own films that Tim Burton directed himself.
This was the first of the live action Batman films to use computer generated special effects: the shield on the Batmobile, as opposed to the previous film, and the remote controlled Batarang.
Danny DeVito spent two hours a day in make-up. He was forbidden to describe the Penguin's makeup to anyone, including his family.
First Batman adaptation in which the real names of Penguin and Catwoman as established in the comics (Oswald Cobblepot and Selina Kyle) are used.
Security was so tight on the production that even Kevin Costner was refused permission to visit the set. Warner Brothers employed a private investigator firm when some shots of Danny DeVito in costume made it into the tabloids.
A Penguin action figure based on his comic book counterpart was released as part of Kenner's line of figures based on the film, as Danny DeVito's image of the character was deemed too scary for kids. The figure in fact was a repaint of the Penguin action figure released in 1980s Super Powers Collection toy-line by Kenner (the original one had a blue suit, whereas the one released to promote the film has a black suit).
In order to get the cats to surround Selina when she's knocked out, the filmmakers put tuna on a dummy version of Selina and tuna on Selina's suit.
The note given to Penguin by the monkey from Batman is in Bob Kane's handwriting. Batman has used notes signed with his logo throughout his entire history.
Set a new record for a film in its opening weekend, until the following year when Jurassic Park (1993) managed to break that record.
Billy Dee Williams was to play Harvey Dent, and an early draft of Batman Returns included the role. That character was later renamed Max Shreck and all of Dent's lines were given to him, and all Two-Face elements were removed.
When Michelle Pfeiffer moved house in 2004, she found the whip she had used during filming. Feeling nostalgic, the actress went out to her yard and attempted some whip play, but according to her she was "a bit rusty."
The Batman costume weighed 55 lbs.
Singer David Bowie, who had been previously considered to play the Joker in Batman (1989), was the first choice for the part of Max Shreck before Christopher Walken was cast. Bowie turned down the role in favor of one in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992). In addition, the role of Max Zorin in A View to a Kill (1985), also played by Walken, was initially offered to Bowie.
Sam Hamm's original screenplay draft had the Penguin and Catwoman going after hidden treasure. Dissatisfied with that, Tim Burton brought in Daniel Waters, writer of Heathers (1988), who came up with the concept of an evil business mogul backing a bid for the Mayor's office by the Penguin.
The first script draft of Batman Returns was intended to be a direct-sequel to the previous Batman (1989). As a result, sub plots and continuity from the first film that would have been addressed included gift shops selling fragments of the destroyed Bat-Wing, further revelations into the past of the now deceased Jack Napier AKA Joker, and even Bruce Wayne proposing to Vicki Vale by the end of the film. However, Tim Burton was uncomfortable in making a direct sequel and as a result, the script was rewritten and a new Gotham City was designed. However, several plot elements from the original script did make it into the final draft. This included the Penguin and Catwoman's alliance, their framing of Batman, and the Dark Knight's escape via Bat-Glider. Further elements even made their way into the third film, Batman Forever (1995), most notably an invasion of Wayne Manor and the Batcave.
This was one of the last major Hollywood films to be done "the old-fashioned way", with indoor soundstages, trompe l'oeil sets, miniatures, and various other vestiges of old-school Hollywood filmmaking.
Meryl Streep was briefly considered for the role of Catwoman, but Tim Burton rejected her because she was considered too old for the role.
Two of the photographs in Max Schreck's office depict him with Arnold Schwarzenegger - who later played Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin (1997) - and Sammy Davis Jr..
This wasn't the first time The Penguin ran for mayor. The 1960s Penguin did in the episodes Batman: Hizzonner the Penguin (1966) and Batman: Dizzoner the Penguin (1966). Another version of Penguin/Cobblepot would run for mayor on the TV series Gotham.
The Penguin's flipper-like hands are suggestive of syndactyly, a condition where two or more digits are fused together.
There are numerous references to Germany's "Weimar Republic" culture which existed 1919-1933. The outfit and look of the Penguin are based on the title character from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), and much of the scenery and set designs of Batman Returns are inspired by the same movie. A villain is named after Max Schreck, another film star of WR culture. Schreck suggests to the Penguin to make a "Reichstag Fire," the terrorist act which the Nazi Party used as a pretext to seize power (saying they were guarding against terrorists) and disband the Weimar Republic. It is popularly assumed that the Nazis themselves set the fire.
When Selina is seated at her desk in Shreck's office, the lamp casts a shadow through her eyeglass frames, creating an outline of the pointed "cat's eye" mask that was worn by Catwoman in the original DC comic series and had also been featured as part of the costumes donned by Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt in Batman: The Movie (1966) and Batman (1966), respectively.
According to the book 'Movie Magic' by 'Robin Cross', Penguin's army consisted of real penguins, actors in glass fiber suits, animatronic puppets controlled by puppeteers, and computer animation. A technique called flocking was used where several penguins would imitate a master penguin, allowing control over large numbers.
Christopher Walken, remembering a film he'd seen previously, requested from director Tim Burton cuff-links made from human molars for his character, Max Shreck. The movie in question is The Great Gatsby (1974), in which an unsavory friend of the title character, who had been involved in the 1919 World Series Black Sox scandal, sports a pair of molar cuff-links.
The set for the Penguin's decrepit underground lair at the abandoned Gotham City Zoo was filled with a half-million gallons of water and a simulated ice floe island.
Brooke Shields was considered for the role of Catwoman, but Tim Burton turned her down because he believed she was no longer a bankable star.
In the second scene between Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne, when they are talking about the lighting of the tree event, Selina sarcastically says, "It's gonna be a hot time in the cold town tonight." This is a subtle (or maybe not-so-subtle) reference to a line that the Joker says in the first Batman (1989), when he electrocutes Antoine Rotelli.
It was intended that the character of Robin be introduced in this film. Reportedly, Tim Burton collaborated with DC Comics artist Norm Breyfogle to redesign the Robin costume for the introduction of a new Robin, Tim Drake, so that it would convincingly fit into the Dark Knight's gritty, dangerous world in the film. The winning costume was one designed by Neal Adams, but the new Robin's "R" symbol and bow staff was influenced Breyfogle's presentation. Kenner Toys even produced a corresponding action figure, but when Robin was eventually written out of the script, Kenner released the toy anyway, as the character newly rendered in the comic books.
In 2016 Paul Reubens reprised his role as Oswald's (Penguin's) biological father in the FOX TV series Gotham (2014).

In Batman Returns the credits list Reubens only as "Penguin's Father", however in Gotham, we learn that Penguin's father is a very wealthy man named Elijah Van Dahl. Van Dahl and Penguin's mother, Gertrude Kapelput (Cobblepot) were very much in love, but due to Elijah's disapproving family they ended the relationship. Gertrude never told Elijah she had become pregnant with Oswald, and it remained secret until after her death. Oswald and Elijah became aware of one another when the two happened to visit Gertrude's grave at the same time.
The makeup artists who created the Penguin's look decided to move away from previous depictions of the character. Instead of just giving Danny DeVito a pointy nose, they created prosthetics to make his face look more "avian". Additionally, they studied deformities such as curvature of the spine and syndactyly. Some comic book artists (such as Tim Sale) subsequently drew the Penguin as "deformed" in different Batman comics.
The first Batman film in the original series in which the actor playing Batman (Michael Keaton) gets top-billing followed by the actor playing the main villain (Danny DeVito as the Penguin). In Batman (1989), Keaton was behind Jack Nicholson, who played the Joker (although during the end credits of that film, Keaton was top-billed over Nicholson).
Susan Sarandon showed great interest in the role of Catwoman, but eventually opted to take a leading role in Lorenzo's Oil (1992), a role that was vacated by Michelle Pfeiffer.
During his appearance on the WTF Podcast with Marc Maron, Michael Keaton stated that he has never watched the completed Batman Returns. He went on to explain that he only took the role because he needed money for a real-estate deal.
When the Penguin is being persuaded to run for mayor, Josh (Steve Witting) - one of Shreck's hired image consultants - places a cigarette holder in his mouth, which he promptly spits out. This not only serves as a reference to previous incarnations of the Penguin from both the Batman (1966) TV show and comic book series, but also, with the corresponding line - "Reclaim your birthright." - hints at what is more explicitly revealed in the back-story: that Tucker Cobblepot, the Penguin's birth father, once occupied a high-level political office in Gotham City. Tucker is also seen smoking a cigarette in a holder at the beginning of the film.
Christopher Walken's character name Max Schreck is a reference to the German actor who starred in Nosferatu (1922).
Demi Moore and Nicole Kidman were both considered for the role of Catwoman. Demi was blonde when she met with Tim Burton. Kidman would eventually star in Batman Forever (1995) as Dr. Chase Meridian.
Dustin Hoffman, Marlon Brando, John Candy, Bob Hoskins, Ralph Waite, Dean Martin, Alex Rocco and Christopher Lloyd were considered for the role of Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin.
There was talk of having Jack Nicholson return as the Joker, even though he appeared to die at the end of Batman (1989). All of this was thrown out once Tim Burton agreed to return as director because he didn't want to make a direct sequel for whatever reason, though the film did still reference the previous film's events by mentioning Vicki Vale.
The character Vicki Vale from Batman (1989) (played by Kim Basinger) was going to return in this film. She was featured in Sam Hamm's early draft of the film when it was intended to be a direct sequel of the previous one, but due to the fact that Tim Burton doesn't like making sequels, it was decided to exclude her. She's only mentioned during the conversation between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, where Bruce mentions that Vicki ended their relationship because ultimately she could not accept his dual life, as well as when Bruce reminds Alfred of him letting her into the Batcave in the first film. According to Entertainment Weekly, Basinger was also a rumored candidate for the role of Catwoman, a role that was also planned for Sean Young, who had been cast as Vicki Vale in Batman (1989) but ultimately replaced by Basinger after Young broke her collarbone during filming. Michelle Pfeiffer was also one of the actresses considered to play Vicki Vale in the previous film.
Jodie Foster was in consideration for the role of Catwoman, but dropped out to do Little Man Tate (1991).
Michael Keaton (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Michael Gough (Alfred Pennyworth) and Pat Hingle (Commissioner James Gordon) are the only actors to reprise their roles from Batman (1989).
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In Tom Mankiewicz's script for the first movie which featured the Penguin, he was described as "a tall, proper-looking, thin man".
On the second season opener of Prisoners of Gravity (1989), Bob Kane named Cher and Michael J. Fox as potential candidates for the roles of Catwoman and Robin, respectively.
WILHELM SCREAM: Before Batman straps the dynamite to the strongman, he hurls a goon over a bridge. As the goon flies through the air, he screams the famous Wilhelm scream.
In Daniel Waters's original treatment, the initial attack on Gotham Plaza is a lot more elaborate, with the thugs invading before the tree-lighting ceremony begins and infiltrating Max Shreck's penthouse office, taking Max, Chip, the Mayor, and Selina hostage. Batman has to fight his way up to the penthouse level to save them, in the process leaving the Batmobile behind in an alley - but forgetting to put the shields down on the car. Even more of the Penguin's thugs then approach the exposed automobile and take photographs of it (thus providing an explanation as to how The Penguin got the blueprints to the Batmobile). The novelization indicates the Penguin got the plans from a disgruntled engineer who helped design it.
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As the penguin army closes in on Gotham City at the climax of the movie, the Poodle Lady's accent and monotonous countdown announcements strongly resemble a similar countdown at the end of Diamonds Are Forever (1971).
Danny DeVito said he read in the paper he was being considered for the role of the Penguin over a year before he was even offered the part.
Geena Davis turned down the role of Catwoman in order to star in A League of Their Own (1992).
The original script had many, many more members of the Red Triangle Gang. Notable members of the circus in the original script included a duo with razor sharp metal blades encrusted into their heads like mohawks, a teenage clown with a neon medallion that read "CIRKUS" who was the original stun gun clown, and a group of clowns dressed like firefighters who operate a fire-engine that happed to shoot napalm (in a possible dark twist on the clown scene from Dumbo (1941)).
Tim Burton used a heavy animal motif throughout the film. There are several scenes involving bats, cats and penguins which symbolize Batman, Catwoman and the Penguin respectively (as evidenced by the film's tagline "The Bat, the Cat, the Penguin"). Also some of the Penguin's goons have their own pets (Organ Grinder has a monkey and the Poodle Lady a dog).
Sigourney Weaver was considered for the role of Catwoman.
The near casting of Marlon Wayans as Robin became a point of controversy for some. Many questioned the appropriateness of Robin being African-American, while others were wary of Wayans in the part, as he was known exclusively as a comedic actor, indicating the film would veer to a campy nature.
Michael Keaton and Michelle Pfeiffer later went on to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Keaton as Adrian Toomes/The Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne/The Wasp in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018).
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The Batman Movie franchise has attracted the longest list of actors who have Oscar and Golden Globe wins or nominations. 20 Oscars, 34 Golden Globes. The franchise has won 3 Oscars. Jack Nicholson - Joker 3 Oscars, 9 nominations 7 Golden Globes, 10 Nominations George Clooney - Batman 2 Oscar, 4 nominations 4 Golden Globes, 7 nominations Michael Caine - Alfred 2 Oscars, 4 nominations 3 Golden Globes, 8 nominations Tommy Lee Jones - Two Face 1 Oscar, 3 nominations 1 Golden Globe, 3 nominations Christian Bale - Batman 1 Oscar, 1 nomination 1 Golden Globe, 1 nomination Halle Berry - Catwoman 1 Oscar 1 Golden Globe, 3 nominations Heath Ledger - Joker (only actor to win Oscar/GG for Batman character performance) 1 Oscar, 1 nomination 1 Golden Globe, 1 nomination Kim Basinger - Vicki Vale 1 Oscar 1 Golden Globe, 1 nomination Nicole Kidman - Dr. Chase Meridian 1 Oscar, 2 nomination 3 Golden Globes, 6 Nominations Ben Affleck - Batman 2 Oscars, 2 nominations 2 Golden Globes, 1 nomination Morgan Freeman - Lucius Fox 1 Oscar, 3 nominations 2 Golden Globes, 4 nominations Anne Hathaway - Catwoman 1 Oscar, 1 nomination 1 Golden Globe, 2 nominations Marion Cotillard - Miranda 1 Oscar, 1 nomination 1 Golden Globe, 2 nominations Michelle Pfeiffer - Catwoman 3 Oscar Nominations 1 Golden Globe, 5 nominations Tom Wilkinson - Carmine Falcone 2 Oscar nominations 1 Golden Globe, 3 nominations Uma Thurman - Poison Ivy 1 Oscar nomination 1 Golden Globe, 3 nominations Liam Neeson - Henri Ducard 1 Oscar nomination 3 Golden Globe nominations Gary Oldman - James Gordon 1 Oscar nomination Michael Keaton 1 Oscar, 1 Golden Globe. Danny DeVito - Penguin 1 Oscar nomination 1 Golden Globe, 5 nominations Maggie Gyllenhaal - Rachel Dawes 1 Oscar nomination 1 Golden Globe, 2 nominations Matthew Modine - Foley 2 Golden Globe nominations Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Blake 2 Golden Globe nominations
In the comic books, the Penguin's name is traditionally Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot. In the movie, Oswald Cobblepot is mentioned several times, but the middle name is left out.
Lena Olin and Madonna were considered for the role of Catwoman.
John Goodman was considered for the role of the Penguin.
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Dudley Moore was considered for the role of The Penguin.
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Raquel Welch, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ellen Barkin, Cher and Bridget Fonda were considered for the role of Catwoman. At one point, Kim Basinger was even considered despite having appeared as Vicky Vale in the previous installment.
While on the U.K. talk show The Graham Norton Show Danny DeVito told Graham about the first take with the monkey handing him the note from Batman. Apparently the monkey was frightened by the makeup and the colored drool of the Penguin and attacked Danny's family jewels region. Lucky the suit he had to wear was very padded and he was fine. They got the shot after Danny put on a new suit.
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Christopher Walken and Michelle Pfeiffer would reunite 15 years later in the musical comedy Hairspray (2007).
When confronting the Penguin's henchmen for the second time, Batman snatches a time bomb off a clown and puts it in the Tattooed Strongman's pants, then throws him down a pipe as an explosion occurs, which may lead to severe injuries if not death. An act which is rarely ever done by the Batman.
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When Penguin is in the Hall of Records searching through birth certificates, the second one seen is that of Property Master William A. Petrotta.
Something resembling Felix the Cat is the logo for Max Schreck's department stores.
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Lorraine Bracco was considered for the role of Catwoman/Selina Kyle but turned the role down to do Medicine Man (1992).
Originally classified '12' for the UK cinema, the film was upgraded to the '15' certificate for video release because the '12' certificate was not used for videos until 1994. See also: Batman (1989).
Most of the vehicles in street scenes are imported models from Brazilian Volkswagen, called VW Fox in USA.
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When Bruce Wayne meets Selina Kyle for the first time at Schreck's office, he says that they've met. When Selina asks how they met, he says "I'm sorry. I mistook me for someone else", in which she corrects him by saying "You mean you mistook me". Despite Selina's correction, Bruce is actually referring to the night he saved her from the clown with the stun-gun as Batman and was referring to his superhero ego. That's why he told her that they've already met, but mistook himself for somebody else (Batman) instead of her.
Jennifer Beals at one point was considered for the role of Catwoman/Selina Kyle.
Alan Rickman, Christopher Lee, Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta and Gabriel Byrne were considered for the role of Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin.
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The film's sole full theatrical trailer debuted in front of prints of Wayne's World (1992) in February 1992 and was attached to subsequent releases that year. An alternate teaser trailer, unavailable on any DVD and Blu-ray releases, appeared on select Warner Home Video releases prior to its June 19 release date.
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A UK trailer for the film credited the screenplay to Daniel Waters and Wesley Strick.
Shreck's line about going "fifteen rounds with Muhammad Shreck" is a reference to world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali.


Paul Reubens: Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) stars reunite briefly at the beginning of the film as The Penguin's parents Tucker and Esther. Another film directed by Tim Burton.
Elizabeth Sanders: wife of Batman creator Bob Kane says "He's like a frog that became a prince" when the paper boy sells newspapers about The Penguin forgiving his parents.
Danny Elfman: as one of the off-screen tomato and lettuce throwers during the Penguin's botched speech.

Director Trademark 

Tim Burton: [music] music by Danny Elfman
Tim Burton: [title sequence] the opening credits "follow" the baby carrier down the river.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Danny DeVito, whose makeup as the Penguin took three hours to be applied every morning, removed one of the cabinets in the make-up trailer and put in a laser-disc machine and a TV. While they were putting on the makeup, he brought in his favorite movies and watched them in the mirror.
The final shot of the film, in which Catwoman is seen looking at the Bat-signal, was added as an afterthought, literally weeks before the film opened. The shot had to be filmed on a weekend, less than a day after conception, with a double for Michelle Pfeiffer. That single shot cost $250,000.
The character of Max Shreck was a re-write of District Attorney Harvey Dent; accordingly, most of his plot points would have perhaps made more sense if Shreck were D.A. instead of a corrupt businessman. The explosion at the end of the film was a means to injure Dent and produce the scars that would lead to his transformation into Two-Face for the third movie in the series. Reportedly, Billy Dee Williams took the role of Harvey Dent in the first Batman (1989) movie because he knew that the character would eventually become Two-Face. Williams' contract to appear in the sequel is rumored to have been bought out by Warner Bros. at a heavy price. Tommy Lee Jones plays Dent/Two-Face in Batman Forever (1995). Williams wouldn't get the chance to play Two-Face until twenty-five years later in The LEGO Batman Movie (2017).
The film originally included a montage of the boys being kidnapped by the Penguin's gang, with one of them screaming. Tim Burton, knowing that many children would see the movie, decided not to take any unnecessary risks and just showed the boys after their kidnappings, being locked in circus train cages and reacting sedately.
In one version of the script, Max Shreck was discovered to be the Penguin's older brother.
Daniel Waters's original script originally had the Bat-Signal blinking on and off at the end of the film as a sign that Selena's electrocution of Max had disrupted the power supply of the city. Tim Burton instead opted to end the film with Catwoman looking out at the signal over a snowy sky, hinting at her survival and possible appearance in a future film.
Daniel Waters is credited as the main screenwriter of the film and he is considered to be responsible for the excessively dark atmosphere and violent themes of the film. Although the main plot was written by Daniel Waters, Tim Burton commissioned Wesley Strick to make a hasty rewrite before production began. Wesley Strick was uncredited but he changed the bulk of the dialogue and made slight alterations to the plot. He excised the Robin subplot as well as the final revelation that Max Shreck was Penguin's elder brother. He also narrowed down the references to the character of Vicki Vale. Although Daniel Waters is held accountable for some scary scenes such as the kidnapping of the first born sons or the bite at the nose of Josh by the Penguin and the final scene where a fatally wounded Penguin spews bile, they are actually additions by Wesley Strick. However, other violent sequences such as the death of the Ice Princess and the climactic showdown between the unmasked Catwoman and Max Shreck were elements of the screenplay that Daniel Waters wrote.
Originally, the script had many plot points to set up for the unmade third Tim Burton Batman film. One of these was an introduction to Dick Grayson/Robin. Marlon Wayans had even signed on to play the role, and had gone through a costume test. When the character was cut from the script, it was decided that Wayans would make his first appearance in the third film. However, when Joel Schumacher took over as director, he bought out Wayans' contract and hired Chris O'Donnell to play the role. The original script also didn't include Max Schreck, and had Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent in his place. At the end of the film, when kissed by Catwoman, Dent would have become Two-Face rather than dying, setting him up to be the third film's villain. However, this was cut and Tommy Lee Jones was cast as the role for the third film and Williams never played Two-Face after Batman (1989).
1992 was a year with a unifying theme for Steve Witting - that of getting assaulted and removed from scenes by characters played by Danny DeVito. First, in Hoffa (1992), he appears in a single scene as a representative of the federal government investigating in Jimmy Hoffa's office, where he is promptly shoved and kicked out by Danny Devito's Bobby Ciaro. Then, in his only other movie that year, he has the unfortunate distinction of a slightly meatier role, in which his nose is nearly bitten off by DeVito's Penguin in a more memorable scene of Batman Returns.
In both Batman (1989) and this film, characters are electrocuted beyond recognition: Antoine Rotelli in "Batman" and Max Shreck in Batman Returns (1992).
Singer Vance Joy names this as the film best showcasing Michelle Pfeiffer's talents, inspiring a line in his song "Riptide": "I swear she's destined for the screen, Closest thing to Michelle Pfeiffer that you've ever seen." He has said he's especially impressed by the scene where Selina vandalizes her own apartment after surviving a murder attempt.
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In the television show Gotham season 3, Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) also campaigns for mayor and ultimately wins.
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The revolver which Max Shreck uses to shoot Selina Kyle at the end is a Smith & Wesson Model 66.
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