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Trivia about Batman Returns.

  • 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."
  • A UK trailer for the film credited the screenplay to Daniel Waters and Wesley Strick, a far more accurate listing than the final release versions which leave out Strick completely and give Hamm "story" credit for reasons unknown.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Warner Bros. had to constantly submit new Catwoman posters for various cities as many of the bus stop ads were being stolen. It soon 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.
  • Marlon Wayans was signed on to play Robin in this movie and Batman Forever (1995) - he even went through costuming for the five minutes that he appeared in the script. But when the script was re-written and Joel Schumacher took over as director, the role went to Chris O'Donnell. Wayans was paid for both movies.
  • The final Christmas ball scene is quite symbolic: since it is a masque 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 the society.
  • Danny DeVito refused a stand-in for the scene where the Penguin gets pelted with rotten food by an angry mob.
  • Danny DeVito remained in character between takes.
  • During one scene, Michelle Pfeiffer had to put a live bird in her mouth.
  • 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.
  • When asked during a 2007 talk show appearance if she ever felt nostalgic and put on 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.
  • When Michelle Pfeiffer moved house in 2004, she found the whip she had used during filming. Feeling reminiscent, the actress went out to her yard and attempted some whip play, but according to her she was "a bit rusty."
  • 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.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer got through 60 catsuits during the 6 month shoot, at a cost of $1,000 a time.
  • Danny DeVito spent two hours a day in make-up. He was forbidden to describe the Penguin's makeup to anyone, including his family.
  • The first film made in Dolby Digital.
  • Sean Young very much wanted the role of the Catwoman. During preproduction she arrived at the studio in a Catwoman costume to confront the makers of the movie. She used other people scouting the studio grounds, using walkie-talkies to communicate, to track down the producers. Tim Burton hid behind his desk so as to avoid seeing her. Young had been cast as Vicki Vale in Batman (1989) but was replaced after she broke her collarbone during filming.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In the US, McDonald's were forced to cancel a Happy Meals promotion with the film, after parents protested about its violent and sexual nature being inappropriate for young children. But The Coca-Cola Company continued its promotional run.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The only Batman sequel up to and including The Dark Knight (2008) to feature the same Batman actor from the previous film, with no supporting characters having been recast (Gordon, Alfred). Though Christian Bale reprises the title role in The Dark Knight, the characters of Rachel Dawes and Barbara Gordon are played by different actresses.
  • It made $47.7 million in its first 3 days, a record at the time.
  • Although this is considered to be the darkest of the four original Batman films, it was lambasted as too grotesque and pessimistic.
  • At least 50% of the Warner Brothers lot was taken up with Gotham City sets.
  • 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.
  • Christopher Walken's character is for early vampire actor Max Schreck whose last name is also a German word for horror.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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 the storming of Wayne Manor and the Batcave.
  • Burgess Meredith, who played the Penguin on the Batman (1966) TV series, was asked to play the Penguin's father in the opening of the film but illness prevented him from it.
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • 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 costume, whereas the one released to promote the film has a black costume).
  • Jodie Foster was in consideration for the role of Catwoman, but dropped out to do Little Man Tate (1991).
  • Bruce Wayne chastises Alfred, saying "Who let Vicki Vale into the Batcave?" This is actually writer Daniel Water's reference to the controversy surround that scene in the first movie. Having Keaton deliver scolding Alfred was intended as humorously ironic, as it was Keaton's idea to change the setting of the scene to the batcave.
  • It was intended that the character of Robin be introduced in the sequel to Batman (1989). Reportedly, Tim Burton collaborated with DC Comics artist Norm Breyfogle to redesign the Robin costume so that it would coincide with the one planned for the film. Kenner Toys even went so far as to produce 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.
  • 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,the computerized Batarang, 1 or 2 marching penguin commando shots and all of the flying bats throughout the film.
  • The film originally included a montage of the sons of Gotham's wealthiest families being kidnapped for the Penguin's mass murder plot, with one of the little boys screaming. Tim Burton, who knew that many children would be going to see the movie, decided not to take any unnecessary risks and just showed the boys after their kidnappings, being locked in the cages of a circus train.
  • Danny DeVito was advised by friend Jack Nicholson, aware of his own financial success with the first Batman film, to take the role of the Penguin.
  • The Batman costume weighed 55 lbs.
  • Susan Sarandon showed great interest in the role of Catwoman, but at the age of 46 was considered too old for the role.
  • Michael Keaton was alleged to have earned $11 million for reprising his role as the Caped Crusader.
  • 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.
  • First Batman adaptation in which the real names of Penguin and Catwoman as established in the comics (Oswald Cobblepot and Selina Kyle) are used.
  • The note given to Penguin by the monkey from Batman is in Bob Kane's handwriting.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 comic books and television 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.
  • Demi Moore and Nicole Kidman were each offered the role of Catwoman, but both of them turned it down. Kidman would eventually star in Batman Forever (1995) as a different character (Dr. Chase Meridian).
  • The Penguin's flipper-like hands are suggestive of syndactyly, a condition where two or more digits are fused together.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When Penguin is in the Hall of Records searching through birth certificates, the second one seen is that of Property Master William A. Petrotta.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.
  • 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.
  • Lena Olin and Madonna were considered for the role of Catwoman.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • The character Vicki Vale from Batman (1989) (played by Kim Basinger) was going to made her return to 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, 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. In Tom Mankiewicz's script for the first movie which featured the Penguin, he was described as "a tall, proper-looking, thin man". Sigourney Weaver was considered for the role of Catwoman. Brooke Shields was considered for the role of Catwoman, but Tim Burton turned her down because he considered she was no longer a bankable star. 
  • 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).
  • Geena Davis turned down the role of Catwoman in order to star in A League of Their Own.
  • Shreck's line about going "fifteen rounds with Muhammad Shreck" is a reference to world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali.
    • Paul Reubens, Diane Salinger:  Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) stars reunite briefly at the beginning of the film as The Penguin's parents Tucker and Esther
    • 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 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.
  • In one version of the script, Max Shreck was discovered to be the Penguin's older brother.
  • In Selina's apartment, her neon sign read "Hello There". But after she trashed her apartment, she knocked out the "O" in "Hello" and the "T" in "There", which caused the sign to read "Hell Here".
  • 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. The studio insisted that Catwoman's survival needed to be verified to the audience after negative test screening reactions. So the film's ending changed at the last minute.
  • 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.

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