Batman Returns
Batman Returns poster
Directed by Tim Burton
Produced by Tim Burton
Denise Di Novi

Michael Keaton
Michelle Pfeiffer
Danny DeVito
Christopher Walken

Music by Danny Elfman
Cinematography Stefan Czapsky
Editing by Chris Lebenzon
Bob Badami
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release June 19, 1992
Running time 126 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $80 million
Gross revenue $266,822,354
Preceded by Batman (1989)
Followed by Batman Forever

Batman Returns is a 1992 American superhero film produced and directed by Tim Burton, based on the DC Comics character Batman. It is the second installment of Warner Bros.' initial Batman film series, with Michael Keaton reprising the title role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film introduces the characters of Max Shreck (Christopher Walken), a business tycoon who teams up with the Penguin (Danny DeVito) to take over Gotham City, as well as the character of Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer).

Burton originally did not want to direct another Batman film because of his mixed emotions toward the previous film in 1989. Daniel Waters delivered a script that satisfied Burton; Wesley Strick did an uncredited rewrite, removing the characters of Harvey Dent and Robin and rewriting the climax. Before Pfeiffer's casting, Demi Moore and Nicole Kidman were each offered the role of Catwoman, but both of them turned it down. Filming of Batman Returns started in Burbank, California in June 1991.

Batman Returns was released on June 19, 1992 to financial and critical success, though it caused some controversy for being darker than its predecessor. The film's budget was an estimated $80 million, while it made $45,687,710 in the United States during its opening weekend (June 19–21, 1992), grossing $282,800,000 worldwide. The film was nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects and Best Makeup, as well as winning the Saturn Award for Best Makeup. It was also nominated for a Saturn Award in the categories of Best Fantasy Film, Best Director for Burton, Best Supporting Actor for DeVito and Best Costume.


In Gotham City, a wealthy couple, Tucker and Ester Cobblepot (Paul Reubens and Diane Salinger) throw their deformed infant son into the sewer; the boy survives, however, and is found by a flock of penguins. Thirty-three years later, the child, Oswald Cobblepot (Danny DeVito), resurfaces as a criminal, the Penguin, who kidnaps millionaire industrialist Max Shreck (Christopher Walken). With evidence of his corporate crimes, Cobblepot blackmails Shreck into helping him leave the sewers to become part of Gotham's elite. The Penguin arranges for the Mayor's child to be kidnapped, whom he then "rescues" in order to set himself up as a public hero. Late one night, upon returning to his office, Shreck surprises his secretary Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer), in the course of her preparation for being saved by Batman (Michael Keaton) regarding Shreck's proposed power plant.

While innocently pulling relevant documents, Selina accesses Shreck's protected files, uncovering compromising information, revealing that the plant will drain Gotham's power supply. Realizing Selina knows too much, Shreck pushes her out of a window, leaving her for dead on the ground many stories below. Selina survives the fall after being revived by alley cats. She returns to her apartment, then suffers a psychotic break and reinvents herself as Catwoman, a catsuit-clad burglar dedicated to getting revenge on her boss. Shreck then hatches a plan to recall Gotham City's current mayor (Michael Murphy) and elect the Penguin in his place, in order to cement his control over the city and complete his power plant project. The Penguin's gang of circus performers cause chaos around Gotham to create bad press for the Mayor. Meanwhile, Bruce's alter-ego Batman tries to defend Gotham from Catwoman and the Penguin's gang.

Selina falls in love with Bruce, a situation complicated by Catwoman's teaming with the Penguin in an effort to rid Gotham of Batman. They kidnap The Ice Princess (Cristi Conaway), a woman chosen to turn on the Gotham Christmas Tree lights, and frame Batman for the crime. Finding The Princess balancing precariously on the ledge of a high building, Batman tries to save her, but to no avail; the Penguin unleashes an umbrella full of bats which frighten The Princess into plunging to her death, and makes it look like Batman killed her. When Catwoman rejects his advances, the Penguin tries, unsuccessfully, to kill her. When Batman returns to the Batmobile, he finds that the Penguin has sabotaged it; as the Penguin takes the Batmobile on a remote-controlled rampage through Gotham, he gloats about fooling the entire city. Batman ultimately escapes the Penguin's trap, however. When Bruce exposes the Penguin's plans to dupe Gotham, thereby ruining his election chances, the Penguin initiates a plan to murder all of Gotham's first-born sons by kidnapping and taking them into his lair to drown them in a pool of water that has been contaminated with Shreck's toxic waste.

He personally attempts to take Max's son, Charles "Chip" Shreck (Andrew Bryniarski), but agrees to take Max instead. Batman foils the Penguin's scheme, whereupon the Penguin then decides to launch missiles around Gotham using mind-controlled penguins. However, Batman is able to jam the frequency used to control the penguins and has missiles launched at the Penguin's base. Batman confronts the Penguin, which culminates in the Penguin falling into the toxic waters in his lair. Batman tries to persuade Catwoman to turn Shreck over to the police, even unmasking himself in the process, but Shreck draws a gun. Catwoman claims that she still has six of her nine lives left, and remains standing after Shreck shoots her four times. Catwoman uses a taser to cause an explosion, electrocuting Shreck and apparently sacrificing herself (using up her "eighth life"). The Penguin then emerges from the toxic water and tries to kill Batman, but he succumbs to his wounds. His penguins then take his body into the sewer waters as a final resting place.

Later, Bruce is being driven around the city at night with butler Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Gough) and sees what looks like Catwoman's shadow on a wall. Alfred stops the car, and Bruce finds Selina's cat Miss Kitty, which he takes with him and leaves. It's implied she's leaving the cat with him. As the Bat-Signal lights up the night sky, we see a rear shot of Catwoman gazing up at it.


External links


Batman (1943)Batman and RobinBatman (1966)Batman (1989)Batman ReturnsBatman ForeverBatman & RobinBatman BeginsThe Dark KnightThe Dark Knight RisesBatman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeThe Lego Batman Movie


Alfred PennyworthBatmanCatwomanJokerMr. FreezePenguinPoison IvyRiddlerRobinTwo-FaceGotham City

Michael Keaton films

Batman Returns (1992)  ·

Michelle Pfeiffer films

Batman Returns (1992)  ·

Danny DeVito films

Twins (1988)  · Batman Returns (1992)  · Last Action Hero (1993)  · Junior (1994)  · Man on the Moon (1999)  · Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)  ·

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.