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Batman Returns is a 1992 film directed by Tim Burton and based on the DC Comics character Batman. It is the sequel to the 1989 film Batman and the second installment in the Motion Picture Anthology. It was released in theaters on June 19, 1992.

In the film, a new criminal mastermind called the Penguin rises from the sewers of Gotham to reclaim the birthright that his wealthy parents denied him. With the help of a corrupt business man, they impeach the current Mayor and set up their own campaign. Meanwhile, Batman comes face to face with Catwoman, reflecting upon his own obsessions and murderous vendettas he is left forever changed.

The film canonically takes place in both Earth-89 and Earth-97 in the live action DC Multiverse, with it being the as-of-yet final film in the former continuity. Batman Returns received a sequel, Batman Forever, released in 1995. It was the first film not directed by Tim Burton, with Joel Schumacher taking the reigns of the franchise.

Plot

In 1952, a deformed baby boy is thrown into Gotham City's river by his terrified parents. In 1992, the child, Oswald Cobblepot, resurfaces as a criminal, the Penguin. Gotham has been very quietsince batman ended the Joker's reign of terror. the penguin kidnaps millionaire industrialist and business tycoon Max Shreck (Christopher Walken). With evidence of his corporate crimes, Cobblepot blackmails Max 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 heroic figure.

Max Shreck later pushes his secretary, Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer), out of a window from his company's building after she discovers that his proposed power station for Gotham actually will drain electricity from the city. Selina survives the fall but it causes a psychotic breakdown and her personality changes. Having an affinity for cats, Selina returns home and designs a costume, becoming Catwoman and focusing on revenge against her boss.

Shreck then hatches a plan to recall Gotham City's current mayor and elect Cobblepot 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 reduce the popularity of the Mayor. Meanwhile, Batman (Michael Keaton) continues to have confrontations with Catwoman as well as the Penguin's gang.

Selina, meanwhile, falls in love with Batman's alter-ego Bruce Wayne, a situation complicated by Catwoman's teaming with the Penguin in an effort to rid Gotham of Batman. They kidnap the Ice Princess, a woman chosen to light the Gotham Plaza Christmas tree, and frame Batman for the crime. Batman finds her tied up in a nearby building. He learns that the Penguin kidnapped her, but she is then taken by Catwoman to the top of the building. The Penguin causes the woman to fall off the building, but Batman is seen by the crowd, who now think he killed her. Catwoman is upset because she did not intend to kill the Princess, and then rejects the Penguin's advances on her, whereupon the Penguin tries to kill her. In the midst of Batman's attempt at rescuing the Ice Princess, the Penguin's henchmen sabotage the Batmobile. When Batman returns to the car, the Penguin takes control of it, wreaking havoc on the streets of Gotham until Batman manages to disable the Penguin's control. Amidst this Batman manages to make a recording the Penguin's taunts about framing Batman and fooling the city.

When Bruce exposes the Penguin's villainous ways, thereby ruining his election chances, the Penguin initiates a plan to kidnap all of Gotham's first-born sons of the city's upper class. He personally attempts to take Max's son, Chip, but agrees to take Max instead. Batman foils the Penguin's kidnapping scheme, whereupon the Penguin then decides to launch missiles at Gotham Plaza 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 attempts 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 remaining, and stays standing up after Shreck fires his gun at her four times. Only hitting her shoulder and limbs, he stares at his revolver in disbelief. Catwoman uses a transformer cable to cause a generator to explode, electrocuting Shreck and apparently sacrificing herself in the process. The Penguin then emerges from the toxic water and tries to kill Batman, but he succumbs to his wounds. His body is taken by the Elder Penguins into the sewer waters as a final resting place.

Later, Bruce is being driven around the city at night with butler Alfred (Michael Gough) and thinks he sees Selina's shadow on a wall. Alfred stops the car, and Bruce finds a cat, which he takes with him and leaves. As the Bat-Signal lights up the night sky, a silhouette of what appears to be Catwoman is seen gazing at it.

Cast

  • Cal Hoffman as Happy Man
  • Joan Jurige as Happy Woman
  • Rosie O'Connor as Adorable Little Girl
  • Sean M. Whalen as Paperboy
  • Erik Onate as Aggressive Reporter
  • Joey DePinto as Shreck Security Guard
  • Steven Brill as Gothamite #1
  • Neal Lerner as Gothamite #2
  • Ashley Tillman as Gothamite #3
  • Elizabeth Sanders as Gossip Gerty
  • Henry Kingi as Mugger
  • Joan Giammarco as Female Victim
  • Lisa Guerrero as Volunteer Bimbo
  • Frank DiElsi as Security #1
  • Biff Yeager as Security #2
  • Robert Gossett as TV Anchorman
  • Adam Drescher as Crowd Member
  • Bobby Bell as Emperor Penguin
  • Niki Botelho as Emperor Penguin/Baby Penguin
  • Susan Rossitto as Emperor Penguin
  • Margarita Farrell as Emperor Penguin
  • Denise Killpack as Emperor Penguin
  • Felix Silla as Emperor Penguin
  • Debbie Lee Carrington as Emperor Penguin

Production

Development

Sam Hamm was the first writer asked to submit a screenplay for a second Batman. Burton rejected it and it bares no resemblance to future screenplays based on the story created by Daniel Waters. The only similarities are the Christmas setting, Penguin, Catwoman and Robin - which are merely a combination of directives given to the writers by the director and the studio. Wesley Strick become the on-set writer for the shooting drafts, eliminating nearly all of Waters' dialogue and improving the Penguin's storyline.

Locations

Official posters

External links

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