BATMAN RETURNS tribute thread
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Considered the darker follow-up to Batman (1989) because WB had turned over creative control to Tim Burton, this is also the reason later on studio executives turned towards directors that could make future Batman films more 'comic-booky'. Especially after parents that were upset by the McDonald's toys from the movie making their way into happy meals, leading to a massive campaign against WB.

The Batman Happy Meal That Shook America

A more recent summary of the movie history and direction does a good job of outlining why this ended up the way it did.

There are also some good featurettes included on the two-disc Batman Returns that came out a few years back. One of which is the 'Shadow of the Bat The Cinematic Saga' series.

Shadows Of The Bat The Cinematic Saga Of The Dark Kinight Pt 4 (with Tim Burton, Daniel Waters, Michael Keaton, Danny Devito, and Michelle Pfeiffer).


How the excitement and impact of the first movie led to Batman Returns.

And when it comes to Oscar nominations associated with comic book movies, this one ended up with two nominations.

  • BATMAN RETURNS (1992): Nominated for Best Makeup.
  • BATMAN RETURNS (1992): Nominated for Best Visual Effects.

And since 2017 was it's 25th anniversary, there were articles that pulled together details about the movie that were quite interesting.

BATMAN RETURNS: 25 Things You May Not Know


Producers wanted David Bowie to play Max Schreck

Named after Nosferatu actor Max Schreck, Batman Returns’ all-human villain was played by Christopher Walken. But none other than David Bowie was the first name that producers had in mind.

The musical icon, who instead took a role in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, had previously passed on another role Walker then assumed – Max Zorin in A View to Kill.

Marlon Brando could have played The Penguin

Marlon Brando was just one of several big-name actors who were considered for the role of The Penguin before it was given to Danny DeVito.

These included John Candy, Bob Hoskins, Dean Martin, Christopher Lloyd and Dustin Hoffman.


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Oddly enough, the concern with the toys was that they were so dark. Yet when you compare them to what we get nowadays, it seems like a non-issue.

But for that time, it was all about what was on the screen versus what the toys looked like.


In retrospect, cross-promoting a dark, violent, sexually perverse movie with a line of toys aimed at small children may have been a horrible idea. Sure, Batman is adored by children, but Tim Burton’s Batman Returns is far from suibtable for little kids– this is a movie where a sadomasochistically-charged cat burglar and a horrible perverted mutant battle a hero who sets people on fire for no particular reason. Burton’s Batman plays more like an Operatic adaptation of a high-school loner’s tattered sketchbook than a comic book adventure.


Naturally, the Batman Returns-themed McDonald’s Happy Meal from 1992 was a lightning rod for controversy. Parents complained that even though the film was rated PG-13, McDonalds acted irresponsibly by marketing the film’s tie-in Happy Meal to children aged 5-10– an age group that is decidedly not thirteen.


In letters published in the Los Angeles Times, some questioned “Does McDonalds have no conscience?” and in one troublingly Orwellian statement “parents trust McDonalds.”


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I remember when the movie was released, Roger Ebert said that the PG-13 rating was a joke, and claimed to see mothers taking crying children out of the theater.

Me though, I thought it was great. At the time, I thought it was better than the first Batman movie. I don't necessarily think that now, but the performances and character interactions make this a very interesting movie.

Edited by Larryw7
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Same here. But then you go back and watch them, and Batman (1989) holds up so much better. Though having Batman fight two characters at the same time was very cool. Especially since one was becoming a love interest, so distracting for Bruce Wayne.

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They were both playing almost different characters. I love DeVito as Pengy, but Colin was so much closer to the comic book version. 

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