The date was June 19, 1992… 25 years ago today, Tim Burton’s second Batman movie, Batman Returns, hit theaters. In honor of its 25th anniversary, The Hollywood Reporter caught up with director Tim Burton, Michael Keaton (Batman), Michelle Pfeiffer (Catwoman), Danny DeVito (The Penguin), Christopher Walken (Max Shrek), composer Danny Elfman, and writer Daniel Waters.
Below you’ll find the most interesting details from THR’s big article with the key players of Batman Returns.
- Annette Bening was originally cast as Catwoman. Michelle Pfeiffer was brought in after Bening became pregnant.
- Michelle Pfeiffer trained for months and performed all of her own whip stunts in the movie.
- Michael Keaton edited the script and asked that Batman speak less. More than half of Batman’s lines were taken out.
- McDonald’s, one of the movie’s sponsors, objected to the black goo that came out of The Penguin’s mouth.
- The black goo was actually Danny Devito’s idea.
- Michelle Pfeiffer’s body needed to be covered in powder in order for her to slide into the skin tight Catwoman suit. They then vacuum-packed the suit.
- Originally, Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman costume didn’t include a way for her to use the bathroom without having to completely undress. The suit was modified to accommodate that.
- Danny DeVito’s Penguin makeup took 4 and a half hours to apply. By the end of the shoot, that process took closer to three hours.
- The real life penguins on set had their own air conditioned dressing room, complete with a swimming pool.
- Three different species of penguins were used on set.
- Danny DeVito’s stayed in character as long as he was in the Penguin costume.
- Michelle Pfeiffer actually put a live bird in her mouth and let it fly out. That wasn’t CGI.
- Writer Daniel Waters intended for Catwoman to die at the end of the movie when she electrocutes herself and Max Shrek. But after seeing how much audiences loved Catwoman in test screenings Warner Bros. added her scene as the last shot of the movie, with just two weeks to go before its release.
- Writer Daniel Waters says that Batman killing wasn’t in his original draft.
- Composer Danny Elfman quit when he learned that Warner Bros. wanted to include music from Prince, Michael Jackson, and George Michael. Two weeks later those plans were scrapped, and Elfman was asked to return.
- Tim Burton’s prop and production design team were incredible. Christopher Walken recalled suggesting that Max Shrek have a model of his power plant in his office, and within an hour the crew built one to use in the movie.
- Warner Bros. basically pushed Tim Burton out of Batman Forever, and opted to go with a more sponsor and toy-friendly approach.
I’m just scratching the surface here. I highly recommend you check out THR’s full article at the source link below for lots more, including quotes from the cast and crew.
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter