On June 19, 1992 “Batman Returns” was released.
The film, directed by Tim Burton, starred Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Danny DeVito as the Penguin, Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle / Catwoman, as well as Christopher Walken as Max Shreck . The film is the follow up to 1989’s “Batman,” which was also directed by Tim Burton, and released by Warner Brothers. The film, set in Gotham City during the holiday season, focused on the combined efforts of the Penguin and Catwoman as they try to take over the city for their own reasons, with Batman hot on their trail. The filmed highlighted the back stories of both the Penguin and Catwoman, particularly how Selina Kyle eventually transitioned into Catwoman due to Max Shreck’s corrupt ways.
At the time of its release, the film was a critical and commercial success. The film, made on a budget of around $80 million, made a little over $45 million in its opening weekend, and eventually grossing over $280 million worldwide. The film was also nominated for various awards, including two Academy Award nominations for Best Visual Effects and Best Make Up. Many critics lauded Tim Burton’s work, especially the dark and brooding atmosphere he established within the film, acting somewhat of an oxymoron due to the film taking place during the holiday season – i.e. a time of life and happiness. Critics also praised the flawless casting of Walken, DeVito, and Pfeiffer.
The ending of “Batman Returns” was meant to be an indication for a Catwoman spin-off film, further green lighted following the success of “Batman Returns” and praise Pfeiffer received for Catwoman, with both Burton and Pfeiffer scheduled to return. The ending featured Selina Kyle / Catwoman surviving her multiple gun shot wounds (a reference to a cat having nine lives), with her silhouette being seen in the shadows throughout Gotham City, and eventually the viewer seeing the back of her head when the bat signal is turned on.
The film was in development hell for many years, with a Catwoman film eventually released in 2004, “Catwoman,” starring Halle Berry. The film was critically panned for having a back story that practically had zero relation to the DC Comics’ Catwoman. Though not mentioned as “Catwoman,” Selina Kyle does appear in the 2012 film, “The Dark Knight Rises,” played by Anne Hathaway, depicted as cat burglar. The film was directed by Christopher Nolan, and was a critical and commercial success.
Random Pop Culture Fact: During the filming of “Batman Returns,” 60 catsuits were created for the film, each costing $1,000; as well as over 40 penguins were used to help create the Penguin’s penguin army.