Before interconnected DC universes, brightly lit Batcaves and films deconstructing billionaire vigilante Bruce Wayne, there was Tim Burton’s Batman duology. The two movies brought Gotham to life more vividly than ever before, populating it with dynamic, strikingly designed characters that blended the larger than life style of the comic book world with Tim Burton’s own trademark aesthetic. However, from the actors that were banned from the set to the difficulties of wriggling into a Catwoman suit, the production of Batman Returns definitely had its ups and downs. Here’s everything you might not have known about the film.

3. David Bowie nearly appeared in the movie

Tim Burton’s Batman Returns is a star-studded affair, but there were also many celebrities who didn’t make the cut. For example, before Danny DeVito was chosen to play the Penguin, other legendary actors like John Candy, Christopher Lloyd, Dean Martin and Marlon Brando were also considered for the role.

Not only that, but before Christopher Walken secured the part of Max Schreck, David Bowie was the producers’ favourite to take the role. However, Bowie declined to appear in the movie, as it conflicted with the shooting schedule for Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

2. Tim Burton didn’t want to make the film

Michael Keaton wasn’t the only one who wasn’t super passionate about making Batman Returns. Even director Tim Burton was ready to move on to greener pastures after his first flirt with the Caped Crusader, and he called rumours of a sequel a “most dumbfounded idea”. However, the studio was a little more enthusiastic.

Tim Burton did eventually agree to make Batman Returns, but only after the studio signed over more creative control, and commissioned a rewrite of the script from Heathers screenwriter Daniel Waters. It was this rewrite that changed the plot from a romp in which the Penguin and Catwoman teamed up to hunt for hidden treasure, to a political satire about the Penguin’s attempts to become Mayor of Gotham.

1. Kevin Costner was banned from visiting the set

Superhero movies might have changed a lot since the pre-MCU era, but one thing has remained the same: security is paramount. After on-set photos were leaked showing major details of the plot of Batman Returns, the studio hired a private investigator to track down whoever was responsible and introduced new measures to stop any more leaks from happening.

Not only was the art department told to keep their curtains closed at all times and to work in semi-darkness, but superstar actor Kevin Costner was told that he was not allowed to visit and tour the set, just in case he had been responsible for the leak.

See next page for more
Next Slide next