DC History Club & Harley's Crew: The Story Behind Batman Returns, plus polls & quiz

If Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman was proof of concept, the sequel Batman Returns was its perfection. Gone are the traces of camp found in the original as Burton fully commits to Gotham as a technical noir playground for vengeful billionaires, society’s misfits and one very bad kitty determined to make her own mark. All accompanied by the incomparable Danny Elfman’s score.
As always, there’s more to the story than fits on the screen and we’ve gathered a sampling of interviews, articles and videos discussing everything from the direction and performances, to set design and soundtrack, to the film’s box office success.
Join the DC History Club & Harley’s Crew as we dive into the making and impact of Batman Returns. Watch, read, poll, quiz and talk until the penguins launch their rockets.
What, you haven’t seen Batman Returns, or at least haven’t seen it recently? We have fix for that. Drop in and WAL along.

Our Poll and Quiz zones are under construction. Meanwhile check out the research wiki and join the conversation below.


Batman Returns Polls

  1. Big question first, which is the better movie Burton’s Batman or Batman Returns?
  • Batman
  • Batman Returns
  • Equally Awesome
  • Equally Flawed

0 voters

  1. Pick your Batman Returns MVPs, select two.
  • Tim Burton
  • Michael Keaton
  • Michelle Pfeiffer
  • Danny DeVito
  • Christopher Walken
  • Danny Elfman
  • Michael Gough

0 voters

  1. What are the best Michael Keaton movies? Select two.
  • Batman/Batman Returns
  • The Founder
  • Beetlejuice
  • Birdman
  • Spotlight
  • Other (tell us below)

0 voters

  1. What are the best Tim Burton movies? Select two.
  • Batman/Batman Returns
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • The Corpse Bride
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Sweeney Todd
  • Big Fish
  • Ed Wood
  • Beetlejuice
  • Other (tell us below)

0 voters

  1. What are the best Michelle Pfeiffer movies? Select two.
  • Batman Returns
  • The Fabulous Baker Boys
  • Stardust
  • What Lies Beneath
  • Dangerous Minds
  • The Age of Innocence
  • Frankie and Johnny
  • The Russia House
  • Dangerous Liaisons
  • Married to the Mob
  • Other (tell us below)

0 voters

  1. What are Danny DeVito’s best roles? Select two.
  • Batman Returns
  • Taxi
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  • Man on the Moon
  • Matilda
  • Get Shorty
  • Twins
  • Other (tell us below)
  • Romancing the Stone

0 voters



  1. The final shot of the film was accomplished in reshoots using a body double and did not appear in the shooting script. What was this shot?
  • Batman dropping from building, cape spread out
  • Gordon turning off the Batsignal
  • Catwoman watching the Batsignal
  • The Batmobile racing at the camera

0 voters

  1. Penguin’s father was played by what actor who also appeared in television’s Gotham?
  • Stuart Lancaster
  • Paul Reubens
  • Vincent Schiavelli
  • Michael Murphy

0 voters

  1. Where did the primary filming of Batman Returns occur?
  • Pinewood Studios, London
  • WB Studios, Burbank, CA
  • Chicago and Toronto
  • Gotham City

0 voters

  1. Batman Returns was nominated for Oscars in two categories. What were they?
  • Visual effects & makeup
  • Lighting & sound editing
  • Score and original screenplay
  • Best director, best actor

0 voters

  1. According to both Catwoman and Batman, what can be more deadly than eating mistletoe?
  • A kiss
  • Revenge
  • Love
  • Spoiled fish

0 voters

  1. The Penguin claims to have played Gotham like what instrument?
  • Harp from hell
  • Violin of violence
  • Piano of penguin destruction
  • A rock guitar from a frozen wasteland

0 voters

  1. Elfman’s first film score. Composer Danny Elfman formed the band Oingo Boingo with his brother. A fan of the band, Tim Burton, asked Danny to score the soundstrack to what 1985 movie?
  • Frankenweenie
  • Hansel and Gretel
  • Pee-wee’s Big Adventure
  • Vincent

0 voters

  1. Alfred suggests that Batman change the channel to a program with some dignity and class. What is that program?
  • Love Boat
  • Love Connection
  • Life Styles of the Rich and Famous
  • Jerry Springer

0 voters

  1. What happened to Ricky Freiberg?
  • Joined the circus
  • He’s dead now
  • Works for Penguin’s campaign
  • Started a cult

0 voters

  1. If you flush it, what does Penguin do with it?
  • Fries it
  • Feels it
  • Flaunts it
  • Flips it

0 voters

  1. Bonus question. Screenwriter Daniel Waters named the Christopher Walken character Max Shreck in a nod to a silent film actor who starred in what film?
  • The Ten Commandments
  • Metropolis
  • Nosferatu
  • Dr Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

0 voters

  1. Bonus, bonus question. 1. What role does Doug Jones, who would go on to star in The Shape of Water, Star Trek Discovery, Hell Boy, and more, play in the movie?
  • Organ grinder
  • Knife thrower
  • Clown
  • Security guard

0 voters

Answer Key

  1. Catwoman watching the Batsignal
  2. Paul Reubens
  3. WB Studios, Burbank, CA
  4. Visual effects & makeup
  5. A kiss
  6. Harp from Hell
  7. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure
  8. Love Connection
  9. He’s dead now
  10. Flaunts it
  11. Nosferatu
  12. Clown

Batman Returns Power Index
1-3 :00_batman_1986:
4-6 :00_batman_1989: :00_batman_1989:
7-9 :00_batman_1986: :00_batman_1989: :batman: :catwoman_hv_1:
10 + :catwoman_hv_1: :batman_hv_3: :batparrot:


@TurokSonOfStone1950’s Research Wiki Corner. Check out the research gathered by Turok. The best in links dealing with Batman Returns. But, Turok want’s your info, too. Got some good research for the cause? You can post it to the wiki yourself by clicking on the pencil to the right. Or, you can add it in a reply below.

General Info Links on Batman Returns

Metro – 19 Jun 17

25 things you may not know about Batman Returns on its 25th birthday

It’s a quarter of a century since the Dark Knight’s first cinematic sequel swooped in

The Hollywood Reporter – 19 Jun 17

‘Batman Returns’ at 25: Stars Reveal Script Cuts, Freezing Sets and…

Tim Burton, Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito look back on the movie that helped make franchise films the norm: “We started to get comments from McDonald’s like, ‘…

Collider – 27 Mar 19

Why Batman Returns Is the Most Underrated Batman Movie

Adam Chitwood looks back at Tim Burton’s delightfully twisted, dark 1992 sequel Batman Returns and argues why it’s the most underrated Batman movie.


25 Reviews of Christmas #18 - A subtextual analysis of Tim Burton’s "Batman…

Nothing says Christmas quite like Batman. Yes, I did indeed just type those words, because today we’re discussing Tim Burton’s “Batman Ret…

Batman Returns (1992) - Tim Burton's Misunderstood Masterpiece: The Underrated Series - YouTube

How young he is


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![|480x360](https://d3dfsf9oc1ojzp.cloudfront.net/original/4X/4/8/4/4849b27ec032682508af58593ba6f3c7f51b0fdc.jpeg “Tim Burton interview on “Batman Returns” Jack Nicholson + Sean Young - Later 6/3/92”)

Tim Burton interview on “Batman Returns” Jack Nicholson + Sean Young - Later 6/3/92

Danny Effman

Danny Elfman Batman Returns Interview


Batman Returns | Soundtrack Suite (Danny Elfman)

Danny Elfman - Batman Returns (1992)


Danny Elfman - Batman Returns (Music From The Motion Picture)

Country: Europe • Genre: Electronic, Rock, Pop, Classical, Stage & Screen • Style: New Wave, Abstract, Ambient, Dark Ambient, Theme, Score, Soundtrack

Danny Devito

Batman Returns: Danny DeVito Exclusive Interview | ScreenSlam

Michele Pfeiffer

Michelle Pfeiffer Interview Batman Returns 1992

Michael Keaton

Batman Returns: Michael Keaton Exclusive Interview | ScreenSlam

Set Design and Behind the Scenes

Set design


Designing the set of ‘‘Batman Returns’’

Designing the set of ‘‘Batman Returns’’ – EW goes behind the scenes to find out how the filmmakers did it

Batman Returns: 08 Gotham City Revisited: The Production Design Of Batman Returns


Bo Welch’s ‘Batman Returns’ Production Designs

Bo Welch’s designs for Batman Returns are less well-known than Anton Furst’s Batman '89 designs, but there’s a lot to admire in this nightmarish urban hellscape.

Box office



I’m ready. :catwoman_hv_2: Let’s do this! :raised_hands:


Should we drop some Danny DeVito goodness as well?


His best role outside of Taxi?


You read my mind. This too.


Yes, I tried to see if there was a recent article or interview with him over at DC Comics, but didn’t find much, but this EW article seems good.


Never saw Taxi :thinking: This has to be up there, but he’s a really talented actor!


They missed one. The lovely and talented Aimee Garcia, also known as Ella on Lucifer, has written Dungeons and Dragons comics and was working on a GLOW comic among other projects.


Oh no, the gap in our ages exposed for the world to see. He played the really unlikable manager for the taxi company.


He always seems to play unlikable characters.


There’s a trick to playing an unlikable character, and still have the audience like the actor.


More stuff:


Bewildered :flushed: not the response you want


If these are the workers…

…I might feed them each a fish, so as to reward their proper wearing of thematically apropos headgear.


My other favorite movie of Michael Keaton is Mr. Mom, he’s so funny in the movie taking care of kids and the house while his wife work. :laughing:
My other favorite Tim Burton film is Dumbo, you can definitely see a Batman Returns reunion in this Disney film! :grinning: Both Keaton and Danny Devito are in this movie as well.
Speaking of Danny Devito, my other favorite film of his is Hoffa. He made the movie right after Batman Returns, he directed the film as well. Jack Nicholson played Hoffa. The movie is really good, as long as you don’t pay much attention to the language.

As for the Quiz I only got 1 wrong! :partying_face::tada::confetti_ball:
I did good. :grinning:


Woo-Hoo! :smiley: I got 9!


:crown: :stuck_out_tongue: :catwoman_hv_2:

Good job @DC89! You get a crown too :crown: