End Of An Era: This was one of the last major Hollywood films to be done "the old-fashioned way", with indoor soundstages, tromphe l'oeil sets, miniatures, and various other vestiges of old-school Hollywood filmmaking; the very next year, Jurassic Park came along and nothing was the same after that. Later viewers have even criticized the film for its "cramped staging"...which is a little unfair, because Burton deliberately had the sets constructed that way as a tribute to the German expressionist melodramas of the early 1920s (where the cramped mise-en-scene was also deliberate). Not that Batman Returns wasn't also a gateway to the future: it was the very first film recorded with Dolby digitalized sound, the first to be released in more than 2,000 movie theaters across America simultaneously, and one of the first to integrate computer-animated graphics seamlessly into a (semi-)realistic story.
Vincent Schiavelli (that droopy-eyed guy Miloš Forman cast in many of his films) plays the Organ Grinder, while Zangief plays Chip Shreck. And Abe Sapien plays the "Thin Clown." Tucker and Esther Cobblepot are Pee-wee Herman and his short-lived admirer, Simone, respectively.
The Mayor of Gotham is recognizable to fans of Robert Altman and/or Garry Trudeau as the protagonist of Tanner '88.
Production Posse: Danny Elfman doing the score, Bo Welch for production design and Denise De Novi assists in production
Annette Bening was Burton's original choice to play Selina/Catwoman, but she turned it down due to her pregnancy at the time. Sean Young, still bitter over losing the role of Vicki Vale in 1989's Batman, lobbied hard to secure the role as Catwoman, even going as far as to confront Burton at the Warner Bros. studios, wearing a homemade Catwoman costume.
The character of Max Shreck was originally written for Harvey Dent (Billy Dee Williams), thus explaining the character's political ambitions. The film would have ended on a cliffhanger, with the explosion at the end only scarring him.
In addition, Dick Grayson was going to have a cameo; he was going to be played by... Marlon Wayans.
The original script had many, many more members of the Red Triangle Gang. Notable members of the circus in the original script included a duo with razor sharp metal blades encrusted into their heads like mohawks, a teenage clown with a neon medallion that read "CIRKUS" who was the original stun gun clown, and a group of clowns dressed like firefighters who operate a fire-engine that happed to shoot napalm (in a possible dark twist on the clown scene from Dumbo).
Sam Hamm's original script for "Batman 2" included a few Continuity Nods to the first film, such as Bruce proposing to Vicki Vale, a souvenir store selling scraps of the wrecked Batplane and more insights to the deceased Joker. Catwoman and the non-deformed Penguin were featured, but neither had an origin story, and the Penguin was given the alias "Mr. Boniface" in a Mythology Gag (his original alias in the comics; "Oswald Cobblepot" is nowhere to be found). The Penguin enters the film when he is released from prison for previous offenses, Catwoman comes in when he hires her for her burglary skills, and both go off searching for buried treasure.
A later script draft revealed Max Shreck to be Penguin's older brother, the "golden boy" of the Cobblepot family, whereas the Penguin was the deformed outsider. He was supposedly ashamed of his father, after he threw his baby brother into the sewer, and he emancipated himself from the Cobblepot family as soon as he became of age.
Dustin Hoffman was reportedly interested in playing the Penguin. It was actually Jack Nicholson who suggested to Tim Burton that he cast Danny DeVito (whom Nicholson had recently worked with in Hoffa).
Burgess Meredith (who played Penguin in the 60's Batman series) was considered to play Penguin's father; however, he was unable to appear due to complications resulting from lung cancer.
Originally titled Batman 2 while still in the draft phase, the earlier scripts picked up right where the first film left off, right down to people selling bits of scrap from the destroyed Bat-Wing as souvenirs to tourists, with Bruce Wayne/Batman still pursuing a relationship with Vicki Vale, even proposing to her, while Penguin and Catwoman teamed up to look for lost gold buried at the bottom of the Gotham harbor, which would then tie into why Bruce's parents were murdered years ago. Robin was also slated to make his debut after being cut from the first film (with Marlon Wayans of all people signed on to play him), and there was even talk of having Jack Nicholson return as the Joker, despite his fate at the end of the previous film. All of this was thrown out once Tim Burton agreed to return as director because he didn't want to make a direct sequel for whatever reason, though the film did still reference the previous film's events by mentioning Vicki Vale.