The Cast For Tim Burton’s Batman Returns Reveal A Few Secrets

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The Batman Returns Cast Reveal A Few Secrets



It’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since Tim Burton’s Batman Returns hit theatres on June 19th, 1992. The Hollywood Reporter recently sat down with Tim Burton, Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito, and Christopher Walken to discuss the making of the cult classic film. Not surprisingly, the cast and crew revealed some cool and interesting facts about Batman Returns.

Danny DeVito created the black saliva in Penguin’s mouth:

“The black saliva was a concoction that I came up with after working with the makeup and special effects people. Basically, it’s kind of like mild mouthwash with food colouring in it. We had a jar of it with a nozzle on it. Before every scene, I’d squirt it into my mouth. Luckily the taste wasn’t so bad.”

Michelle Pfeiffer struggled with her Catwoman suit:

“It was the most uncomfortable costume I’ve ever been in. They had to powder me down, help me inside, and then vacuum-pack the suit. Originally they didn’t leave me a way to use the restroom in the suit, so that had to be remedied as well.”

Michael Keaton removed a lot of his dialogue from the film and focused more on his movements as Batman:

“Once I realised how powerful the suit was in terms of an image on screen, I just used it. It was a practical move early on to move in a certain way because they hadn’t refined the suit and it wouldn’t function properly. I got around that by making bigger, bolder, and stronger moves from the torso up, and it worked.”

According to Christopher Walken, the penguins were treated like kings on set:

“They had their own area on the studio lot with a swimming pool and refrigerated dressing rooms. They were very well taken care of.”

Tim Burton Batman Returns

Batman Returns (1992)
Directed by Tim Burton
Shown: Michael Keaton (as Batman), Danny Devito (as The Penguin)

Tim Burton explains that the studio was interested in selling toys:

“At the time with the first Batman, you’d never heard the word franchise. On the second one, you started to hear that word. On the second one, we started to get comments from McDonald’s like, ‘What’s all that black stuff coming out of the Penguin’s mouth?’ So, people were just starting to think of these films in terms of marketing. That’s the new world order.”

According to Christopher Walken, Danny Devito was in character all the time:

“Once he was in that costume, he was the Penguin. He was always in character, using the menacing voice. I saw Danny after the movie, never during production.”

Tim Burton was impressed by Michelle Pfeiffer. She even put a real live bird in her mouth:

“I don’t think I’ve ever been so impressed. She had a live bird in her mouth while the camera was rolling. It was four or five seconds, and then she let it fly out. It was before CG, it was before digital. It was so quick, it seems like it was an effect.”

Danny Elfman quit the first Batman movie after hearing that Prince or Michael Jackson would be involved:

“I didn’t wanna end up being just an orchestrator for someone else’s tunes, which is what would’ve happened if I went along with that. That process didn’t appeal to me very much. There are plenty of people more qualified to orchestrate for a pop artist than me.”

The studio forced Burton out of the franchise:

“I realised halfway through my meeting with Warner Bros. that they didn’t really want me to do the movie. They kept saying, ‘Don’t you wanna go back and do a movie like Edward Scissorhands? Something smaller?’ I said, ‘You don’t want me to do the movie, do you?'”

Batman Returns (1992)Directed by Tim BurtonShown: Poster Art

Batman Returns (1992)
Directed by Tim Burton
Shown: Poster Art

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We just did a Playback on its predecessor, 1989’s Batman. Watched it after many years and that film still holds up today. Returns was a great sequel! DeVito as Penguin is perfect.

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