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Batman Returns is a 1992 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton, based on the DC Comics character Batman. It is the second installment of Warner Bros. initial Batman film series, with Michael Keaton reprising the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film, produced by Denise Di Novi and Burton, also stars Danny DeVito as the Penguin, Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, and Christopher Walken as corrupt businessman Max Shreck.
Burton originally did not want to direct another Batman film. Warner Bros. developed a script with Sam Hamm which had the Penguin and Catwoman going after hidden treasure. Burton agreed to return after they granted him more creative control and replaced Hamm with Daniel Waters. After a falling out, Waters was removed from the project and Wesley Strick was chosen to do an uncredited rewrite shortly before filming. This included normalizing dialogue, fleshing out the Penguin's motivations and master plan and removing scenes due to budget concerns. Strick continued working as the on-set writer all through filming, an early trailer credited Strick as co-screenwriter with Waters having sole story credit but after a dispute from Hamm he received no credit whatsoever. Annette Bening was originally cast as Catwoman but became pregnant and was replaced with Pfeiffer.
Batman Returns was released on June 19, 1992. The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects and Best Makeup, as well as two BAFTA awards. Its budget was $80 million and it grossed $266.8 million worldwide, making the film a financial success. The film received positive reviews, with critics praising its action sequences, performances, Danny Elfman's score, effects, and villains, although its dark tone was criticized.
A follow-up, Batman Forever, was released in 1995, with Val Kilmer replacing Keaton as Batman.