Batman Returns was an incredibly divisive movie upon its release in 1992. After the monumental success of 1989’s Batman, Warner Bros. gave director Tim Burton free reign to make the sequel he wanted to make, which resulted in a movie that felt more like a, well, Tim Burton movie than the previous entry. Opinions still vary on the film, with some even calling it their favorite Batman movie, and now a new video is shining a light on previous drafts of the script and just how different the film could have been.
Uploaded by LowRes Wünderbred, you can check out the eight-minute video below, which contains some interesting trivia regarding the development of Batman Returns that even the most die-hard Batman fans may not have known.
One surprising thing to learn was just how many characters were cut from the finished product. Marlon Wayans was cast as Dick Grayson and even had a suit made before being cut. Vicki Vale, reduced to a one line write-off in the film, was given a suitably prominent role in the script, even getting engaged to Bruce Wayne at the end. In an “if only” for the ages, Billy Dee Williams was contracted to reprise his role as Harvey Dent and was to transform into Two-Face during the demise of Christopher Walken’s Max Shreck.
The basic plot of the original script was also wildly different. The Penguin was now Mr. Bonafice, and he hires Catwoman to track down a set of antique ravens, with one conveniently located beneath Wayne Manor. Bruce Wayne was to be the de facto main character this time around after some reviews criticized Batman for placing too much emphasis on Jack Nicholson’s Joker, but Warner Bros. wasn’t too fond of that idea, however, and requested Burton make the villains just as central as the hero.
There’s plenty more to learn in the video and after watching it, it’s safe to say we almost got a completely different version of Batman Returns than what ended up in theaters. Would you have wanted to see this original version or do you think Batman Returns is perfect the way it is? Let us know in the comments!