Batman Returns is a 1992 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton and written by Daniel Waters. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, it is the sequel to Batman (1989) and the second installment in the 1989–1997 Batman quadrilogy. In the film’s plot, the superhero vigilante Batman comes into conflict with wealthy industrialist, Max Shreck, and deformed crime boss, Oswald Cobbleplot / Penguin, who seek power, influence, and respect no matter the cost to Gotham City. Their plans are complicated by Selina Kyle, Shreck’s formerly meek secretary who seeks vengeance against Shreck as Catwoman. The cast includes Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, and Michael Murphy. Burton had no interest in making a sequel to the successful Batman, believing he was creatively restricted by expectations of the Warner Bros. studio. He agreed to return in exchange for significant creative control, inclding replacing original writer Sam Hamm with Daniel Waters, and hiring many of Burton’s previous creative collaborators. Waters’ script focused more on characterization than the overarching plot, and Wesley Strick was hired to complete an uncredited re-write that, among other elements, provided a master plan for the Penguin. Filming took place from September 1991 to February 1992, on a $50–80 million budget, entirely on sets and soundstages at Warner Bros. Studios and the Universal Studios Lot in California. The special effects mainly involved practical applications and makeup, with some animatronics and computer-generated imagery. The marketing campaign for Batman Returns was substantial, including collaborations with brands and a variety of merchandise to replicate the success of the previous film. Released on June 19, 1992, Batman Returns broke some box office records and earned about $266.8 million worldwide, but failed to replicate the success or longevity of Batman ($411.6 million), which was blamed on its darker tone and violent or sexual elements which alienated family audiences and led to backlash against marketing partners such as McDonald’s for promoting the film to young children. Reviews were similarly critical of the tone as well as the narrative, but were more favorable towards the cast, giving near unanimous praise to Pfeiffer’s performance. Following the relative failure of Batman Returns, Burton was replaced by Joel Schumacher, so the series could move in a family-friendly direction, and Keaton chose not to return for another sequel. Schumacher’s Batman Forever (1995) was more financially successful than Batman Returns but fared less well critically, and Batman & Robin (1997), was a critical and commercial failure, becoming regared as one of the worst superhero films ever made. In the decades since its release, Batman Returns has been reassessed as one of best Batman films, and its incarnations of Catwoman and Penguin are now considered iconic. A comic book, Batman ’89 (2021), continued the narrative of the original two Burton films, and Keaton is set to reprise his version of Batman in the DC Extended Universe.