The original vision for Tim Burton’s Batman Returns was much different in plot and tone to the final film.
After the success of Burton’s first Batman film where Michael Keaton’s Caped Crusader did battle with Jack Nicholson’s Joker, Burton was tempted into returning for a sequel.
And, as explained in the video below, the 1992 film was originally meant to be written by Batman (1989) screenwriter Sam Hamm but his script did not impress Warner Bros.
Significantly lighter in terms of tone, Hamm’s script for the film still included Penguin but saw the character, here named Mr. Bonafice, team up with Catwoman to hunt down a set of antique ravens, one of which was hidden under Wayne Manor.
The story was supposed to be slightly inspired by Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, even including the image of Batman riding on a horse.
The film, before it was rewritten by Daniel Waters, was also set to include Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent/Two Face, Marlon Wayans as Robin, and ending with Bruce proposing to Vicki Vale.
What do you think? It would certainly have been an entirely different film from the extremely dark and at the time, controversial, final movie.