Sam Hamm's original screenplay draft had the Penguin and Catwoman going after hidden treasure. Dissatisfied with that, Tim Burton brought in Daniel Waters, writer of Heathers, who came up with the concept of an evil business mogul backing a bid for the Mayor's office by the Penguin.
Michelle Pfeiffer got through 60 catsuits during the 6 month shoot, at a cost of $1,000 a time.
The Batman costume weighed 55 lbs.
The first film made in Dolby Digital.
First Batman adaptation in which the real names of Penguin and Catwoman as established in the comics (Oswald Cobblepot and Selina Kyle) are used.
When Penguin is in the Hall of Records searching through birth certificates, the second one seen is that of Property Master William A. Petrotta.
The makeup artists who created the Penguin's look decided to move away from previous depictions of the character. Instead of just giving Danny DeVito a pointy nose, they created prosthetics to make his face look more "avian". Additionally, they studied deformities such as curvature of the spine and syndactyly. Some comic book artists (such as Tim Sale) subsequently drew the Penguin as "deformed" in different Batman comics.
Danny DeVito refused a stand-in for the scene where the Penguin gets pelted with rotten food by an angry mob.
Susan Sarandon showed great interest in the role of Catwoman, but at the age of 46 was considered too old for the role.
Warner Bros. had to constantly submit new Catwoman posters for various cities as many of the bus stop ads were being stolen. It soon got so bad that police officers had to patrol bus stops in order to catch perpetrators before they could break the Plexiglas containers. Today the large scale Catwoman bus ads are worth a great deal of money.
When the Penguin is being persuaded to run for mayor, Josh (Steve Witting) - one of Shreck's hired image consultants - places a cigarette holder in his mouth, which he promptly spits out. This not only serves as a reference to previous incarnations of the Penguin from both the Batman comic book series and TV show, but also, with the corresponding line - "Reclaim your birthright." - hints at what is more explicitly revealed in the back-story: that Tucker Cobblepot, the Penguin's birth father, once occupied a high-level political office in Gotham City. Tucker is also seen smoking a cigarette in a holder at the beginning of the film.
Marlon Wayans was signed on to play Robin in this movie and Batman III - he even went through costuming for the five minutes that he appeared in the script. But when the script was for the third film was re-written and Joel Schumacher took over as director, the role went to Chris O'Donnell. Wayans was paid for both movies and continues to receive royalty checks.
The first script draft of Batman Returns was intended to be a direct-sequel to the previous Batman. As a result, sub plots and continuity from the first film that would have been addressed included gift shops selling fragments of the destroyed Bat-Wing, further revelations into the past of the now deceased Jack Napier AKA Joker, and even Bruce Wayne proposing to Vicki Vale by the end of the film. However, Tim Burton was uncomfortable in making a direct sequel and as a result, the script was rewritten. However, several plot elements from the original script did make it into the final draft. This included the Penguin and Catwoman's alliance, their framing of Batman, and the Dark Knight's escape via Bat-Glider. Further elements even made their way into the third film, Batman Forever, most notably the storming of Wayne Manor and the Batcave.
It was intended that the character of Robin be introduced in the sequel to Batman. Reportedly, Tim Burton collaborated with DC Comics artist Norm Breyfogle to redesign the Robin costume so that it would coincide with the one planned for the film. Kenner Toys even went so far as to produce a corresponding action figure, but when Robin was eventually written out of the script, Kenner released the toy anyway, as the character newly rendered in the comic books.
Batman Returns made $47.7 million in its first 3 days, a record at the time.
Danny DeVito spent two hours a day in make-up. He was forbidden to describe the Penguin's makeup to anyone, including his family.
David Bowie turned down the Max Shreck role in favor of one in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.