– Production Information –
In 1989, a legendary hero burst into fresh life on the motion picture screen in a film that thrilled the entire movie going world. Before long, “Batman,” directed by TIM BURTON, had become the sixth-highest-grossing motion picture of all time, breaking box-office records in the U.S. and abroad with its startlingly unique sets, intriguing story, astounding special effects and powerhouse performances.
Now, Batman–and MICHAEL KEATON–return to the screen in the all-new, gripping epic adventure that pits The Dark Knight of Gotham City against an array of fascinating villains, from the evil Penguin, played by a master of diabolical humor, DANNY DeVITO, to the sinuous, mysterious Catwoman, played to sultry perfection by MICHELLE PFEIFFER, to the scheming mega-millionaire Max Shreck, played by Academy Award-winner CHRISTOPHER WALKEN. Once again directed by Tim Burton, “Batman Returns” brings a darkly dazzling and completely fresh realization of Gotham City and its inhabitants to cinematic life, as Batman battles for the soul of his city against his most fiendish opponents yet.
The initial onslaught has all of Gotham asking: who– or what–is The Penguin? A reclusive and strangely deformed creature with a brilliant mind honed on rage and an insatiable need for revenge, The Penguin forms an unlikely alliance with amoral business mogul Shreck that sends Gotham and its residents to their knees in terror. Flanked by an army of loyal penguins prepared to do his most evil bidding and a treacherous band of vandals known as the Red Triangle Circus Gang, The Penguin carries the secret of his origins with him as he embarks on his diabolical plan to destroy Gotham City–and its savior, Batman. ,
Yet Batman has an even greater challenge to face in the form of the seductively beautiful, yet lethally dangerous Catwoman. Catwoman, whose own existence, like Batman’s, sprang out of tragedy, is a stunning combatant who confronts Batman with a fierce energy, a scathing wit–and a secret he must discover before he falls under her spell forever. As Catwoman’s slashing, slithering whip curls around Batman’s shoulders and flings him to the floor, the humbled–but tantalized–Dark Knight wonders for the hundredth time … where has he met this amazing woman before?
Director Burton once again mines the rich legend of Batman to present a caroming funhouse ride through the imagination, a dizzying glimpse into a dark urban future, and an exploration of a romantic attraction as mysterious as it is powerful, in “Batman Returns.”
The screenplay by DANIEL WATERS (“Heathers”) is based upon Batman characters created by BOB KANE and published by DC Comics. DENISE DI NOVI produces, and JON PETERS, PETER GUBER, BENJAMIN MELNIKER and MICHAEL USLANserve as executive producers. LARRY FRANCO is the co-producer. The associate producer/unit production manager is IAN BRYCE
Joining Keaton, DeVito, Pfeiffer and Walken in the cast of “Batman Returns” is MICHAEL MURPHY as the city’s beleaguered Mayor. MICHAEL GOUGH once again appears as Alfred the butler, and PAT HINGLE returns to the role of Police Commissioner Gordon .
A world-class team of behind-the-scenes creative artists has been assembled for the film, including director of photography STEFAN CZAPSKY; production designer BO WELCH; costume designers BOB RINGWOOD and MARY VOGT; film editor CHRIS LEBENZON; visual effects supervisor MICHAEL FINK; mechanical effects supervisor CHUCK GASPAR; Academy and Emmy Award-winning key make-up artist VE NEILL; Emmy winning key hair stylist YOLANDA TOUSSIENG; second unit directors BILLY WEBER and MAX KLEVEN; and composer DANNY ELFMAN.
About the Production …
Producer/director Tim Burton faced a unique challenge … creating a completely original second “Batman” adventure which could stand entirely on its own.
“The legend of Batman is incredibly well-developed and fertile,” says Burton. “The heroes, villains, supporting characters and story lines have been embellished over the years, first by Bob Kane in his original comic books and then by everyone who’s re-interpreted this material for film, graphic novels and television. The temptation to delve into this legacy again, to put our own spin on Batman and his opponents, was irresistible. There was too much to fit into only one film…! just had to explore this character and his world further.
‘” Batman Returns’ is not a sequel to ‘Batman’ , ” emphasizes Burton. “Ii ·doesn’t pick up where the first movie left off. The sets for Gotham City are completely new. There are· lots of new elements in the visuals and storyline that haven’t ( been seen before. Even Batman’s costume has been revised.”
Burton’s approach was supported by Di Novi. Previously, the team bad been responsible for “Edward Scissorhands,” one of 1990’s most original and acclaimed films. For Di Novi, however, “Batman Returns” represented a quantum leap in scope,
“What’s exciting about this movie is not only that it’s such an extravaganza, but that it marries artistic vision with story, which is a rare thing,” she explains.
Burton and Di Novi’s choice for screenwriter was Daniel Waters, best known as the author of “Heathers” (produced by Denise Di Novi), a cynically original view of the denizens of an all-American high school.
Waters soon discovered that he and Tim Burton “work very well in a yin/yang sense. Visually, Tim puts no limits on himself … and I try not to put any limits on myself when it comes to words. “To me, ‘Batman Returns’ has two strong stories which function well together,” notes Waters. “There’s Batman versus ‘The Penguin, and then there’s the whole Batman/Catwoman/Bruce/Selina story. The subplot approaches issues of sex and desire and love and romance–as well as humor–in ways that I think are very rich.”
To suit the requirements of the combined visions of Tim Burton and Daniel Waters, the best of the best in production staff was required. Overseeing the hiring and day-to-day operations connected with the filming were co-producer Larry Franco and associate producer/production manager Ian Bryce. And as the crew was being assembled, casting proceeded.
One of the main tasks–finding Batman–had already been accomplished by Burton for the first movie. “Batman is a character who likes to remain in the shadows,” notes Burton. “He has a real split personality. Batman is an odd character to portray because he’s fairly remote and conflicted.”
It was this understanding of the Caped Crusader’s complex psychological essence which led Burton to cast Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight in the first “Batman.” Realizing that a fully dimensional portrayal was needed by a popular, accomplished but offbeat movie star, Burton went against the grain of traditional “superhero” casting. At the time it was a controversial decision. After June 21, 1989, nobody any longer questioned Burton’s wisdom, or Keaton’s suitability.
Keaton is excited to have the opportunity to further explore the Caped Crusader’s heart and mind in “Batman Returns.” “In the first movie, I felt that we took a new look at this character,” observes the actor. “So in ‘Batman Returns,’ we’re a little more comfortable in taking this foundation and then exploring it a little deeper.”
” In addition to the central character, !’Batman Returns” gave Tim Burton a chance to introduce two flamboyant arch villains who lend their own indelible personalities to. the new film.
The Penguin was one of Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s most popular comic-book .creations, a verbose villain with an umbrellaful of evil-tricks. He was as natural a choice for cinematic conversion as The Joker was in the first “Batman” film, and Tim Burton found the perfect actor to embody a very new vision of what The Penguin could be: Danny DeVito.
·”I don’t think there’s anybody better at making the horrible acceptable,” says Burton of DeVito. Indeed, Danny DeVito has excelled in finding an intrinsic humanity in characters whose charms may be obscure to others. In “Batman Returns,” DeVito faced the challenge of discovering The Penguin inside the man and the man inside the penguin. As conceived by Burton, the screenwriters and DeVito, The Penguin is neither human nor fowl, but rather a terrifying combination of both.
“The Penguin is actually a very intelligent man,” declares DeVito, “someone who has always wanted acceptance.
He’s a guy who is living one world in his mind and another in reality. I mean, his parents took one look at him when he was a baby and totally rejected him,” says DeVito. “But if they had tried to understand that there was a human being inside that hideous ‘penguin boy’ he might have become another Einstein.
“He could have been nurtured, gone to the best schools and become a worldly human being,” continues DeVito. “But from the confines of the lair in which he was raised, and the underworld of characters to which he was exposed, The Penguin became what he is.”
Another world-famous Batman character which naturally lent itself to a new interpretation was everyone’s favorite feline temptress … Catwoman.
“Catwoman was certainly a childhood heroine of mine,” says Michelle Pfeiffer. “I used to watch the TV series and just wait for her to come on, and she was never on enough as far as I was concerned.
“I guess she just broke all of the stereotypes of what it meant ·to be a woman,” she recalls. “I found that shocking and forbidden. Also, I was probably at the age where I was really just coming into my own sexuality, and I just found Catwoman thrilling to watch.”
Now, Michelle Pfeiffer, in the role which she coveted for so many years, emerges as Catwoman’s ultimate, dangerously sensual incarnation.
The versatile Christopher Walken, an Academy Award-winner for “The Deer Hunter,” was chosen by Burton to play a brand new character of stunning villainy … Gotham City’s devious mega-mogul Max Shreck. Shreck is outwardly “Gotham’s Santa Claus,” and inwardly its dark, icy heart.
Max Shreck is a name familiar to certain film buffs … with one letter added, it’s the name of the German actor who portrayed the vampirical main character in F.W. Murnau’s 1922 German expressionist masterpiece, “Nosferatu”: Max Schreck. “Oh, it’s absolutely intentional,” says a cheerful Daniel Waters. “Max- Schreck played a character who· sucked blood from the population … and Max Shreck is also something of a, vampire,, sucking up energy, power and.money from Gotham City.”
Returning to their respective roles of Alfred and Police Commissioner Gordon were the two actors who created the characters in the first “Batman” movie: Michael Gough and Pat Hingle, who between them have careers that have spanned almost 100 years.
Gough, the elegant English actor, perceives Alfred as “an old-fashioned man who tried to bring up Bruce Wayne like a little gentleman. Because, as a boy, Bruce lost both of his parents, Alfred had the great responsibility of being both substitute father and mother to him.”
“Batman Returns” gives Alfred (and Michael Gough) more of an opportunity to display the impeccable butler’s ingenuity and courage in that task.
Pat Hingle, who embodied Police Commissioner Gordon’s gruffness and compassion in “Batman,” created his own personal “backstory” to explain his character’s bond of understanding with the Caped Crusader:
“The way I see it,” Hingle declares, “Gordon was Just a cop on the beat when the young Bruce Wayne watched his parents gunned down. Gordon was the first one to get to the scene of the crime. Somehow, when Batman made his first appearance in Gotham City, Gordon knew that he had seen this person before.”
To consider a truly thankless job is to imagine the responsibilities of the Mayor of Gotham City … a man faced with the impossible task. of keep i.ng Law and order in a city which frequently knows neither. Well, in “Batman’ Returns,” the task falls to Michael Murphy.
Says Murphy, “The’ Mayor of Gotham is basically a decent guy, but there’s so much crime, civil disobedience and deceit in Gotham City that the Mayor is inevitably in over his head.”
Burton brought two relative newcomers to important secondary roles for “Batman Returns”: Cristi Conaway as Gotham’s bitchy beauty queen, the Ice Princess, and Andrew Bryniarski as Chip Shreck, Max’s spoiled, thuggish son. As
for the mysterious Red Triangle Circus Gang, who helped raise The Penguin and have now become his bizarre henchmen, Burton and associates cast such fine actors as Vincent Schiavelli in the role of the Organ Grinder; Anna Katarina as the haunting and doll-like Poodle Lady; Rick Zumwalt as the Tattooed Strongman; Travis McKenna as Fat Clown and Doug Jones as Thin Clown; as well as real-life circus performers, acrobats, sideshow experts and stunt-people, including Erika Andersch as the Knifethrower Dame, John Strong as the Swordswallower (Strong holds the Guinness Book of Records title for the most swords swallowed at one time–11!) and Flame–an honest-to-golly snake woman–as the Snake Woman.
For The Penguin’s winged retinue, Tim Burton required not a flock of penguins, but an army … literally! In the story, Danny DeVito’s Penguin commands battalions of Penguin Commandos, programmed to execute his every order. And in the film, what the audience will see is a splendid and seamless amalgamation of four separate elements:
(1) Real) live-from- their-webs-to:…the-ir-beaks Blackfoot penguins and King penguins; (2) thirty incredibly complex penguin “puppets”–“‘.actually articulated robots–developed, constructed and operated by Stan Winston’s famed special effects studio; (3) four complicated Emperor penguin “suits,” inhabited by performers of small stature; and (4) fantastic three-dimensional computer-generated pe11guin images created by the multi-award-winning Boss Film Studios.
It goes without saying that coordinating these diverse units was a monumental undertaking.
To Stan Winston–who received Oscars for his work on “Aliens” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and nominations for “Heartbeeps,” “Predator” and Tim Burton’s “Edward Scissorhands”–“the biggest challenge in creating the army of penguins was doing the best we could to replicate real life, with anatomically and cosmetically correct penguins to perform and act under direction.”
The penguin “puppets” from Winston’s studio were all fabricated from non-organic materials, except for their plumage made of dyed chicken feathers. These talented individuals, many of them actors in their own right, were capable of mechanically articulating the “puppets” through an intricate system of cables and radio controls. But they also had the ability to impart personality to the penguins through their performance skills.
Also employing their acting techniques were the “little people” who occupied the 40-pound Emperor penguin suits. All agreed that their study of penguin behavior and movement before their on-set work began was a great help. “It was important to watch their behavior within a group, their slight neck movements, exactly how they walk,” says Denise Killpack. “Then, when you’re in costume, you visualize, remember and transform yourself.”
The only problems facing both puppeteers and Emperor penguin performers occurred when the real penguins took a more than passing interest in them … which might include a friendly peck on the beak, or something a little more aggressively territorial!
By and large, though, the Blackfoot and King penguins won over the entire cast and crew. Lovingly raised and cared for by humans (the Blackfoots by “Batman Returns” animal trainer Gary Gero, and the Kings by Richard Hill, owner of a British park in the Cotswolds known as “Birdland”), the penguins were usually quite sociable and friendly. And when they finished their work, the human souls on the set were all sad to bid their aquatic colleagues goodbye.
Stan Winston was also responsible for creating much of the special makeup effects that transformed Danny DeVito into The Penguin on a daily basis.
Every morning, DeVito entered the makeup trailer, presided over by the Oscar-winning makeup artist Ve Neill, hair stylist Yolanda Toussieng and their associates. About two hours later, The Penguin would emerge in all his frightening glory .. Toward the end of his work on the film, De Vito noted_ that “right now, after wearing the makeup for some 60 days, for 12 to 15 hours a day, I’ve been looking at myself more as The Penguin than as Danny. When the makeup’s put on, it’s so organic that it just becomes part of you.”
Whips and Kicks
Without question, one of the most extraordinary aspects of “Batman Returns” is the amount of rigorous and often dangerous physical work performed by the stars. While stunt doubles were required for potentially life-and-health threatening situations, the stars all insisted on putting themselves on the line as often as possible.
Notes Keaton, “I’ve only done a few films–like ‘Beetlejuice,’ ‘Batman’ and maybe ‘One Good Cop’–which really allowed me to be physical. But I was a very physical kid, I still love sports, and my first heroes were the guys on TV who were involved in a lot of action.”
For “Batman” and “Batman Returns,” Keaton underwent a rigorous training program with British-born martial arts/ kickboxing champion Dave Lea, learning the swift, lethal moves which make Batman such a fighting machine. “Michael was an incredibly fast learner on the first ‘Batman,’ says Lea, “and by now there isn’t much more I can teach him.”
Michelle Pfeiffer also studied kickboxing and martial arts, training with another champion in that sport, Kathy Long. “Michelle is a perfectionist,” notes Long of Pfeiffer. “If she doesn’t get it right the first time, she’ll keep on and on until she aces it. She’s a woman with incredible determination.”
That determination would be crucial for the greatest task facing Pfeiffer for her Catwoman role–her whip training, which began several months prior to the start of her shooting schedule.
“Believe it or not,” says Pfeiffer, “the physical work has been the easiest part of playing Catwoman for me.” Notes Anthony De Longis, Pfeiffer’s whip trainer, “I know of only one or two other people who have anything like Michelle’s vocabulary with the whip. Michelle is using the whip exactly as Catwoman would. It’s sensual, sinuous, sexual and dangerous.
The task of re-creating Gotham City fell upon Bo Welch, one of the film industry’s most respected young talents. Having already designed Burton’s “Beetlejuice” and “Edward Scissorhands,” Welch had an understanding of Burton’s needs and wants. He felt that the new “Batman” adventure, true to Burton’s vision, required a re-thought, re-conceived and re-structured Gotham City.
Welch worked closely with art directors Tom Duffield and Rick Heinrichs (the latter another old Burton friend· and associate), set decorator Cheryl Carasik, prop masters Bill and Vic Petrotta, and their attendant staffs of talented production illustrators, storyboard artists, model makers and set designers.
While a wide range of architectural and design influences can be detected in Welch’s Gotham City (which set decorator Carasik defines as “Machine Age Teutonic”), the results are wholly original. At once oppressive, grim and grandly claustro-.phobic, they also reflect a dollop of whimsy which delights the eye.
“Overall, what we wanted to do was to create the impression of ‘city,'” maintains Welch. “You never see any set in its entirety. You see a piece of the city here and another piece there. It allows your mind to fill in the rest and use your own imagination.”
A dozen sets began to rise at Warner Bros. in Burbank, with another at nearby Universal. Among the highlights were: Gotham Plaza – One of the largest interior sets ever built at Warner, the 65-foot tall Gotham Plaza is, according to Welch, “a deliberate caricature of Rockefeller Center in New York … something like its weirder twin. The design is clearly influenced by fascist and totalitarian architecture and statuary, dehumanizing in its scale, with hints of the other parts of the city peeking into the corners.”
Among the Plaza’s unique elements are several statues, sculpted by Leo Rijn and his crew. They include two colossi setting the gears of Gotham City into motion; four startling statues surrounding the 35-foot-tall Christmas tree, given the appellations “Misery, Grief, Ecstasy and Victory” by Bo Welch (“which actually refers to my work process,” he quips); and a large stone Greco-Roman head, half-buried in the pavement, referring to Gotham City’s propensity for building one layer on top of an older one.
The bizarre cathedral was “influenced by a smorgas-bord of modern and ancient religions,” says Welch. Ringed by Shreck’s Department Store, looming government buildings, and a tottering skyscraper held up by one rusting crutch, Gotham Plaza “isn’t so much evil as it is inhospitable and demoralizing,” asserts Welch. “The buildings are meant to dwarf the human beings down below. But you cannot repress the human spirit … Gothamites will still rise up and maintain hope for the future … despite the fact that their city is decayed, corrupt and overwhelms them in terms of scale and feeling.”
Gotham Plaza–and all other “exterior” sets built inside of soundstages–was chilled down to 38-40° Fahrenheit by massive air conditioners, a climatic condition insisted upon by Tim Burton to maintain the authenticity of the movie’s dead-of-winter setting.
The Penguin’s Lair – Built inside a soundstage with a 50-foot ceiling at Universal Studios (since the biggest Warner stage was already occupied by Gotham Plaza), the Lair is the old, crumbling, abandoned aquatic pavilion where The Penguin is raised from infancy.
“In designing the set,”· explains Welch, “we researched theme parks, old World’s Fair aquariums, synchronized swimming shows, and manmade animal habitats. You let all that stuff fester inside of your brain … then take those impressions and feelings, and try to enhance and magnify them.
You think of what would happen to one of those old places if 50 years had gone by. It’s rotting, spooky, with green moss crawling up the sides of the walls. What was a beautiful kind of white, ·light arctic display has now become a dangerous petri dish for The Penguin and his army to grow in. II
Arctic World Exterior/Gotham Park – This is the topside of The Penguin’s Lair, and the only part of the old Gotham Zoo complex built to full scale (the rest of the Zoo was created in miniatures by Stetson Visual Services).
“Once we decided that The Penguin lived in an abandoned arctic animal pavilion far underground, that served to inspire the topside of the zoo,” says Welch. “It’s fenced off, and no one goes near it. It’s damaged, condemned, and it’s been that way for a long time.”
The Arctic World and Gotham Park set was notable for its totally snow-covered (artificial, of course) hilly surfaces, and more than 200 bare trees. The stone bridge, festooned with charming dancing animal statues, is built over an actual running stream … a stream which is to the baby Penguin what the Nile was to baby Moses.
Gotham Rooftops – Two combined Warner Bros. stages held the length and breadth of the spectacular Gotham City “rooftops set,” the staging ground for much action, particularly the battles-of-the-sexes between Batman and Catwoman.
“Rooftops exude a kind of romantic feeling to me,” states Welch. “The irony about big cities is that they often look the most beautiful from rooftops. You can see the lights of other windows, interesting silhouettes, the best decorations, spectacular cityscapes. There’s always a kind of mystery, and a lot more air than on the claustrophobic streets down below.”
This set featured some of Welch’s most interesting designs, an entire city built to scale and using forced perspective. Huge, looming stone faces–a motif in Welch’s Gotham City–peer down upon the tiny inhabitants below. Up on the roofs, air circulator fans whir and smokestacks belch steam. Set decorator Cheryl Carasik provided small-scale Christmas wreaths and lights for the little windows off in the distance.
Also on the “rooftops” set was Selina Kyle’s “working girl” apartment … with a characteristically Gothamesque steel beam running right through the kitchen!
Shreck Industries Office – This is the seat of power for Max Shreck, and the lavish surroundings reveal the man who inhabits them.
“Max Shreck sits in a kind of throne on top of the city and dominates things for his own greedy interests,” says Welch” “There’s a lot of glamour and machine-age finish on this set, because it represents money and consumerism and capitalism.”
One of the most prevalent images in the movie is the Shreck Industries’ “cute” pussycat logo–there’s a Shreck cat clock revolving from the exterior of the department store, a large cat-logo rug at the entrance to Shreck’s office suite, and a giant cat head at the very top of the Shreck Building,
“This strange cat is designed to throw you off,” says Welch. “Its cuteness is just a cover for the evil malevolence of the Shreck Empire.”
The Batcave – The massive black set filled a large soundstage, its two biggest sections housing the Batmobile on one end and the Batcave consoles–one for Batman and the other for Alfred on the other.
A large holding space for Batman’s armored suits is separated from the main lab and accessible only by a medieval-style drawbridge. As for the laboratory consoles, they’re built into the black slate rock and are, according to Welch, “multi-tech” … a mixture of old and new video and audio devices, tracking screens, surveillance equipment, revolving radar, and, in the case of Alfred’s console, an ironing board, sink and refrigerator for his more domestic tasks.
Downtown Gotham City – Whereas Bo Welch constructed most of the exterior settings of the film inside soundstages, this three-city-block stretch of Gotham was the only major environment created out-of-doors.
In fabricating downtown Gotham, Welch and his crew made use of a standing exterior on the Warner Bros. backlot which has been employed by countless films and TV programs. The set is actually a combination of two different sections built 44 years apart … one for the classic Warner gangster movie, “Angels With Dirty Faces” (1938), the other for John Huston’s 1982 film version of the stage musical “Annie.”
But nobody wandering onto this set after Welch and company got through with it would recognize it as the same place.
The streets were radically refurbished to serve as backdrops for some of the biggest action scenes of “Batman Returns,” including the smashing ride of the out-of-control Batmobile and Batman’s street fight with a small army of Red Triangle goons.
Whereas Gotham Plaza has a seat-of-power, upscale feeling, these downtown Gotham City streets are rundown, characterized by bargain shops, inexpensive hotels, downstairs bars and tenement houses. Rotting pipes jut out, with power lines hanging dangerously low to the pavement from concrete poles.
“These giant pipes and bolts and washers and what-not are intended to give the impression of an industrial-utilitarian overlay,” notes Welch. “The idea is that the city is so old, so decrepit, so corrupt, so in need of repair, that it’s hanging on for its life.”
Building the Better Batman Costume and Other Fabrications Burton’s Law states that there is always room for revision and improvement, and that extends into every thread of the production … including the costumes.
No one could have been more up to the task of creating the myriad costumes for “Batman Returns” than Bob Ringwood,
an Englishman who served as costume designer for the 1989 film. Due to the sheer volume of work on the second movie, Ringwood was joined by the equally talented American designer? Mary Vogt.
For “Batman Returns,” Ringwood and Vogt not only had to create a new Batman costume for the Caped Crusader and appropriate dress for The Penquin and Catwoman … they also had to clothe residents and officials of Gotham City, and the fantastically attired Red Triangle Circus Gang.
.To begin with, Tim Burton desired a modification of the first movie’s Batman costume which was_ itself a dramatic alteration of the comic book’s familiar. blue-and-gray-tights.
“The fact is that Batman’s new costume is much closer to the original concept we had for the first film,” says Ringwood. “It’s more like armer now, rather than a muscle suit. We’ve also modified the mask by strengthening the eyebrows and the nose, and changing the shape of the eyes and chin.”
For The Penguin and Catwoman, Ringwood and Vogt also had to create designs that were faithful to the popular concept of the characters, while creating visual innovations that would newly personify them on film. Tim Burton’s sketches were utilized by the designers as a foundation for the results.
“Tim is a very visual director who’s involved with everything, including the costumes,” declares Mary Vogt. “As an artist, he’s able to provide sketches of his basic idea, and gives you the freedom to take off from there.”
In the story of “Batman Returns,” Selina Kyle makes the Catwoman costume herself after she’s been brought back from the dead by a coterie of cats. As a result, Catwoman’s suit has large, visible white stitches that reveal its homemade origins, becoming more distressed and torn as the film progresses.
Those ragged stitches also function as visual suggestions that Selina has been sewn back together again in an act of physical regeneration. “It’s like she’s wearing black glass,” says Vogt. “And with Michelle Pfeiffer in it, the suit looks like a beautiful sort of dark sculpture.”
For The Penguin, Ringwood and Vogt not only had to develop original costumes, but also the character’s very body shape … which differs radically from that of Danny DeVito’s.
The costume designers created a body “shell” for DeVito to wear, and for his actual wardrobe, Ringwood and Vogt chose a strange, Victorian look that’s markedly different from the familiar tuxedo of the comic book. “It’s almost like something out of Charles Dickens,” declares Ringwood.
The costumes for the other important characters, as well as the residents of Gotham City, create an intentional melange of several periods of American design. And for the Red Triangle Circus Gang, the designers drew upon the colorful and somewhat sinister circus traditions of 19th century Europe. Remarks Ringwood, “The American circus has become very wholesome, but the European circus has always been more decadent.”
Decadence was also the hallmark of Max Shreck’s “Maxsquerade Ball,” a costume bash to end all costume bashes. For the 182 masks that festoon this sequence, Burton and Ringwood called upon the talents of Ted Shell.
“We wanted to make the Maxsquerade costumes not only fun and fantasy, but also a little bizarre,” explains Shell The results cover a hilarious gamut of inspirations, from world famous buildings and mythological personages to signs of the zodiac to natural disasters (the Titanic, for instance, attends the ball with her date, the Iceberg).
The vehicles showcased in “Batman Returns” reflect the film’s overall consistency of design; with Bo Welch and his staff making sure that they fit right in with the Gotham scheme of things.
Essentially, the Batmobile retains the design that Anton Furst created for the first film, described by the late production de.signer as “menacing and intimidating.” But for· this new adventure, in addition to the two Browning machine guns concealed beneath flaps in each wing, the Batmobile packs a few new surprises for the villains of Gotham City to contend with … including the Batdisc Ejector, which shoots off lethal, metallic flying discs; twin black blades that spring from the Batmobile just above the front wheels on either side, ready to trip up or cut down any bad guys in the vehicle’s path; and a hydraulic lift, which juts down from the chassis and allows the car to revolve quickly in any direction.
But the Batmobile’s most special new feature is its ability to transform itself into a completely different speed racer … the Batmissile.
Two separate Batmissiles were constructed for the film: one full-sized and operated by Chuck Gaspar’s mechanical effects department, and another in miniature–for the actual transformation from Batmobile to Batmissile–that was constructed and shot by Bob and Dennis Skotak’s 4-Ward Productions special-effects company, 1991 Oscar-winners for their work on “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”
Another vehicle created especially for “Batman Returns” is the fabulously swift Batskiboat, which Batman uses to zoom through the sewers and waterways beneath Gotham City.
Again, as with the Batmissile, there were two Batskiboats –one full-scale, and a quarter-scale miniature which was also built and photographed by 4-Ward Productions. “The miniature Batskiboat is propelled on a track that’s pretty much like a monorail,” notes visual effects supervisor Michael Fink. “Its actual movements are controlled by a chain drive with an air motor.”
In terms of design, the Batskiboat follows the same basic motif that has been seen in the Batmobile, Batwing (from the first movie) and Batmissile–dark, smooth and dangerous.
In ironic contrast to Batman’s modes of transportation, The Penguin’s vehicles are nothing if not amusing. The Penguin’s large yellow Duck Vehicle is an amusement park ride re-rigged to allow him to travel amphibiously through the sewers, up steep embankments, through his watery lair, even onto dry land.
The vehicle’s scissors-lift feature enables The Penguin to rise up from the depths of Gotham City to observe its innocent citizens from behind the various sewer grates that dot the Gotham landscape. ,
The Batmobile “Kiddie Ride”–which The Penguin uses to maliciously control the real Batmobile on its wild, destructive ride through the streets of Gotham–is, according to Bo Welch, “a stylized, chunky, kiddie-ride version of the Batmobile. _ The Penguin is making fun of the whole Batman aesthetic with this vehicle.” And in addition to their garishly colored motorcycles, the Red Triangle Circus Gang also have their very own circus train. “It has a classic turn-of-the-century circus feel,11 says Welch. In fact, the caged cars are authentic relics of that period, discovered by propman Vic Petrotta. The locomotive, however, was designed by Welch and then built by the transportation department. Transportation captain Tonnny Tancharoen gave the task of building the locomotive to legendary car designer and customizer George Barris, who has an historical link to the Batman character, as the man who fashioned the Batmobile for the mid-’60s TV series.
In Gotham City, fantastical vehicles are reserved for the use of superheroes and supervillains. The general populace, however, has to make do with Brand X autos. They’re all the same (with no brand name) … only come in four drab colors (white, black, blue and red) … and don’t have one iota of individualism.
It was Welch’s idea to model Gotham’s autos after the boxy, utilitarian Eastern European models, such as (the former) East Germany’s notoriously shoddy Trabant. “If I had my way I would have imported a fleet of Trabants!” laughs Welch.
Weapons and Gadgets
As with the vehicles, the task for designing and building the weaponry and gadgets of “Batman Returns” fell to two departments–art and mechanical-effects, with props also having a hand in making sure that heroes and villains alike had their arsenals fully stocked.
Batman relies on his superior deductive abilities as well as his physical prowess to battle the bad guys, utilizing his weapons only as a last resort. Bo Welch and his art department re-designed the Caped Crusader’s armory, feeling that what was good the first time ·could be made even better the second.
Batman’s Spear gun is basically the same model that John Evans designed for the first film, a handy and compact item capable of firing grappling hooks with attached wires at high speed. The Double Grappling Hook–also known as the “Slide for-Life”–is a completely revised version of the first film’s Gauntlet, a more elaborate variation of the Spear gun which allows Batman to fire twin grappling hooks connected to wires and pulleys … which he can ride to safety.
“We wanted this gadget to have a real edge,” says Welch, “so the section which Batman actually grasps is designed like high-tech brass knuckles.”
The Batarang, seen in the first “Batman,” has also been completely re-designed. Notes Welch, “It might be called the ‘Super-Batarang.’ We designed it as a computerized weapon. with something like a little computer game built into it. There’s a readout screen which allows Batman to program his target.”
Mention The Penguin, and to a lot of Batman fans, his name is synonymous with “umbrellas.” They _look harmless enough when folded and resting in an umbre1la rack, .but; get them into The Penguin’s webbed hands, and watch out!
The Penguin depends upon six different umbrellas which serve equally ignoble functions: The Knife-Umbrella (releasing a razor-sharp blade from its tip), the Machine Gun (spraying a deadly hail of bullets in rapid succession). the Dazer (producing a: “hypnotic” effect, in addition to firing off individual shotgun rounds), the Flamethrower (unleashing a virtual conflagration), the Umbrella-Copter (high-speed, quick-getaway transportation) and the Pied Piper (a multicolored carousel of twinkling lights and revolving toys, hiding its much darker purpose).
Essentially, Catwoman relies on two utterly low-tech weapons to defeat her foes: an old-fashioned but menacing bull- whip, and her razor-like talons. She also packs a stun-gun– taken from 2 defeated Red Triangle Circus Gang thug –for really desperate situations. As wielded by Michelle Pfeiffer, who became an expert, the bullwhip is a natural extension of Catwoman’s character.
As for che Red Triangle Circus Gang, Bo Welch notes that “there’s a perverse irony behind the whole design of their weapons. You have all these guns, bazookas and rocket packs painted in a colorful circus motif. There’s something very funny and darkly disturbing about things that look like toys but are actually capable of destruction.”
Welch and his gang also designed the Penguin Commandos’ rocket packs and headgear, which allow The Penguin to control the minds and movements of his avian army. They were fabricated in very lightweight plastic, which the real penguins quickly became used to. The Penguin Commandos’ rockets, consistent with the overall design, have red-and-white stripes, like candy canes with built-in warheads!
Miniatures, Miracles of Multiplication … And Other Special Effects There are special effects
There are special effects! And that’s what Burton and Di Novi wanted for “Batman Returns”: state-of-the-art movie magic from the best of the best.
The creative minds at Boss Films (“Ghostbusters,” “2010, ” “Die Hard”) utilized up-to-the-microsecond computer technology to enhance the film’s epic range by expanding the Penguin Commando Army by thousands … all on chips!
And over at Video Image Associates, equally skilled cornputer artists were inventing the Batmobile’s security-cloak effect and generating likenesses of bats swarming over the terrified citizens of Gotham City.
Besides the sophisticated Batmobile, Batmissile and Batskiboat models created by 4-Ward Productions, models of Gotham Plaza and the Shreck Industries Building were constructed and shot by Boss Films, with John Bruno supervising all of that company’s effects in “Batman Returns.”
These models served a variety of functions, appearing in scenes where Batman dramatically extends his special wings glide off a building; when Catwoman is dangling from one of The Penguin’s umbrella~copters; and in several high angle shots Looking down on the expanse of Gotham City- from the rooftops.
Stetson Visual Services, who have contributed effects to such films as “Total Recall,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “Bugsy” and “Honey, I Blew Up The Baby,” assembled yet another intricate miniature–the entire abandoned and very strange Gotham Zoo. 4-Ward Productions–in addition to their work on the scaled-down Batmobile, Batmissile and Batskiboat–also created an authentic \-scale miniature re-creation of the Downtown Gotham set for the Batmissile to zoom through.
Up north in San Francisco, the artists at Matte World (“Avalon,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”) were painting beautifully detailed elaborations of the “real” Gotham City.
An epic film requires an epic shoot, and “Batman Returns” certainly had one. o~ any given day, new standards in moviemaking were established by a dedicated and professional crew. Certain innovations–like stunt coordinator Max Kleven and co- coordinator Charlie Croughwell’s work with “ratchets,11 yanking a record-setting 14 people into the air at one time during The Penguin’s party-crashing sequence, and 13 cars exploding from the effects of the Batmobile’s wild ride–made cinematic history.
Not to mention DeVito’s 35-foot-high flight into the skies of Gotham, courtesy of his Umbrella-Copter, DeVito allowed the mechanical-effects department to rig him onto a hydraulic lift, elevating him far enough above the studio floor to give the crew some cause for worry. DeVito, however; was unflappable in the chilly studio air.
In the end, everybody who devoted time and talents to “Batman Returns” was pushing toward one goal. .. to make the best possible movie for the enjoyment of audiences around the world. Everyone was infused with the knowledge that the film they were laboring on was unlike any other. There was a sense of responsibility to the legend that was created by a teenager named Bob Kane more than 50 years before … and to Tim Burton, the young artist who revitalized that myth for the next generations.
And all that mattered would be the final result on theatre screens.
Batman, The Penguin and Catwoman – A History
In the beginning, there was an 18-year-old kid cartoonist named Bob Kane. Laboring away in the jam-packed New York comic book and comic-strip market of the late 1930s, the Bronx-born teenager began his professional career by drawing funny filler for the short-lived Wow! comic book, later contributing gag cartoons and a comedy-adventure strip about “Peter Pupp” for Jumbo Comics.
Kane then began making his first sales to the thriving DC Comics, mostly two-page comedy material like “Professor Doolittle,” “Ginger Snap” and “Oscar the Gumshoe,” but also such action-adventure fare as “Rusty and His Pals” and “”Clip’ Carson.”
Then one day … as if struck by lightning … Kane gazed upon a book about Leonardo Da Vinci which included many of the genius’s futuristic inventions … including flying machines,machine guns and parachutes.
“There was one ·drawing of a man on a kind of sled with bat-wings called an 1Ornithopter, ‘” Kane recalls more than 50 years later. “To me, it made the man look like a large_ bat.
“Funny … everybody else must have seen it, millions of people through the years, but I interpreted it into a new kind of comic book hero–a ‘Bat-Man.'”
Thus, with the collaboration of writer and fellow teen Bill Finger, did Bob Kane create a new legend for the 20th century.
“From decade to decade Batman has been something special, 11 wrote comic book historian Mark Cotta Vaz in his comprehensive Tales of the Dark Knight, chronicling the hero’s first 50 years. “Stop a stranger on the street and just mention 1Batman1 and they’ll know who you’re talking about.”
The creation of Batman has been oft-told, particularly since the 1989 release of Tim Burton’s “Batman,” which fans saw as the first serious attempt to do The Dark Knight justice on film.
“Originally, when I created Batman I had no idea it would become such an event,” notes Kane.
“Batman just seems to hit a certain chord with people. It’s not just fighting for justice against evil. It’s the duality of Batman and the villains who confront him.”
“The Bat-Man” (as he was originally called) first appeared in May 1939, when Detective Comics introduced him in “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate.” Kane and Finger then proceeded to develop a magnificent array of bizarre, ingenious and frightening arch-villains. Some of them found their way to the small screen in the 1960s, and The Joker was performed to malicious perfection by Jack Nicholson in the first “Batman” adventure.
In “Batman Returns,” two more of Kane’s creations are given unexpected new spins … The Penguin and Catwoman … portrayed by two major stars, Danny DeVito and Michelle Pfeiffer.
The Penguin, with his beak-like nose and incongruously elegant dress, first reared his distinctive head in late 1941. Bob Kane came up with the character from a somewhat less classical source than Leonardo Da Vinci.
“I haven’t smoked in. 40 years,” claims the cartoonist, “but at the time I did, like everybody else in America. I thought smoking was cool, so I smoked Kool cigarettes.
“If you remember, the Kool cigarette pack had a drawing of a penguin on it. So when I was trying to invent some archvillains for Batman to fight, I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh! This penguin looks kind of like a little fat man in a tuxedo. Why not have a villain called The Penguin?'”
Like most of Kane’s characters, The Penguin’s persona and modus operandi have evolved quite a bit since his invention, but in the beginning he was clearly a cold-blooded killer (then again, in those early days, Batman himself thought little of dispatching his opponents to the hereafter). Later, The Penguin became more of a master crimesmith than a murderer, chastising his enemies (especially Batman) in overblown language and relying upon his astonishing array of trick umbrellas as weapons, ‘tools, modes of transportation, even communication devices.
“When I created The Penguin in the comic book I thought he was comical-looking,” remembers Kane. “And the idea that I made him a nefarious villain went against the typecast of what he looked like. I think that’s part of his popularity … that this cartoonish character who looks so innocent is really a maniac. And therein lies the fascinating combination of good and evil.”
Look under “C” in The Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes and you’ll find Catwoman … described as “daring and beautiful, whose costumes, special equipment, and choice of crimes all revolve around a feline theme.”
Catwoman’s history even pre-dates that of The Penguin, having made her comic book debut in mid-1940. Her real name is Selina Kyle (The Penguin’s is the less musical Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot). In “Batman Returns,” Selina is given a contemporary spin … as the much-oppressed assistant to Gotham mogul Max Shreck, suffering the slings arid arrows of mean spirited, sexist barbs launched at her from both Max and his obnoxious son, Chip.
As with The Penguin and other arch-villains, Catwoman’s personality has ebbed and flowed through the years, usually evil but sometimes not, with one consistency–her love/hate relationship with Batman … a theme very much explored in
The physical origin of Catwoman was a combination of
1930s blonde bombshell Jean Harlow … the darker-haired 1940s screen siren Hedy Lamarr … and Bob Kane’s girl friend at that time. “I admired Hedy Lamarr,” recalls Kane, his eyes still twinkling these many years later. “She had that great feline beauty, and my girl friend looked very much like her. My girl friend was kind of handy as a seamstress, and she evolved a cat costume in which she posed as my model for the character.”
Why a cat?
“Well, a cat has nine lives,” Kane emphasizes. “So I figured that whenever she was caught, or wounded, she would survive and live again for another go-round with Batman.
“Also,” the legendary cartoonist adds, “I feel there’s something very mysterious about cats, and I equate that with women.”
Curiously enough, neither The Penguin nor Catwoman were featured characters in the very first filmizations of “Batman,” Columbia Pictures’ low-budget black-and-white serials in 1943 and 1949.
The live-action, stupendously campy television series that aired on ABC-TV from January 1966 to March 1968, however, gave both The Penguin and Catwoman extensive screen time. Burgess Meredith, a fine and serious actor, was a popular Penguin of his day, generally acknowledged as everybody’s favorite villain in that particular manifestation of “Batman.”
It took not one, but three successive actresses to fill Catwoman’s claws … Julie Newmar, followed by Lee Meriwether, then Eartha Kitt. Meredith and Meriwether would portray their respective characters in Twentieth Century-Fox’s splashy 1966 feature, film version of ·the television series.
It would take a fine detective,. though , to draw· a direct line from those pop-art era evocations of The Penguin and Catwoman to their brand-new interpretations by Danny DeVit6 and Michelle Pfeiffer in “Batman Returns.” Just as Tim Burton and his actors in the first “Batman” restored power, terror and psychological validity to The Dark Knight and The Joker, so do the director and his players take Batman, The Penguin and Catwoman into the ’90s with “Batman Returns.”
To begin with, Burton and screenwriter Daniel Waters developed new origins for both characters, haunting and humorous, tinged with tragedy and contemporary sensibilities. Although The Penguin and Catwoman remain essentially true to their original essence (Bob Kane’s ex-girl friend would be proud to know that in the new film, Catwoman’s costume is also home-sewn; and The Penguin still has that fabulous arsenal of evil umbrellas), they’re now spirited in new directions.
And that’s just fine with Bob Kane, the father of them all. “When I created Batman and the related characters, he was a dark, brooding vigilante. It all became campy and comedic in the ’60s with the advent of the TV show.
“But if I had my druthers, I’d rather have the mysterioso, profound Batman characters. The first Batman movie brought them back from whence they came.
“Tim Burton is a wonderful director,” concludes Kane, “and he brings great visual atmosphere to his movies. He and I think alike, and Batman was depicted exactly the way I created him in the beginning. It’s dark, it’s textured, but it’s also a lot of fun … and I like that.”
So did millions upon millions of moviegoers around the world … added to the millions upon millions who have relished Bob Kane’s brilliant comic book creations for more than half a century.
About the Cast …
MICHAEL KEATON (Bruce Wayne/Batman), was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He spent two years as a speech major at Kent State University, where he began acting in plays and writing comedy material. After leaving Kent State, he supported himself by driving a taxicab as well as serving in various capacities behind the camera for a Pittsburgh PBS station. In bis off time, Keaton appeared in several regional theatre productions.
After moving to California, the actor made a number of television appearances, leading to his big screen film debut as Billy Blaze, the manic morgue attendant who turns his workplace into an after-hours bordello, in Ron Howard’s “Night Shift,” released by Warner Bros.
Next, Keaton co-starred with Teri Garr as a middle-class executive forced to switch roles with his mate and become “Mr. Mom.” The film was one of 1980’s biggest box-office hits and firmly established Keaton as one of America’s most important new talents.
Keaton imprinted a 1980s irreverence on 1930s gangster films as “Johnny Dangerously” (198Lf), which marked the first time Keaton worked with Danny DeVito. His next portrayal was that of a self-absorbed hockey player in “Touch and Go” (1986). Later that same year, “Night Shift” director Ron Howard cast Keaton in the role of a man who brings rebirth (as well as a clash of cultures) to a dying automobile plant in the comedy ”Gung Ho i ”
In 1988, Keaton played the title character–a supernatural “bio-exorcist”–in Warner Bros.’ smash hit,
“Beetlejuice,” directed by Tim Burton. Later in the year, he accomplished a stunning change of pace with his starring role in Warner Bros.’ “Clean and Sober” as Daryl Poynter, a rising young businessman whose life is turned inside out by his growing addiction to drugs and alcohol. Directed by Glenn Gordon Caron, “Clean and Sobe r ” brought Keaton further critical and public accolades, and for both performances· that year he won the Best Actor prize from the National Society of Film Critics.
1989 began with the successful comedy 11The Dream Team” and heated up significantly with the summer release of “Batman,” an unqualified all-time blockbuster.
More recently, Keaton played the role of a psychopathic tenant in John Schlesinger’s thriller “Pacific Heights,” and a policeman faced with a dilemma of the heart in “One Good Cop.”
DANNY DeVITO (The Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot) has emerged not only as one of America’s most versatile leading men, but a noted filmmaker as well. His talents as a director were first realized in 1987’s “Throw Momma From the Train” and were solidified with 1989’s “The War of the Roses.”
DeVito’s early acting endeavors only extended as far as one school play, in which he portrayed St. Francis of Assisi. After graduation, and following a series of odd jobs, he applied to and was accepted by the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Graduating two years later, DeVito attempted to find acting work. He was cast by an old friend and former professor at the American Academy in the starring role of one of three one-act plays, together entitled “The Man With the Flower in His Mouth.” Other stage performances followed in rapid succession, among these “Down the Morning Line,” “The Shrinking Bride” and the Off-Broadway production of “One- Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” to name a few.
DeVito also, acted in such films during the period as “Lady Liberty,” “Scalawag,” “Hurry Up Or I’ll Be 30” and “Goin’ South.” But the screen performance which brought DeVito his first national recognition came when producer Michael Douglas asked the actor to re-create his stage role in the Oscarwinning film version of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
In 1978, DeVito was cast as Louie DePalma in “Taxi,” resulting in the creation of one of the most famous characters in television history. He won the Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for his acting and also directed many episodes of the series.
The period following “Taxi” saw DeVito appearing in a series of hit films, including “Terms of Endearment,” “Romancing the Stone” and its sequel “The Jewel of the Nile,” “Ruthless People,” “Tin Men,” “Throw Momma From the Train” (which he also directed) and “Twins.”
In 1989, DeVito reteamed with producer James L. Brooks (“Taxi” and “Terms of Endearment”), Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner (“Romancing the Stone,” “The Jewel of the Nile”), when he directed and co-starred in “The War of the Roses.” The film’s critical and commercial success confirmed DeVito’s directorial trademark of exploring darker comedic themes.
DeVito cultivated his filmmaking craft by writing, directing and producing several film projects on his own, some in collaboration with his wife, actress Rhea Perlman. DeVito directed himself and Perlman in an episode of “Amazing Stories” for Steven Spielberg, and also directed and starred with Perlman in “The Ratings Game,” a biting satire on the TV industry made exclusively for Showtime/The Movie Channel.
DeVito and Perlman have also devoted much of the last seven years to the development of their company, New Street Productions. Their first two projects, “What A Lovely Way to Spend An Evening” and “The Selling of Vince DeAngelo,” were directed by DeVito for cable TV.
In the fall of 1991, DeVito starred as corporate takeover artist Lawrence “Larry the Liquidator” Garfield in Norman Jewison’s film version of the hit play “Other People’s Money,” released by Warner Bros., and in the title role of “Jack the Bear,” directed by Marshall Herskovitz.
DeVito’s most recent acting and directing project is “Hoffa,” starring Jack Nicholson.
MICHELLE PFEIFFER (Catwoman/Selina Kyle), was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award for her performance as sultry nightclub singer Susie Diamond in “The Fabulous Baker Boys.” That role also brought her awards from the New York Film Critics, the National Society of Film Critics and the Los Angeles Film Critics. Previously, she received an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Madame de Tourvel in Stephen Frears’ “Dangerous Liaisons.”
Raised in the suburban Southern California town of Midway City, Pfeiffer ~attended junior college before deciding on an acting career , She was .selected during a nationwide talent search to star in the musical “Grease 2.” During these formative years, she was a student of the late acting teacher Peggy Feury.
Pfeiffer was soon starring in a number of motion pictures, from period adventure to modern comedy. She was cast by director Brian De Palma to play a gorgeous,moll to drug kingpin Al Pacino in “Scarface”; starred with Jeff Goldblum in John Landis’ “Into the Night”; played a medieval noblewoman in Richard Donner’s “Ladyhawke” and a screen actress in Alan Alda’s “Sweet Liberty”; fell under Jack Nicholson’s devilish spell in “The Witches. of Eastwick”; affected a flawless New York accent as a Mafia wife in Jonathan Demme’s critically acclaimed “Married to the Mob’;; and starred with Mel Gibson and Kurt Russell in Robert Towne’s melodrama “Tequila Sunrise.”
After her celebrated performances in “Dangerous Liaisons” and “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” Pfeiffer once again impressed audiences as a passionate Soviet citizen in Fred Schepisi’s “The Russia House.” Most recently, she starred opposite Al Pacino once again in Garry Marshall’s “Frankie & Johnny,” the film version of Terrence McNally’s acclaimed play “Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune,” which brought Pfeiffer a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. She will soon be seen in Jonathan Kaplan’s 1960s-era romantic drama “Love Field” and is currently starring in “Age of Innocence” for director Martin Scorsese.
The actress made her stage debut in the Los Angeles production of “A Playground in the Fall,” and last summer appeared in Joseph Papp’s presentation of “Twelfth Night” in New York City.
CHRISTOPHER WALKEN (Max Shreck) received an Academy Award as Best Supporting Acto~ for his riveting performance in Michael Cimino’s “The Deer Hunter.”
The actor, who has distinguished himself on screen, stage and television, was born in Astoria, New York. He began his career on the musical stage, appearing with Liza Minnelli in the Off-Broadway musical “Best Foot Forward,” for which he won the Clarence Derwent Award. He continued working in musicals until he was cast as King Philip in the original Broadway production of James Goldman’s “The Lion in Winter,” for which he received another Derwent Award.
Continuing his work in dramatic theatrical roles, Walken won an Obie Award for the title role in “Kid Champion” and a Theatre World Award for his performance in the New York City Center revival of “The Rose Tattoo.”
Walken began his screen career in such films as “The Anderson Tapes,” “The Happiness Cage,” “Next Stop, Greenwich Village,” “Roseland” and Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall,” in which he memorably appeared as Diane Keaton’s offbeat brother:
Walken starred once again for Michael Cimino in “Heaven’s Gate” and has also lent his talents to such films as “The Dogs of War,” “Pennies From Heaven,” “Brainstorm,” “The Dead Zone,” “A View to a Kill” (in which he portrayed one of James
·Bond’s more notable nemeses), “At Close Range,” “Biloxi Blues,” “The Milagro Beanfield War, ‘·’Communion,” “King of New York,” “The Comfort of. Strangers” and “McBain.”
On television, Walken starred with Susan Sarandon in Jonathan Demme’s acclaimed “who Am I This Time?” He recently received an Emmy Award nomination for his role opposite Glenn Close in the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of “Sarah, Plain and Tall’.” Walken also continues -t o work with distinction on the New York stage, having starred on Broadway in David Rabe’s “Hurlyburly” and in the New York Shakespeare Festival productions of “Coriolanus” and, last summer, as Iago opposite Raul Julia’s “Othello.”
MICHAEL GOUGH (Alfred) is one of England’s most venerable performers, having made his London stage debut 53 years ago.
Born in Malaya (now Malaysia) on November 23, 1917, the son of a rubber planter, Gough was educated at the Rose Hill and Durham Schools in England. He studied acting at the Old Vic School in London and made his first stage appearance there in 1936. One year later, Gough made his Broadway stage debut in “Love of Women.” His first of over 50 films came in 1948 with “Blanche Fury.”
In the late 1940s and 1950s, Gough appeared in such motion pictures as “Anna Karenina,” “The Man in the White Suit,” “The Sword and the Rose,” “Richard III,” Reach for the Sky” and “The Horse’s Mouth.”
During the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, Gough starred in a series of horror films for Hammer and other studios which brought him permanent cult-actor status among fans’ of the genre. They included “Horror of Dracula,” “The Black Zoo,” “Konga,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “The Skull,” “Trog” “and “Berserk!”
However, Gough continued performing in mainstream films as well, including “Women in Love,” “Julius Caesar,” “The Go-Between,” “Henry VIII and His Six Wives,” “Savage Messiah,” “The Boys From Brazil,” “The Dresser,” “Top Secret!,,,. “Caravaggio,” “The Fourth Protocol,” “Out of Africa,” “Strapless,” “Blackeyes” and “Let Him Have It.”
On television, Gough has been seen in the mini-series “The Search for the Nile,” “QB VII,” “Smiley’s People,” “Brideshead Revisited” and “Inside the Third Reich” as well as on the popular fantasy series “Dr. Who.”
Gough recently celebrated 50 years of Broadway appearances with his performance in “Breaking the Code.”
PAT HINGLE (Commissioner Gordon) recently passed his 40th year in show business, ranking among the top handful of great American character actors. Beginning his professional acting career in a non-union stock company in Rockville Centre, New York, Hingle has since done 22 shows on Broadway alone. Four of them–Archibald MacLeish’s “J.B.,” Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” Eugene O’Neill’s “Strange Interlude” and Jason Miller’s “That Championship Season”–won Pulitzer Prizes.
Born on July 19, 1924 in Denver, Colorado, Hingle was a protege of Elia Kaian and The Actors Studio in New York. His Broadway work also includes performances, in William Inge’s “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs” (for which he received a Tony nomination), Friedrich Duerrenmatt’s “The Deadly Game,ir Arthur Miller’s “The Price,” James Baldwin’s “Blues for Mr. Charlie,” the first revival of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie,” Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple,” Robert Marasco’s “Child’s Play,” Henrik Ibsen’s “The Lady From the Sea” and Hugh Leonard’s “A Life.” Hingle has played the title role in “Macbeth” and Hector in “Troilus and Cressida” at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut. He has also given command performances at The White House and The Library of Congress.
Hingle made his film debut in Elia Kazan’s now-classic “On the Waterfront.” Among his countless screen appearances are Kazan’s “Splendor in the Grass,” “No Down Payment,” “The Ugly American,” “Hang ‘Em High,” “The Gauntlet,” “Sudden Impact” (starring in the last three with Clint Eastwood), “Norma Rae,” “The Falcon and the Snowman,” “Baby Boom” and “The Grifters.”
Hingle’s numerous TV appearances include roles in the mini-series “LBJ: The Early Days,” “War and Remembrance” and “The Kennedys of Massachusetts,” and in the movies-of the-Week “Elvis,” “The Last Angry Man,” “Of Mice and Men,” “Everybody’s Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure” and “Noon Wine.”
MICHAEL MURPHY (Mayor of Gotham City) has starred in number of celebrated films directed by some of Americans best moviemakers. He has appeared in Robert Altman’ s “Brewster McCloud,” “M*A*S*H,” “McCabe & Mrs. Miller” and “Nashville,”
and in two Altman TV projects: “The Caine Mutiny Court Martial” and the title role in “Tanner ’88,” HBO’s celebrated political satire written by Gary Trudeau. Murphy’s other notable screen appearances include Martin Ritt’s “The Front,” Paul Mazursky’s “An Unmarried Woman,” Peter Weir’s “The Year of Living Dangerously,” Oliver Stone’s “Salvador” and perhaps most notably as Woody Allen’s amoral best friend in “Manhattan.”
Born in Los Angeles and educated at the University of Arizona, Murphy taught English and drama in the L.A. school system before turning to acting in the mid-1960s. Before forging his alliance with Robert Altman, Murphy’s first screen roles were in Robert Aldrich’s “The Legend of Lylah Clare” and Elia Kazan’s “The Arrangement.” His most recent feature film appearance was in Ted Kotcheff’s “Folks!”
On television, Murphy guest-starred in such ’60s classics as “Ben Casey,” “Dr. Kildare,” “Bonanza” and “Combat.” His TV movies include “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” “Two Marriages,” “Oh Youth and Beauty” and “Tailspin: Behind the Korean Airlines Tragedy.”
VINCENT SCHIAVELLI (Organ Grinder), perhaps best known for his performance as Patrick Swayze’s phantom guide to the afterlife in the monumentally successful “Ghost,” has lent his talents to dozens of features and television series and movies.
Among Schiavelli’s more notable on-screen appearances are four films for Milos Forman- – “Taking Off,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (co-starring with Danny DeVito), “Amade us ” and ”Valmont”–as well as “The Great Gatsby,” “Next Stop, Greenwich Village,” “Night Shift” (with Michael Keaton), “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” Danny DeVito’s “The Ratings Game” for television and Geoff Murphy’s “Freejack.”
Schiavelli has recently gained wide media attention as the spokesman for the National Marfan Foundation; focusing a spotlight on Marfan Syndrome, a surprisingly common but rarely detected tissue disorder.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Schiavelli was educated in the theatre department of New York University. His numerous Los Angeles stage performances include “Hunting Cockroaches” at the Mark Taper Forum, “Alphabetical Order” at the Matrix Theatre and “Angel City” at the Pilot Theatre.
JAN HOOKS (Jen), who delighted audiences for five seasons as a member of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players on “Saturday Night Live,” is now starring on the popular CBS comedy series “Designing Women.”
Hooks received a 1981 Georgia Emmy Award as Best Performer in WTBS’ “Tush.” Her other TV appearances include Michael Nesmith’s “Television Parts,” “The Joe Piscopo Special” on HBO, “That Was the Week That Was,” “Comedy Break” and “Dear John.”
Previous to “Batman Returns,” Hooks was seen in “Wildcats” and Tim Burton’s “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.”
CRISTI CONAWAY (Ice Princess) has been commanding attention since arriving in Hollywood from her native Texas less ‘than two years ago. The daughter of an Irish/Native.American (Cherokee) father and a Dutch/English mother, Conaway made her feature film debut in Warner Bros.’ hit comedy “Doc Hollywood,” and
was next cast in a starring role in the NBC/Spelling miniseries “Grass Roots,” a drama of political intrigue and racial tension. Following “Batman Returns,” Conaway will be seen in Woody Allen’s next film for Tri-Star Pictures.
While still an adolescent, Conaway studied acting and began doing local television commercials. Upon graduating from high school, she was signed by a top modelling agency and spent the next six months working exclusively in Japan. She returned to Texas, where she divided her time between modelling, studying acting in Dallas and horseback riding at the family ranch in Austin.
Confident that she was ready to pursue TV and film work, Conaway relocated to Los Angeles in late 1989, where she made her professional debut in the CBS-TV rnovie “Children of the Bride.” She soon began guest-starring on such primetime series as “Night Court” and appearing in several music videos, including Don Henley’s “End of the Innocence,” directed by David Fincher.
ANDREW BRYNIARSKI (Chip Shreck) has most recently tossed the pigskin in the football comedy “Necessary Roughness” and co-starred with Bruce Willis as Agent Butterfinger in “Hudson Hawk.”
Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, Bryniarski developed a passion for bodybuilding and sports during his formative years. Gifted in football, martial arts, horse jumping and marksmanship, Bryniarski’s determine~ body-building efforts eventually landed him the title of “Teenage Mr. USA” in 1988.
Turning his talents to acting, Bryniarski began to – receive attention and work in television, co-starring in the ABC-TV movie “Those Secrets” and guest-starring on “L.A. Law.”·
STEVE WITTING (Josh) performed for five seasons in the role of Burt Wiems on the recent hit comedy series “The Hogan Family.”
Born in Richmond Hills, Queens, New York, Witting honed his acting skills by spending four seasons at The Hampton Playhouse, a resident summer stock theatre in New Hampshire. Back in New York, he landed the role of the mime Pulcinello in The Metropolitan Opera’s production of “Parade, A French Triple Bill,” directed by the late John Dexter. Witting followed with appearances in four more productions directed by Dexter at The Metropolitan Opera: “Lulu,” “The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny,” “Billy Budd” and “The Stravinsky Triple Bill.”
Witting next served a four-year apprenticeship with Dexter, assisting him in London on Christopher Hampton’s “A Portage to San Cristobal of A.H.” and on the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie.”
In his home borough of Queens, Witting established his own theatre company, The Drama Guild. Moving to Los Angeles, he was cast in Garry Marshall’s “The Flamingo Kid” ,and guest starring roles in the series “Perfect Strangers” and “Babes.”
Most recently, Witting was hand-picked by Andy Griffith to portray the younger “Matlock” on the series episode entitled “The Dame.”
About the Filmrnakers …
TIM BURTON (Director/Producer) grew up in Burbank~ California, where he fed his imagination by watching old horror films and drawing cartoons.
Burton attended the California Institute of the Arts on a Disney fellowship and soon after joined Walt Disney Studios as an animator. There, he worked on such projects as “The
Fox and the Hound” and “The Black Cauldron.” At Disney, Burton made his directorial debut with the animated short “Vincent,” an homage to one of Burton’s childhood heroes. Drawn in dark, tilted tableaus, the film told the story of a young boy who wanted to be just like Vincent Price. Narrated by Price himself, the film was a critical success and won a number of awards, including two from the Chicago Film Festival.
Burton’s next project for Disney was the short film “Frankenweenie.” His first foray into live-action, this inventive twist on the Frankenstein story told of a young boy who brings his dead dog back to life.
Following “Frankenweenie,” Burton left Disney to sue live-action filmmaking. He directed “Aladdin” for Shelley Duvall’s “Faerie Tale Theatre,” starring Robert Carradine, Leonard Nimoy and James Earl Jones.
In 1985 Burton directed his -first full-length film, “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” bringing Paul Reubens’ cartoonesque creation to life. The film was a hit at the box office and Burton was praised by critics for his visual originality.
His cinematic powers blossomed further in “Beetlejuice” (1988), starring Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwi and Winona Ryder. A supernatural comedy about a “bio-exorcist” haunting a New England family, “Beetlejuice” achieved an inventively skewed visual perspective as macabre denizens of the after-life mingled with the mundane artifacts of smalltown New England life. An enormous success at the box office, “Beetlejuice” also won the Academy Award for Best Makeup.
In 1989 Burton directed “Batman,” starring Jack Nicholson, Michael Keaton and Kim Basinger. Burton’s vision of the mythic vigilante drew audiences in with its rendition of a futuristic landscape that straddled the line between gritty urban realism and fabled apocalypse.
Also in 1989, Burton formed Tim Burton Productions, his own production company based at Warner Bros., which is engaged in the development of projects for film, television, animation and books.
Burton’s fourth feature, “Edward Scissorhands,” was one of the biggest hits of the 1990 Christmas season, acclaimed for its wild creativity and poignant fairy-tale sensibility. Starring Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest and Alan Arkin, “Edward Scissorhands” also marked Burton’s .first collaboration with Batmann Returns” producer Denise Di Novi.
DENISE DI NOVI (Producer) has established herself as one of Hollywood’s top producers, helping to bring to the screen the visions of two of today’s most imaginative filmmakers, Tim Burton and Michael Lehmann.
“Heathers”–her first film as a producer–starred Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. The film became a controversial hit, with a wittily subversive screenplay by Dan Waters (“Batman Returns”). The film received many awards, including the Independent Feature Project/West’s Best First Feature award for director Michael Lehmann, and won the Edgar Award for Best Mystery Film from the Mystery Writers Association of America.
Di Novi next produced “Meet the Applegates,” a wild comedy starring Ed Begley, Jr., Stockard Channing and Dabney Coleman. The film marked Di Novi’s second creative association with “Heathers” director Michael Lehmann.
In 1989 Di Novi was named head of Tim Burton Productions and began producing with Burton “Edward Scissorhands,” a critically acclaimed hit of the 1990 Christmas season.
Di Novi began her career in journalism, rising from a copy editor at the National Observer, a Dow Jones weekly, to staff writer for Canada AM in Toronto. She was also an on air reporter and film critic for City-TV News in Canada.
Di Novi’s writing talents and expertise with media deadlines and budgets facilitated her segue into the film industry, where she began as a unit publicist on “Final Assignment” and “The Lucky Star ”
In 1980, Di Novi became a principal in the Montreal based production company Film Plan, acting either as co producer, associate producer’ or executive in charge of production on nine films, all with major studio releases. They included “Visiting Hours” and “Of Unknown Origin,” starring Peter Weller, directed by George P. Cosmatos and released by Warner Bros. In 1983 the company moved to Los Angeles and merged with Arnold Kopelson’s Film Packages. Di Novi served as associate producer on Universal’s “Going Berserk,” starring John Candy and directed by David Steinberg, as well as David Cronenberg’s “Videodrome,” starring James Woods and Deborah Harry.
Upon leaving that company, Di Novi joined New World Pictures as executive vice president of production. She later shifted into an overall deal as an independent producer. To date, Di Novi has worked on 15 films in a production capacity.
LARRY FRANCO (Co-Producer), who began his career as a movie extra, has followed a path which has trained him in nearly every production capacity and led to his producing numerous major motion pictures.
Born and raised in Northern California, Franco transferred from the University of California at Santa Cruz to attend film school at UCLA. During college, he work extra in an effort to learn about film production.
In 1974, Franco began work in the Directors Guild of America’s Training Program. As an assistant director, he
worked on a number of major features, including “Straight Time,” “The Rose,” “Apocalypse Now,” “Cutter’s Way” and “Black Sunday.”
Franco then established a 10-year professional relationship with director John Carpenter, producing “Escape From New York,” “Starman,” “Big Trouble in Little China,” “Prince of Darkness” and “They Live.”
Franco co-produced “Tango & Cash,” the Christmas 1989 hit starring Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell, directed by Andrei Konchalovsky. Most recently, he was the executive producer of Walt Disney Studios’ critically acclaimed fantasy “The Racketeer.”
As producers or executive producers of such award-winning successes as “Rain Man,” “The Color Purple,” “The Witches of Eastwick,” “Missing,” “Gorillas in the Mist” and, of course, “Batman,” JON PETERS and PETER GUBER (Executive Producers) have firmly established themselves at the forefront of the entertainment industry.
Peter Guber’s entertainment industry career began in 1968 at Columbia Pictures. Within 20 months of joining the studio, Guber became the company’s Chief of Worldwide Production. At the creative helm of Columbia, Guber originated and supervised the development and production of such films as “The Way We Were,” “Taxi Driver,” “Tommy,” “Shampoo” and “The Last Detail.”
Guber left Columbia in 1976 to become an independent producer and later formed Casablanca Records and FilmWorks. His first production was “The Deep,” Columbia’s top box office hit in 1977. He then produced “Midnight Express,” directed by Alan Parker and written by Oliver Stone. The film won six Golden Globes, two Oscars, three British Academy Awards and an award from the Los Angeles Film Critics’ Circle. Its vigorous performance at the box office led the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) to name Guber “Producer of the Year” in 1979.
Jon Peters’ career in the entertainment industry began when he produced one of Warner Bros.’ highest grossing pictures, “A Star Is Born.” It was nominated for eight Golden Globe Awards and four Oscars. In 1976, the motion picture industry awarded Peters the title of “Producer of the Year” at Show-ARama. Peters and Streisand re-teamed for the box office hit “The Main Event,” starring Streisand and Ryan O’Neal. Peters then produced “Eyes of Laura Mars” and the comedy smash “Caddyshack.”
In 1980, Guber and Peters joined together and established Polygram Pictures. This collaboration produced a string of hits, including “An American Werewolf in London,” “Missing” and the phenomenally popular “Flashdance.”
Guber and Peters’ later hits were much awarded: “Rain Man” received four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actor; “Gorillas in the Mist” was nominated for five Academy Awards and won Golden Globes for Best Actress and Best Original Score; “The Witches of Eastwick” was nominated for two Oscars and was Warner Bros.’ number-on~ box office ·draw in 1987. “The,Color Purple” was honored with 11 Oscar nomin~tions·and was Warner’s’tdp grossing film of 1986. “Batman” won an Oscar for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration and became the sixth highest-grossing film in motion-picture history.
Other popular Guber-Peters productions include “Vision Quest,” “Caddyshack II,” “Johnny Handsome” and “Tango & Cash.”
In 1989, Peter Guber was named Chairman of the Board of Columbia Pictures. Jon Peters has an arrangement to produce films for that studio and is based at their Culver City facilities.
BENJAMIN MELNIKER and MICHAEL USLAN (Executive Producers) were the executive producers (with Guber & Peters) of “Batman” and produced the successful feature film, “Swamp Thing,” based on the popular DC Comics character, and its sequel, “The Return of Swamp Thing.”
Melniker and Uslan executive produced “Three Sovereigns for Sarah,” an acclaimed PBS mini-series based on the true story of the 17th-century Salem witch trials. For NBC’s broadcast of the 1988 Summer Olympics in South Korea, they executive produced several historical and cultural segments. Melniker and Uslan also produced “Television’s Greatest Bits,” a one hour nostalgic special for VH-1 and Lorimar Video.
Before he became partners with Michael Uslan, Benjamin Melniker served with Metro–Goldwyn-Mayer for 30 years in (Executive Producers) were the executive producers (with Guber & Peters) of “Batman” and produced the successful feature film, “Swamp Thing,” based on the popular DC Comics character, and its sequel, “The Return of Swamp Thing.”
Melniker and Uslan executive produced “Three Sovereigns for Sarah,” an acclaimed PBS mini-series based on the true story of the 17th-century Salem witch trials. For NBC’s broadcast of the 1988 Summer Olympics in South Korea, they executive produced several historical and cultural segments. Melniker and Uslan also produced “Television’s Greatest Bits,” a one hour nostalgic special for VH-1 and Lorimar Video.
Before he became partners with Michael Uslan, Benjamin Melniker served with Metro–Goldwyn-Mayer for 30 years in various capacities leading to his position as Executive Vice President of the company and a member of its board of directors. After leaving MGM, Melniker executive-produced the feature films “Mitchell” and “Shoot.”
Michael Uslan is an authority on comic-book history who taught the first accredited college course on comic books, at Indiana University in 1971. He is the author of the first textbook on comics, The Comic Book in America, in addition to five other books on the subject. Uslan also scripted stories for DC Comics’ “Batman” and “The Shadow.”
From 1976 to 1980, Uslan served as motion picture production attorney for United Artists in charge of legal affairs for many films, including “Apocalypse Now,” “Rocky II,” “Raging Bull” and “The Black Stallion.” He has authored several other books in addition to his comic book histories, including the Literary Guild selection Dick Clark’s The First 25 Years of Rock and Roll.
IAN BRYCE (Associate Producer/Unit Production Manager) has lent his talents in various capacities to some of the biggest productions of the last 10 years .
Born in Totnes, England, Bryce moved to the U.S. in 1979 at the age of 23. He discovered the movie industry, joining Lucasfilm in 1980, first as a car parker and mailroom worker, before ascending to production assistant. Bryce finally served as a second assistant director on such large-scale Lucasfilm projects as “Return of the Jedi” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”
Leaving the company for a time to work as an assistant director of other films, he returned to Lucasfilm and served as associate producer on “Ewoks: The Battle for Endor,” a television movie. Bryce then became’ the U.S. production executive on Willow” and unit production manager on “Tucker: The Man and His Dream,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and “Joe Versus the Volcano,” among others. Most recently, Bryce served as unit production manager on “The Racketeer.”
DANIEL WATERS (Screenwriter) wrote “Heathers,” one of the most original and controversial films of recent years. Produced by De n i.se Di Novi and directed by Michael Lehmann, “Heathers” is a dark, satirical and unsparing look at alienation in an all-American high school
Waters was born in Cleveland and raised in South Bend, Indiana. He graduated from Montreal’s McGill University and moved to Los Angeles in 1986. For producer Joel Silver, Waters co-wrote “The Adventures of Ford Fairlane” and “Hudson Hawk.”
STEFAN CZAPSKY (Director of Photography) was born in Oesterscheppes, West Germany, and emigrated to Cleveland, Ohio with his Ukrainian parents while still an infant. He studied film history and criticism at Columbia University in New York, and then began working for more than a decade as a grip, gaffer and assistant cameraman on dozens of feature films. During this period, Czapsky worked with such notable cinematographers as Haskell Wexler, Michael Ballhaus and Allen Daviau.
Czapsky graduated to director of photography in 1985 with “On the Edge,” which he followed with such.films as “Vampire’s Kiss,” “Flashback,” “Sons,” Errol Morris’ controversial “The Thin Blue Line” and Uli Edel’s powerful “Last Exit to Brooklyn.”
Czapsky then collaborated with Tim Burton to help create the unique· images of “Edward Scissorhands,” combining a candycolored vision of suburban America with rapturous fairy-tale overtones.
Previous to beginning work on “Batman Returns,” Czapsky shot Norman Rene’s upcoming film of the Broadway hit “Prelude to a Kiss” and Robert Redford’s production of “The Dark Wind.”
BO WELCH (Production Designer) most recently delighted moviegoers with his imaginative sets for Tim Burton’s “Edward Scissorhands,” for which he painted an entire Florida neighborhood in pastel colors and created 15-foot-high topiaries in the shapes of penguins, dinosaurs and Elvis.
Born and raised in Yardley, Pennsylvania, Welch graduated from the University of Arizona’s College of Architecture before taking a studio staff job to break into film. He first made his mark in the industry as a set designer and art director, working on such films as “Swing Shift,” “Momrnie Dearest” and “Chilly Scenes of Winter,” culminating in an Academy Award nomination for Steven Spielberg’s “The Color Purple.”
Joel Schumacher’s stylish vampire thriller “The Lost Boys,” allowed Welch to segue to the title of production designer in 1987. Since then he has been responsible for the look of such films as “Ghostbusters II,” “Joe Versus the Volcano,” Burton’s “Beetlejuice” and two films by Lawrence Kasdan, “The Accidental Tourist” and “Grand Canyon.”
TOM DUFFIELD (Art Director) was born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan and moved to Los Angeles in 1968.
He attended California Polytechnic in San Luis Obispo and became a Universal Studios tour guide from 1973 to 1976. Duffield then joined Universal’s art department in 1976, working there for three years before becoming a set designer on such films as Ridley Scott’s now-classic “Blade Runner.”
Duffield began his collaboration with “Batman Returns” production designer Bo Welch on Jonathan Demme’s “Swing Shift,” continuing with “The Lost Boys.” Since that time, Duffield has served as Welch’s art director on all subsequent assignments, including Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice” and “Edward Scissorhands.”
RICK HEINRICHS (Art Director), born in San Rafael, California, became interested in art and design at a very early age.
Heinrichs attended Phillips Exeter Academy, followed by the Boston University School of Fine Art, where he concentrated on sculpting. After graduation and some time spent in Europe, Heinrichs moved to New York City, where he studied with legendary cartoonists Harvey Kurtzman and Will Eisner and attended the School of Visual Arts.
After continuing his animation studies ac California Institute of the Arts, Heinrichs was hired by the Walt Disney Company, where he met Tim Burton. The two proceeded to work on several projects together, with Heinrichs serving as ducer, art director and set builder on Burton’s short, “Vincent,” followed by “Frankenweenie” and The Disney Channel’s “Han s e 1 and Grete 1.”
After starting his own company, Animotion, Heinrichs worked on models and animated effects for Burton’s “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” and directed a number of rock videos and commercials. He was also visual-effects consultant on “Beetlejuice.”
Heinrichs has worked with Bo Welch on “Ghostbusters II,” “Joe Versus the Volcano” and “Edward Scissorhands” prior to “Batman Returns,” and was also art director on “Soapdish.”
BOB RINGWOOD (Costume Designer) created Batman’s revised look in the first epic adventure.
Originally wanting to be a painter, Ringwood studied theatre design at a friend’s suggestion instead. He then spent 14 years designing costumes for almost 200 ballet, opera and stage productions in England, Japan, Germany and Holland.
Ringwood’s first motion picture assignment was the television movie “The Corn is Green,” directed by George Cukor and starring Katharine Hepburn. He was then hired by John Boorman to create the costumes for the big-budget “Excalibur,” followed by the even more ambitious “Dune” for director David Lynch.
Following “Santa Claus – The Movie” and “Solarbabies,” Ringwood was asked by Steven Spielberg to design nearly 10,000 costumes for his production of “Empire of the Sun,” and was nominated for an Academy Award for his efforts. Ringwood has designed the clothing for such pictures as “Prick Up Your Ears,” “The Draughtman’s Contract” and “Alien 3.”
MARY VOGT (Costume Designer) was born in Long Beach, Long Island and attended the New York Fashion Institute of Technology the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena., She began her 3otion picture career working as a design assistant on ”Zorra, the Gay Blade,” “Diner,” “Fletch,” “Dune” (assisting Bob Ringwood) and other films.
As a full costume designer, Vogt already has a number of major films to her credit, including John Badham’s “Short Circuit,” “Stakeout” and ”The Hard Way”; Jonathan Kaplan’s “Project X”; the comedy smash “The Naked Gun:From the Files of Police Squad!”; Tony Bill’s “Crazy People”; and Chris Columbus’ “Only the Lonely.”
CHRIS LEBENZON (Film Editor) received an Academy Award nomination for his work on “Top Gun,” an honor he shared with Billy Weber, who is second unit director on “Batman Returns.”
Also with Weber, Lebenzon edited “Beverly Hills Cop II” and “Midnight Run.” Other assignments for the native of Redwood City, California have included “Wolfen,11 “Weird Science,” “Weeds,” “Revenge,” “Days of Thunder,11 “Hudson Hawk” and “The Last Boy Scout.”
VE NEILL (Key Make-Up Artist) won an Academy Award for her work on Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice” and received an Oscar nomination for the director’s “Edward Scissorhands.” In addition, Neill won an Emmy Award for TV’s “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” and a Saturn Award for “Beetlejuice.11 Growing up in Granada Hills, California, Neill began her entertainment career working as a make~up artist, hair stylist and costume designer for·various rock bands.
Since breaking into feature films on “Star Trek – The Motion Picture,” Neill has worked as key make-up artist.on “Nine to Five,” “All of Me,” “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,” “The Lost Boys,” “Flatliners,” “Curly Sue” and, most recently, Steven Spielberg’s “Hook.”
Neill has also lent her talent to dozens of TV programs, telefeatures and commercials.
YOLANDA TOUSSIENG (Key Hair Stylist) won an Emmy Award for “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” and received a nomination for the mini-series “North and South.”
Born in Los Angeles, Toussieng worked in a salon for eight years before entering show business as a hair stylist at NBC News. Her feature film credits include “The Toy,11 “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” “Sixteen Candles,” “Places in the Heart,” “Farewell to the King,” “Three Fugitives,” “Gross Anatomy,” “Flatliners” and, for Tim Burton, “Beetlejuice” and “Edward Scissorhands.11
BILLY WEBER (Second Unit Director) has heretofore been known as one of Hollywood’s finest film editors.
“Batman Returns” marks a turning point for Weber as he segues behind the camera for a second unit directing assignment.
His first film editing credit was for Terrence Malick’s now-classic “Days of Heaven,” followed by such films as “Beverly Hills Cop,” ” The Warriors,” “48 HRS.,” “Iceman,” Tim Burton’s “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” “Top Gun” (Oscar nomination), “Beverly Hills Cop II,” “Midnight Run,” “The Package” and “Pure Luck.” He is currently developing projects as a full- time director.
MAX-KLEVEN (Second Unit Director/Stunt Coordinator) has, for over 30 years, been one of the industry’s top stunt co- ordinators, second unit directors and stuntmen.
Born in Trondheim, Norway, he left home at the age of 15 and went around the world on a tramp steamer. Three years later he decided to settle in the United States and break into the movies. Kleven became a TV stuntman in the 1950s, performing in such programs as “Rin Tin Tin,” “Rescue 8,” “Naked City” and “Route 66.” He then entered feature films, working first as a stuntman, then as a stunt coordinator and second unit director on over 50 motion pictures.
Most recently, Kleven served as second-unit director on such major features as “Runaway Train,” “Back to the Future” (Parts 2 & 3), “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and Warner Bros’, “Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves.”
Kleven has also directed four action films: “Ruckus_,” The Night Stalker,” “W.B., Blue and the Bean” and “Border Heat.” His next directing project is “The Fantastic Four.”
MICHAEL FINK (Visual Effects Supervisor) is responsible for overseeing the creation of the myriad special visual effects required for “Batman Returns.”
Born in Los Angeles, Fink studied finance at California Seate University at Northridge with a desire to enter the securities business. After serving in the Army, he was hired by the Bank of America in San Francisco as a Portfolio Manager. Despite his success in the financial world, Fink finally surrendered to his life-long artistic inclinations, entering the San Francisco Art Institute at the age of 26. He s t ud Le d for his B.A. while working as a janitor and cabinet maker.
Receiving his Master’s degree from the California Institute of the Arts, Fink remained there on staff for two years. His first foray into the film world came about in 1977, when he was hired in the electronic effects department of “The China Syndrome.”
Since that time, Fink, who has innovated and popularized several new visual-effects techniques, has lent his talents to such productions as “Close Encounters of the Third Kind – The Special Edition,” “Star Trek – The Motion Picture,” “One From the Heart” and “Blade Runner.”
He became a full visual-effects supervisor on John Badham’s “WarGames,” for which he received a British Academy Award nomination. He has since worked on “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai,” “D.A.R.Y.L.,” “Project X,” “The Seventh Sign,” “The Blob” and “Tango & Cash.”
CHUCK GASPAR (Mechanical Effects Supervisor) was born in Long Beach, California. After doing tool and die work, and selling vacuum cleaners door–to-door, he decided to follow his father’s occupation: special effects for the movies.
Working at Columbia Pictures on such films as “In Cold Blood,” Gaspar then started his own independent company.
Since then, he has created mechanical effects for “Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask),” “The Gauntlet,” i-‘Any Which Way You Can,” “Altered States,”- “Blue Thunder’ II “Ghostbusters ” (for which he received an Academy Award nomination), “Ghostbusters II,” “Short Circuit,” “Lethal Weapon,” Tim Burton’s “Pee-wee 1 s Big Adventure” and “Beetlejuice, ‘1 “Another 48 HRS.,” “The Addams Family” and many others.
DANNY ELFMAN (Composer) leads a double life: one, as a founding member of Oingo Boingo, now in their 13th year of playing energetic, witty and individualistic rock and roll; the other, as one of the movie world’s most versatile and successful composers.
Elfman has scored all four of director Tim Burton’s films–“Pee-wee s Big venture,” “BeetleJuice,” Batman,” “Edward Scissorhands.” Elfman has also written the music for “Back to School,” “Big Top Pee-wee,” “Scrooged,11 “Midnight Run,” “Darkman,11 “Dick Tracy” and “Article 99.” In addition, he has written the themes for such TV programs as 11Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” “Tales From the Crypt,” “The Flash” and “The Simpsons.”
Elfman received Grarnmy Award nominations for both “Dick Tracy” and “Batman.” A compilation of his music for film and television–“Music for a Darkened Theatre”–was released last year on the MCA label.
BOB KANE (Creator/Technical Consultant), Barman’s “father,” was the man who started it all–when he was barely more than a boy!
Born in The Bronx, New York, Kane began his professional career by drawing funny filler for the short-lived Wow! comic book, and later contributed gag cartoons and a comedy-adventure strip about Peter Pupp-for Jumbo Comics.
Kane ‘.s first sales to DC Comics were comprised of humorous two-page comedy material, including “Professor Doolittle,” “Ginger Snap” and “Oscar the Gumshoe,.” Turning to more serious fare, Kane developed “Spark Stevens,” “Rusty and His Pals” and “Clip Carson.”
But in 1939, collaborating with writer and fellow teenager Bill Finger, Kane invented a new hero–“The Bat-man.” And the rest is history.
Although Kane retired from comic books in 1966 to devote his energies to animation, painting and other creative endeavors, he remains deeply committed to his creation and his fans.