Batman Returns Catwoman’s original ending explained (and why it was better)

Batman Returns has one of the most iconic comic book endings ever created. Tim Burton’s Christmas bat Man The sequel employed iconography so potent that it defined the Batman franchise and its characters for a generation. Batman Returns‘ The memorable finale depicted the survival of Michelle Pfeiffer’s spectacular Selina Kyle/Catwoman. This was not, however, the original ending of the film or the character. The original conclusion for Batman Returns it was much more befitting the character, despite what the studios thought.

As discussed in Shadow of the Bat: The Dark Knight Cinematic Saga (a 6-part documentary series from the anthology DVD special features) the end of Batman Returns it was a last minute decision. One of the most recognizable images in film history features an iconic recreation of the final scene of bat Man, played by Michael Keaton. except in batman return, it’s Catwoman’s profile looking up at the Bat Signal across the bleak Gotham cityscape. The film’s stunning final scene was added at the behest of Warner Bros. Studios. It reportedly cost $250,000 to film and features a stunt double in place of Michelle Pfeiffer.

Batman Returns Catwoman’s original ending explained

The original ending for Batman Returns concluded with Bruce Wayne and Alfred driving through the snowy streets of Gotham. The clocks strike midnight on Christmas Day, with Danny DeVito’s Penguin defeated. A brief Catwoman-like shadow is glimpsed by Bruce Wayne, who exits the vehicle, to find only one of Selina’s cats. He takes the feline in, ostensibly to maintain a connection with the woman he loves, but cannot determine with certainty whether she survived. Originally, the film ended here, traversing the towering Gothic skyscrapers to find the Bat Signal.

The most notable difference between the Batman Returns‘ endings is the ambiguity surrounding whether or not Catwoman is still alive. The added scene confirms this, teasing us with Catwoman’s potential to appear in future films. Without him, the only hints that Selina survived are her disappearance and the fleeting shadow that Bruce caught sight of. Interestingly, in Daniel Waters’ script, Batman and Alfred actually have to brake to avoid hitting Selina’s cat, which has run into the road. He makes eye contact with a brooding Bruce Wayne, who simply continues on his journey.

Why The Batman Returns Ending Changed

Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman in Batman Returns

The decision to add the final scene depicting Catwoman on the rooftops was motivated by two main reasons. Firstly, to brighten up Burton’s dark Christmas adventure by making it more palatable for kids. And secondly, opening up the possibility of Catwoman returning to the Batman franchise. Confirming Catwoman’s survival keeps one of the Batman Returns Features most well-received, Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance. Many claim that Pfeiffer “Stole the scene” inside Batman Returns, and the studio apparently saw it coming. The briefly teased potential would pay off, as Pfeiffer so successfully embodied the role that her own Catwoman spin-off was planned, with Tim Burton interested in directing.

After handing over the Batman reign to Joel Schumacher, a Catwoman spin-off was planned, with Burton, Pfeiffer, Waters and producer Denise Di Novi set to return from Batman Returns🇧🇷 The film would have seen an amnesiac Selina Kyle sneaking around a Las Vegas-style metropolis confronting corrupt superheroes. Unfortunately, the project has suffered a decade of delays due to the work schedules and family lives of key figures. Ultimately, the film evolved into the 2004 flop. Cat Woman starring Halle Berry, who kept only one member from the original Batman Returns dream team – producer Di Novi.

Catwoman’s original Batman Returns ending would have been better

Catwoman wielding her whip in Batman Returns (1992)

The ambiguous nature of Batman Returns‘ original ending was much more befitting of Selina Kyle. He matches Catwoman’s feline elusiveness, never truly allowing anyone to understand her whereabouts. Creating emotional distance and not allowing affection are traits often associated with cats and Catwoman, making the indeterminate, open-ended conclusion more appropriate for the elusive anti-hero. It also matches Tim Burton’s dark tone. bat Man movies, making the ending as suitably dark as the expressionist architecture.

Furthermore, the uncertainty over Selina’s fate affects Batman deeply. He is obviously pining for his lost love and has internalized many of the traumatic events relating to the film’s identity and themes of duality. Waters’ script refers to him removing his hood and becoming 🇧🇷a moving mix of Man and Superman.” Batman has seemingly resolved his issues over whether he’s Bruce Wayne or Batman – a theme later completed in Schumacher’s book. Batman Forever. Verifying that Selina is alive undermines that emotional and thematic resolution.

The final shot of Batman Returns it’s kind of divisive. On the one hand, it contradicts the emotional journey Batman has gone through, Catwoman’s elusive nature, and Burton’s dark vision. Then again, it could be the most beautiful scene in the movie, or any of the Caped Crusader cinematic entries. The addition might make a perfect film slightly flawed, but it also provided one of the Batman Returns longer-lasting images.

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