Batman / Batman Joker

Does Batman Kill the Joker in Batman Returns?

Many fans of the Batman franchise have long debated the question of whether or not Batman kills the Joker in the 1992 film “Batman Returns.” Some argue that he does, while others insist that he does not. Let’s take a closer look at the evidence.

The Scene

The scene in question takes place near the end of the film, when Batman confronts the Joker in a bell tower. The two engage in a brutal fight, during which the Joker falls from a great height and appears to be dead.

Arguments for Batman Killing the Joker

Some viewers believe that Batman deliberately kills the Joker by letting him fall to his death. They point out that earlier in the film, Batman tells Catwoman that he doesn’t want to kill anyone, but that he sometimes feels like it’s his only option. They also note that after the Joker falls, Batman doesn’t attempt to save him or even check if he’s still alive.

Arguments Against Batman Killing the Joker

Others argue that Batman didn’t intend for the Joker to die and didn’t actually kill him. They suggest that it was simply an accident and that Batman was unable to save him because of how far he fell. Furthermore, they point out that earlier in the film when Batman saves Catwoman from falling to her death, he uses his grappling hook to catch her and bring her back up.

The Director’s Intent

Ultimately, whether or not Batman killed the Joker is up for interpretation. However, director Tim Burton has stated in interviews that he did not intend for it to be seen as a deliberate killing on Batman’s part.


In conclusion, while there is evidence on both sides of this debate, it seems likely that Burton did not intend for Batman to kill the Joker in “Batman Returns.” Whether or not viewers choose to interpret the scene as a deliberate killing is up to them. Regardless, the film remains an iconic entry in the Batman franchise and continues to spark debate among fans.