Bruce Wayne is in self-imposed seclusion from life, because he feels he has lost his greatest weapons in the fight against crime: his mystique and his enemies' fear. Dick Grayson attends Gotham University, trying to discover who he is apart from his guardian and unwilling to return as Robin without him. Meanwhile, Dr. Jonathan Crane uses his position as professor of psychology at Gotham University and as resident psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum to conduct his experiments in fear. During a vengeful confrontation with a colleague, Dr. Kirk Langstrom, Jonathan Crane unknowingly initiates Kirk's transformation into the creature known as Man-Bat. The unsuspecting denizens of Gotham scream for Batman's head, believing that Man-Bat's nightly hunts is the Dark Knight's bloodthirsty return to action. Bruce dons cape and cowl once more to clear his name and solve the mystery behind these attacks. Eventually, Dick ends up in Arkham Asylum under Crane's unsympathetic watch, and Kirk struggles with his "man vs. monster" syndrome as he longs to both reunite with his wife and get revenge on Crane.
- George Clooney as Bruce Wayne/Batman
- Chris O'Donnell as Dick Grayson/Robin
- Jeff Goldblum or Christopher Lloyd or Nicolas Cage as Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow
- Terence Stamp as Dr. Kirk Langstrom/Man-Bat
- The film's story was somewhat based on The Dark Knight Returns, as it featured an older Bruce Wayne coming out of retirement as Batman to save Gotham.