Max Shreck is a multi-millionaire corporate mogul who serves as one of the villains of Batman Returns. Ruthless and sociopathic, he allies himself with the Penguin in a scheme to take control of Gotham City and bleed it dry. Shreck is portrayed by Christopher Walken.


Alliance with the PenguinEdit

Shreck plans to open up a new power plant in Gotham City, claiming that he is planning to secure the city's future. What the public are unaware of is that Shreck's new plant is designed to siphon energy from the city grid, granting him uncontested control over Gotham's energy supply. However, Max's plan is stonewalled by Mayor Hamilton Hill and Bruce Wayne, who deem the new plant as unnecessary.

Later that night, while Max is addressing the citizens of Gotham in the city square, the Red Triangle Circus Gang make an appearance, attacking the gathered townspeople and abducting Shreck. Shreck is brought down into the sewers where he meets the gang's enigmatic leader, the Penguin. Having dwelled in the sewers most of his life, the Penguin wants Max to help him ascend to the surface by providing him with a positive public image. He blackmails Shreck into helping him by threatening to expose some of the tycoon's illegal activities, which are evidenced by certain materials that Shreck has flushed into the sewers, such as a shredded document that Penguin spent painstakingly long hours taping back together and the severed hand of Shreck's former business partner.

Shreck agrees to help the Penguin and requests that he help him in return. After arranging the "abduction" of Mayor Hill's infant son by one of the Red Triangle members and subsequent "rescue" by Penguin, Shreck gains Penguin's access to the Hall of Records so that he can find out the truth about his parentage (and also gather information for his plan to avenge himself upon Gotham). After Penguin discovers the identities of his parents, Max suggests that he runs for Mayor. As Mayor, Penguin would have control over the city and he would be able to approve Shreck's new power plant.

Selina KyleEdit

The night before Penguin's public emergence, Max returned to his office to find that his secretary, the clumsy and unassertive Selina Kyle, had inadvertantly discovered the documents pertaining to Shreck's new power plant. Deciding that Selina had become a liability, Shreck pushed her out of a window and let her fall to her death. However, Selina managed to survive the fall and her near-death experience would lead to a wicked change in her personality and her taking on the persona of Catwoman.

The next day, after Penguin's emergence, Shreck returned to his office to find that Selina was still alive. She also seemed much more confident, which both impressed and disturbed Shreck. Shreck promises to kill Selina if she attempts to blackmail him.

Penguin's revengeEdit

After the Penguin tried to sabotage the Batmobile and frame Batman for murder, Bruce Wayne was able to record some insults Penguin had made while controlling the Batmobile. From the Batcave, he jammed the microphones at Penguin's speech and plays the recording of Penguin's slurs over the speakers. Outraged, the people of Gotham quickly turn against their would-be mayor and the Penguin retreats back to the sewers to set in motion his plan to take revenge on the city.

The following night, the Penguin crashes Shreck's annual masquerade ball and announces to Gotham's elite that his gang is sweeping the city and abducting all of their first-born children. He personally tries to take Max's son Chip hostage, but Max pleads with the Penguin to spare his son and take him instead. Penguin agrees and takes Shreck back to his lair beneath Gotham Zoo's polar exhibit, where he places the tycoon in a cage and reveals that he will kill the children - and Max - by drowning them in the poisoned waters that had been contaminated by Shreck's own industries.


When Batman tricks the Penguin into launching several missiles upon his own lair, Shreck manages to break free of his cage only to be ambushed by Catwoman, who is determined to kill him there and then. Batman arrives, and Shreck attempts to bribe him, only for Batman to push him back and tell him of his impending incarceration. When Batman, however, removes his mask and reveals himself as Bruce Wayne, Shreck uses a gun dropped by one of Penguin's goons to shoot Batman. Narrowly, Batman plays dead to protect himself. He then fires a few shots into Catwoman, who somehow is able to survive until Shreck runs out of bullets. Catwoman, using a taser, sacrifices herself to electrocute Shreck, giving him a "kiss" by forcing both her lips and the taser into his mouth, pulling one of the generator cables at the same time, engulfing both herself and Shreck in a massive explosion which is soon after revealed to have killed Shreck, frying him horribly and reducing him to nothing but a scorched, skeletal corpse.

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