This man was a lifelong circus performer before turning to crime.
The Fire Breather used his trick fire-starting skills to terrorize the citizens of Gotham City as the Penguin set the Red Triangle Gang loose in Gotham Plaza. He burned some buildings and a few people when Batman, who was in the Batmobile, drove up. While he was vandalizing a small gift shop, this man started to defiantly blow flames in the Batmobile's direction. The Firebreather got a taste of his own medicine when the Batmobile turned its afterburner on him, and drove away, setting the pyromaniac on fire.
It was not clear if the Firebreather died from his burns or was arrested.
Behind the Scenes
The Firebreather was played by circus performer John Strong, who also played Sword Swallower in the Red Triangle Gang. Originally the gift shop he vandalized was going to be a Batman themed gift shop, using real world merchandise from the first film. The set was actually built and filled to the brim with merchandise before it was redressed prior to shooting.
Among other things, Burton was forced to remove a sweeping master shot of a gang member setting citizens on fire to get a PG-13 rating. While some of the jugglers setting people ablaze remain, this was most likely the Firebreather who is not shown attacking any innocents in the final cut. Warner Brothers has not released any deleted footage from this sequence other than Selina's "electroshock therapy" line.
Other media appearances
- The Fire Breather appeared in the SNES video game adaptation of Batman Returns under the name Fire Clown. If the player avoided his fire attacks, it was likely that the attack would harm the other Red Triangle Gang members instead of Batman.
- Entertainment Weekly - Batlash: Unhappy 'Returns'