- "Oh, you're beautiful... in an old-fashioned kind of way. But I'm sure we can make you more today?"
- ―The Joker upon seeing Vicki in person at the Flugelheim Museum for the first time.[src]
Vicki spent several weeks photographing the aftermath of the Corto Maltese Revolution.
Pursuing the Batman
Vicki joined the Gotham Globe where she teamed up with reporter Alexander Knox to track down the mysterious Batman. Vicki invited Alexander as her "plus one" for Bruce Wayne's charity benefit at Wayne Manor in the hope that they might get a lead on the existence of Batman from one of the guests, particularly Commissioner Gordon, and did not suspect that their host for the night was, in fact, Batman.
Save the Festival party
Vicki and Alexander found themselves lost inside the cavernous Wayne Manor, and eventually ended up in Bruce's Armory. Unbeknownst to Vicki and Alexander, a bemused Bruce quietly followed them as they made several snide comments about his armory collection. Bruce then introduced himself to a surprised Vicki (as he had told her during the party earlier that he didn't know who Bruce Wayne was).
Date with Bruce Wayne
Bruce then asked Vicki out on a dinner date. During dinner at Wayne Manor, the two had trouble communicating as they each sat at the end of an incredibly long dining table. When Vicki asked if he liked eating in there, Bruce admitted that he had never been in the room before, much to Vicki's amusement. He then suggested that they have dinner somewhere else, which Vicki gladly accepted.
The two were later seen in a cozier room with his butler, Alfred, who told them stories about Bruce, which Vicki liked. After Alfred left, Vicki expressed her affection for Alfred, and remarked to Bruce that Alfred really loved him a lot, which Bruce agreed with. Vicki then said that Alfred reminded her of her grandfather and similar memories at another house. Vicki then admitted that she found it hard to associate Bruce with some of the objects that he possessed. Afterwards, Vicki walked with Bruce up a flight of stairs, and she stopped for a moment before taking what she saw as an opportunity to remark "There sure are a lot of stairs in this place" and then added "My feet are killing me" while taking off one of her high heels. A little tipsy himself, Bruce took off her other shoe and kissed her passionately. The two then went to bed together, with Vicki completely asleep and Bruce sleepless. Vicki awoke in the middle of the night and saw Bruce training with inversion equipment.
Vicki immediately started to have strong feelings for Bruce, the next morning insisting they go out. However, in order to keep Vicki at a distance, Bruce lied and told her he was leaving town. Feeling brushed off, Vicki became upset with Bruce and his secrecy. Vicki decided to follow him and her tailing lead up to an alley, where Bruce stopped and placed two roses in a precise point in the road. Vicki then later asked Alexander to find out what was so special about the alley where Bruce had been.
Meanwhile, Vicki knowingly became a target of the Joker after he spotted her in a photo at City Hall. He arranged a fake date for Vicki at the Flugelheim Museum, in which Vicki thought that Bruce had made the date. After she arrived, the Joker murdered all of the patrons except for Vicki, who was given a gas mask beforehand. After Vicki rejected the Joker's advances, Batman crashed through the skylight above and rescued her. They escaped when Batman held her up and fired a Foefie Gauntlet, creating a zipline toward the main entrance. The pair fled the scene in the Dark Knight's armored car while Joker's Goons chased after them in two of their custom junkers.
During the ensuing fight between Batman and the Joker's henchmen, Vicki took pictures of Batman with her camera and put the film in her bra. Afterwards, Batman took her to his underground lair where he gave her information for the press about the Joker's Smylex, which were chemically altered cosmetic products that caused the consumers to laugh hysterically until death, where they were left with ghastly grins on their faces. As Batman explained that to her, Vicki again tried to get a closer look at his face, but he managed to avoid letting her get too good a glimpse. Vicki realized that Batman could have sent the information about Smylex to the press himself and suspected that there was something else that he wanted. When she asked Batman about that, he admitted that she was right; however, there was something else that he wanted. When Vicki asked what that was, Batman pulled her into an embrace and sedated her with sleeping gas, which caused her to fall unconscious. Vicki awoke the next morning in her bed at her apartment. After she felt her chest, Vicki realized that Batman had taken the film, to destroy the photo of him taken while unmasked.
Joker visits Vicki's apartment
Later, Bruce tried to reconcile with Vicki at her apartment, having decided to tell her the truth about his dual life; however, the Joker arrived and made the same remark of "Nice place you got here. Lots of space" (which Bruce had said a few moments earlier). When Bruce and the Joker met, Bruce told him about "a guy named Jack: mean kid, bad seed, hurt people", to which the Joker replied with "I like him already". When Bruce tried to fight him, the Joker pulled out a gun and asked if he'd ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight; when Bruce asked what he meant, the Joker explained, "I always ask that of all my prey" before shrugging a little and adding "I just like the sound of it".
With that, he shot Bruce while Vicki screamed (only to be silenced by Bob). After the Joker told Bruce "Never rub another man's rhubarb" and laughed, he then turned to Vicki and his smile turned to a frown before he told her to "chin up". He then reached over and grabbed Vicki's wrist (thus pulling her out of Bob's grip) while asking why it was that every time he came for her, someone always got in the way, and then released her.
After the Joker left Vicki discovered that Bruce had blocked the bullet by using a decorative silver tray. She eventually learned of the alley where Bruce went before: It was the site of his parents' murder. As Knox showed and discussed archives from the Globe, she had a sudden realization of Bruce's secret.
Confronting Bruce in the Batcave
Vicki convinced Alfred to let her see Bruce while working in the cave, with the hopes that she could convince Bruce that he didn't need to be Batman. They both admitted that they did love each other, before Bruce changed into the black armor, took off in the armored car once again, and destroyed the Joker's hideout: Axis Chemicals.
During that time, the Joker began to attract Gotham's citizens to Gotham's 200th Anniversary Parade, with promises of millions of dollars in cash. Vicki and Alexander arrived to investigate, she immediately began to document it with her camera. However, Joker used that opportunity to release Smylex, in his balloons, which would poison and kill everyone in near Gotham Square.
Vicki witnessed Batman use the Batwing to safely take the balloons from the area and then a vengeful Joker shooting the Batwing down onto the steps of the old cathedral. Vicki raced to the crash sight, but could not find Batman. The Joker then took Vicki hostage and forced her at gunpoint to climb to the top of the cathedral, while he followed closely behind her. As they climbed the stairs, Joker forced Vicki to leave behind her high heels and trench-coat possibly to lure Batman. When they reached the top Vicki watched helplessly, as Joker used his Acid Flower to disconnect one of the cathedral's bells which then fell to the ground below and blocked the only entrance to the stairs so they wouldn't be followed, but Batman was already in hot pursuit.
Following the trail of Vicki's discarded coat and shoes and narrowly avoiding the falling bell, Batman eventually reached the top. Vicki by this time had been forced to dance the waltz with Joker on the balcony and he had sent three of his goons to make sure Batman didn't interfere. Batman however fought off them all. Vicki eventually saw an opportunity to distract the Joker, and went for it by using her feminine wiles in order to "seduce" him so she could buy some time for Batman. She then watched as Batman beat the Joker senseless, vowing vengeance on him for killing his parents years ago. The fight continued out to the ledge of the cathedral with Batman punching the Joker over the side.
As they both looked over to see if Joker had survived, the Clown Prince of Crime pulled both Batman and Vicki off of the Gotham Cathedral ledge. As they barely hung on, the Joker insanely taunted them. He offered to give Vicki a hand back up, but it turned out to be a gag with a detachable joke hand which made Vicki scream with fright and on the verge of falling, but was quickly hoisted back up by Batman. Joker tried to escape via his helicopter, but Batman wrapped his grapple around his ankle and connected it to a stone gargoyle. The weight of the gargoyle pulled the Joker down to the streets below, and killed him on impact. Batman and Vicki suddenly lost their grip on the ledge and started falling too, but Batman activated another grapple which held on to one of the cathedral stone pillars allowing them to stop in mid air. Vicki then gave a sigh of relief and they both reached the ground safely.
As Gotham lighted the Batsignal for the first time, Vicki said good-bye to Alexander. Alfred waited for Vicki, and told her that Master Bruce might be late, in which she replied: "I'm not a bit surprised".
It was revealed that Vicki and Bruce separated, due to the fact that Vicki was unable to deal with Bruce's duality. In Batman Returns, Selina asked Bruce if he had a girlfriend. Bruce mentioned that he recently dated a woman called "Vicki", to which Selina cheekily inquired: "ice skater or stewardess?". When Bruce confirmed that he and Vicki had ended their relationship because Vicki could not deal with Bruce's "difficulty with duality", Selina, who faced a similar dilemma, saw a kindred spirit in Bruce and began a romantic relationship with him.
Behind the Scenes
Sean Young was originally cast as Vicki Vale. Young was present for four weeks of pre-production but broke her collarbone while rehearsing a equestrian scene at Wayne Manor. This ended up being one of many scenes being dropped prior to filming. Producer Chris Kenny felt the selection of Kim Basinger at the last minute was mostly due to availability on the 2005 DVD.
- While actress Kim Basinger has blond hair, Vicki Vale was red headed in the comics. According to Bob Kane, Vale was supposed to be blond in the comics, and her hair came out red due to a coloring error in her first appearance.
- The controversial scene where Vicki is allowed to enter the Batcave originally took place in Bruce's study. It was Michael Keaton's idea to have Bruce confronted in the Batcave, believing the discussion taking place in the study lacked dramatic impact.
- In the script, the first time that we saw Smylex's effect (called Smylenol in the script) was on the two female models, who were only represented as cardboard cut-outs in Joker's commercial. The original scene had them in a swimsuit photo shoot with Vale, who urged them to smile more as she snapped away. The girls began to giggle, which initially pleased the photographer; but then, their giggles became laughter, and then uncontrollable helpless hysterics, which had the photographer going from mild annoyance to complete horror as the exhausted girls expired from forced hilarity, with the ghastly Joker-like grins that were frozen on their faces. The Warren Skaaren script had an art director character named Tony exchanging dialogue with Vicki. It is unknown if any version of this scene was shot. This also appears in novelization.
- Vicki Vale's name on the cover of Time was spelled with a "y".
- Vicki screamed approximately 23 times when she was in danger (or just when she thought that she's in danger) and gasped 6 times.
- Jon Peters entered a relationship with Basinger during filming. She also had a relationship with Prince soon after. She appeared in The Scandalous Sex Suite single release for the Batman album.
- Tim Burton suggested replacing Sean Young with Michelle Pfeiffer but Keaton, who had been in a relationship with Pfeiffer, believed that it would have been too awkward. Pfeiffer went on to portray Catwoman in Batman Returns.
- Sam Hamm's Batman II script was intended to be a direct sequel to the previous film. As a result, subplots and continuity from the first film that would have been addressed included Bruce proposing to Vicki at the end.
- Her character arc is strikingly similar to that of Rachel Dawes from the Dark Knight Trilogy, specifically, Batman Begins. Both get involved in an attempt, with Batman, to jeopardize the activities of an antagonist (The Joker in Batman; Carmine Falcone in Batman Begins), and various attempts are made to terminate them but all of them ultimately fail.