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Woe unto the suits who rejected this pitch for a Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman movie

Screenshot: Batman Returns (YouTube)

Halle Berry’s 2004 Catwoman film was disappointing for a lot of reasons, but mainly it was disappointing to see a character with such narrative potential get completely sunk by such a weird and bad movie. In addition to wondering what the hell was going on with that basketball scene, audiences were left wondering what might have been for the femme fatale cat burglar. But we need not wonder any longer thanks to screenwriter John August (Go, Big Fish) who was nice enough to share his own failed pitch for a Catwoman feature that, honestly, sounds a lot better than what we got.


To put August’s pitch in context, this was after the release of Batman Forever and after Tim Burton and screenwriter Daniel Waters had walked away from any potential Catwoman project because their initial script didn’t match the tone of the franchise anymore. Clearly, based on August’s statement that producers wanted Sarah Michelle Gellar in a Matrix-inspired super villain movie, Warner Brothers didn’t really know what to do with their Batman properties at this time.

Still, August gave it his best shot and in January, 1999 he submitted an intriguing pitch for a Catwoman film that finds Selina Kyle losing all knowledge of her villainous identity and powers after an explosion throws her through three plate glass windows. Perhaps the most interesting part of the pitch is that we get a glimpse of Kyle’s straight-laced, civic-minded family while she’s recovering back home in Lake City and a hint at a conflicted relationship between her and Bruce Wayne who, of course, she has no idea was her nemesis.


At the time of writing this article, August has yet to share any further snippets of his original pitch, which is especially cruel since he left us on the cliffhanger of script’s inciting incident. For now, we’ll just have to continue mentally filling in the plot ourselves, imaging the various ways Catwoman will get her cat groove back.


[via Collider]

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Dan Neilan

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Have Fun — Will Travel.