One of the most enduring and popular characters in DC canon is Batman’s on-again, off-again soulmate, Catwoman. She’s had 4 live-action, big screen treatments so far. Two of them were met with pretty positive receptions, despite all of them being a massive departure from the original character.
Michelle Pfeiffer’s turn as Catwoman in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns remains one of the more beloved versions of the character. Standing fairly close to her portrayal is Anne Hathaway’s less psychotic version in the Dark Knight Rises. Unfortunately, the only dedicated Catwoman movie that fans have received was an utter disaster. While Halle Berry wasn’t entirely miscast in the role, Warner Bros. released an extremely misguided Catwoman in 2004. The movie still continues to anger and confuse most fans.
Well, apparently, there was another Catwoman movie pitched to WB that likely would have been better received. Remember at the end of Batman Returns, when the camera pans up to the moon, and the head of a familiar leather-clad character rears her head? Yeah, it would have involved that and it would have been a spun-off from Tim Burton’s Batuniverse.
Enter scriptwriter, John August. Though at the time, he had not yet worked with Tim Burton, it seemed he always had Burton’s sensibilities in mind. August would eventually become a fairly frequent collaborator of the director. August penned scripts for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Big Fish, Corpse Bride, and Frankenweenie.
You can take the cat out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the cat
Over the week, there was a trending hashtag, #ShareYourRejections, and August decided to participate and revealed on Twitter that he did in fact pitch a Catwoman movie to WB execs.
Catwoman at Warners in 1998. Sequel with Michelle Pfeiffer returning. Producer excited. After pitch, exec insisted it needed to be Sarah Michelle Gellar and involve hair-washing scene, then showed me Matrix trailer. #ShareYourRejections
— John August (@johnaugust) August 16, 2018
To have Michelle Pfeiffer return as Catwoman? That would have been a dream for fans in the early 90s.
August would eventually share screenshots of the pitch that he wrote. Check out the series of images below, detailing a synopsis of the movie that never came to be:
It’s interesting that he would have continued to play with the supernatural, psychological aspect of this version of Catwoman. The movie looks like it would have eventually turned Catwoman into a hero, pitting her against this government-created superhero.
While I can’t say how great the plot would have turned out, it definitely has my attention and intrigue. Although fans would have been ecstatic to see a continuation of the Burton Batuniverse and the return of Pfeiffer as Catwoman, considering the rocky history of the Batman franchise up until that point, I’m actually not surprised.
WB were too afraid to invest in another moody, gothic, and creepy movie featuring one of the most popular characters in their stable. Batman Returns simply didn’t yield the results that they wanted.
What do you think? Would you have to loved to see Michelle Pfeiffer back in the role? Or are you glad this never made it to screen?