Screenwriter John August has revealed his rejected pitch for a Catwoman movie spinoff that would have featured Michelle Pfeiffer back in her Batman Returns role as Selina Kyle. Pfeiffer had previously admitted there were talks for her to headline a Catwoman film back in the 1990s, but has never gone into specific detail about what the project could have entailed.
Pfeiffer's turn as mild-mannered secretary turned (somewhat literal) cat-burglar Selina Kyle in Tim Burton's 1992 Batman sequel is now generally considered one of the most iconic (possibly the most, depending on who's asking) versions of Catwoman ever put to the screen. The character was quite popular in the early '90s as well, but her potential spinoff film ultimately wound up stuck in development hell for the rest of the decade. A Catwoman movie was eventually made in 2004 - with Halle Berry starring as the character Patience Phillips - and is still considered one of the worst comic book adaptations ever, to this day.
For those who are curious what a Pfeiffer-led Selina Kyle solo adventure might have looked like, Burton's frequent writer August (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Frankenweenie) has now revealed part of his pitch for the project, as his response to the #ShareYourRejections hashtag on Twitter. You can read through his notes, below:
August would go on to write two very different movies featuring female action heroes in the 2000s (the McG-directed Charlie's Angels films), while Pfeiffer finally made her long-awaited return to the comic book genre with her role as Janet van Dyne in this year's Ant-Man and the Wasp. Elsewhere, there's a real possibility that Catwoman will be joining the DC Films universe in the foreseeable future, judging by the increasing number of female DC character-driven movies that are now in development (Batgirl, Supergirl, and so on). In fact, at least a few of Selina Kyle's fellow antiheroes will be sharing the screen with Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn in the upcoming Birds of Prey adaptation.
As for August's rejected Catwoman pitch - on the one hand, it's a shame the project never got a green-light and brought Pfeiffer back to her beloved Batman Returns role. On the other hand, it's difficult to say if August's "Selina forgets she's Catwoman" premise would have actually made for a better film than the female antihero comic book movies that did get made in the '90s and early 2000s (see also the infamous Elektra solo film). Either way, things are slowly, but noticeably, beginning to get better at long last for female comic book characters on the big screen, in no small part because women are actually being allowed to work on these projects in a significant creative capacity. As such, now feels like a good time for Catwoman to get her second shot at leading a film.
We will bring you more DC and/or Catwoman-related news as it comes our way.
Source: John August