Film writer John Rogers admitted that the 2004 Catwoman movie he co-wrote is, frankly, a bad movie with no cultural relevance whatsoever. Rogers’ comments were made in response to a tweet regarding the overwhelming, record-breaking critical and commercial success of Marvel’s Black Panther movie.
One person challenged Michelle Obama’s praise of Black Panther after the former First Lady of the United States said that “young people will finally see superheroes that look like them on the big screen.” The tweet questioned why there was no talk of the importance of black representation in superhero movies when Halle Berry played Catwoman on the big screen. And as someone who’s officially credited for writing that film, Rogers explained no one praised Catwoman all those years ago.
Rogers explained the fallacy in comparing the two films on his Twitter account. After affirming his credentials as one of the credited writers on Catwoman (reportedly, he was the sixth writer to work on the script and the first one to have a completed script be given the green light), Rogers declared that Catwoman was a terrible movie. Take a look:
As one of the credited writers of CATWOMAN, I believe I have the authority to say: because it was a shit movie dumped by the studio at the end of a style cycle, and had zero cultural relevance either in front of or behind the camera.
This is a bad take. Feel shame. https://t.co/6sth7w38Xx
— John Rogers (@jonrog1) February 24, 2018
Rogers elaborated in further posts, painting a picture of a troubled production that matches up with other accounts of the disastrous shoot. Reportedly, the film had originally been planned as a spin-off starring Michelle Pfeiffer as the same version of Selina Kyle that she played in Batman Returns. The decision was made to keep going even after rights issues made it impossible to use the character of Selina Kyle and both Tim Burton and Michelle Pfeiffer bailed on the project, dragging it through a decade of developmental hell that finally saw it transformed into a vehicle for Halle Berry. Rogers guessed that, perhaps, two scenes from his script made it into the final draft of the movie. He also noted that the villain of the final film – cosmetics executive Laurel Hedare – was not the villain he wrote and that the character played by Sharon Stone was added into later drafts of the movie.
Ignoring the behind the scenes issues, drawing comparison between Catwoman and Black Panther seems ill-informed, at best. Director Ryan Coogler took great care in adapting the nation of Wakanda from the comics page, whereas the only thing the Catwoman movie took from its source material was the name of its main character. It’s also worth noting that King T’Challa has always been portrayed as a heroic figure whereas Catwoman was usually portrayed as a villain or, at best, an antihero. Plus, it’s also unfair to pretend that Catwoman holds the same cultural significance as Black Panther, given that the movie had nothing to do with the original comics and that Catwoman has always been depicted as a Caucasian woman in the source material.
Source: John Rogers
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