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When people like to talk about how bad comic book movies were once upon a time, one of the popular targets is 2004's Catwoman starring Halle Barry. Now, one of the film's writers is speaking out about why it's so bad. John Rogers is one of three who shares a screenplay credit on the film and he recently took to Twitter in response to a question and explained that he knew that studio changes being made were going to make the movie suck, he even tried to explain that, but nobody was listening. According to Rogers...
Full disclosure: I was fired off the movie after writing the green light draft because I kept arguing with notes that'd make the movie "very, very bad." Which I said out loud. At meetings. I got fired a lot in my 30's.
If you've seen Catwoman you don't even really need to guess at what sorts of changes John Rogers is referring to, because they're pretty evident on screen. There's almost nothing that resembles the comic book character that fans love anywhere in the film. Rogers says his main goal with the script was simply to turn it into something that fans might enjoy. He was not successful.
Rogers goes on to explain that the Catwoman movie had been through multiple hands for a decade before he ever touched it, but it seems he must have had some sort of an idea about what the movie needed since the studio greenlit his version of the script. Having said that, once they did, they apparently weren't interested in his thoughts on the changes that were being made. Previously, Rogers had described Catwoman as a movie that was being "dumped by the studio" so the impression is that nobody was necessarily looking for Catwoman to be a great movie, instead, they likely were just trying to figure out how to make something that would successfully recoup the investment.
Catwoman has gone on to become one of those movies that people only watch if they're looking to do their own Mystery Science Theater 3000 in the living room with a bunch of friends and just as much alcohol. Those people have done something that John Rogers himself has never done as, since the studio had fired him, he never attended the premiere and has never actually watched the entire movie from start to finish.
I've never watched the movie all the way through in one sitting. I skipped premiere night to shoot Jenni Baird audition footage for Global Frequency. And they'd fired me anyway for, y'know, snark.
Apparently, John Rogers is a lot smarter than the rest of us.
Catwoman is terrible but at least most people who made the movie realize that. Halle Berry famously accepted her Razzie Award for Worst Actress for the role in person, something few have had the courage to do. She took it in stride, clearly accepting that the film sucked. Today, we at least have the benefit of some great comic book movies, which has the benefit of raising the bar for everybody else. We'll still get bad movies now and then, but hopefully, they won't be quite that bad ever again.