Screenwriter Behind Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman Spinoff Shares His Rejected Story Pitch

Catwoman in Batman Returns

In the world of Hollywood, there are millions of ideas that go on unproduced. Not everything makes it to the big screen, and not every movie pitch is a home run. Or maybe it is and some particular executive just couldn't see it. Professional screenwriters have of stories about rejected screenplays, and John August is one of them. The writer of Big Fish and Corpse Bride was once involved in a pitch for a Catwoman movie, and while his idea was ultimately rejected, he decided to share the story on social media.

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Back in 1998, Warner Bros. was developing a Catwoman movie that would have seen the return of Michelle Pfeiffer in the role. John August was at one point involved with the project, and while he was never hired to write a script, he did pitch an idea for the movie to an executive. As August recounts on Twitter, the exec was more interested in figuring out how to get Sarah Michelle Gellar and a hair washing scene in there. (Ironically, the world would see this very scene in The Grudge).

John August's Catwoman movie went on to live forever in his computer, which is where he found it years later, inspiring him to share some of it online. In his Twitter thread, John August reveals the basic premise of this Catwoman pitch, and what's pretty much the first 15 or so minutes of the movie. August's version opens with Halloween at Gotham City, and Selina Kyle is lounging on a psychiatrist's couch, bemoaning that she's thinking of leaving Gotham. Only, she's not in therapy and she's actually talking to a gagged man tied to a chair. Yep, she's robbing him. She then moves on to her second robbery of the night where she encounters Nightfall, a D-list supervillain, who's robbing the same place. He's rigged the place with explosives and Catwoman goes flying through three glass windows.

Selina then wakes up in a hospital in Lake City (Chicago), her hometown. She gets a visit from Bruce Wayne, who learns that Selina has no memory of her time as Catwoman or her relationship with Batman. As August explains, a fall created Catwoman and a fall destroyed her. We also learn about Selina's family such as her city council father and successful sister. Selina attempts to create a new life for herself, but there's still a little Catwoman left in her.

It's definitely an interesting direction for a Catwoman movie, and I doubt there's anyone who thinks it's worse than the Catwoman movie they ended up making. Catwoman languished in development hell before making it to theaters in 2004 with Halle Berry as the lead, and it's considered one of the worst superhero movies ever made.

We may not have a good Catwoman movie, but DC is always announcing new projects so stick with CinemaBlend for all movie news and updates.

Matt Wood

Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.