Screenwriter John August has revealed his rejected 1998 pitch for a Catwoman movie that would've seen Michelle Pfeiffer reprise her role from Batman Returns.
Following the success of director Tim Burton's 1992 sequel, Warner Bros. had planned to develop a standalone film starring Pfeiffer's scene-stealing Selina Kyle. However, the project was mired in development hell for years, before Halle Berry signed on for what was ultimately a very different Catwoman.
Recalling his experience, the Big Fish writer tweeted, "Catwoman at Warners in 1998. Sequel with Michelle Pfeiffer returning. Producer excited." However, he continued, "After pitch, exec insisted it needed to be Sarah Michelle Gellar and involve hair-washing scene, then showed me Matrix trailer."
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
A series of follow-up tweets offers insights into the script and a storyline that would've started on Halloween in Gotham City. After an explosion causes Kyle to forget she was ever Catwoman, August's snippet ends with her lying in a hospital bed and talking to Bruce Wayne. He doesn't go into any more detail or reveal whether Michael Keaton was intended to reprise his role alongside Pfeiffer.
With Batman Returns premiereing in 1992 and August's pitch coming from 1998, it shows just how long Warner Bros. was considering a Catwoman solo movie. Batman Forever and Batman & Robin were already released by that point, with the latter bringing the franchise to a screeching halt, but work on a Catwoman spinoff continued.
Sadly, August's movie never came to be, and Catwoman is now associated with Jean-Christophe Comar's maligned 2004 film.
Pfeiffer recently returned to comic book movies for Ant-Man and The Wasp, and despite saying she'd love to play Catwoman again, it looks like she will remain tied to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Janet van Dyne for now. After appearing in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, Catwoman reportedly won't be part of the upcoming Birds of Prey.