As part of the #ShareYourRejections Twitter campaign, screenwriter John August (Big Fish, Charlie’s Angels) revealed pages from a rejected 1998 Catwoman-centric sequel/spinoff pitch that sounded like gold to onlooking Batman fans. Despite being a fan favorite in Batman Returns (1992), Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman never got her own solo film. Although development began on a Catwoman project in 1993, and August pitched his spin-off in 1998, neither came to fruition. Instead, we got Catwoman (2004) starring Halle Berry.
August only provides a few blurbs from the pitch, but the treatment finds Catwoman robbing a psychiatrist’s office, thinking she encounters Batman on Halloween (it’s just a guy in a costume), having the Catwoman literally exploded out of her, actually encountering Batman and ... getting a job at her dad’s company in Lake City.
According to August’s original tweet, the producer for the film was initially excited about the project. However, following the pitch the executive producer insisted on Sarah Michelle Gellar in addition to a hair-washing scene. Elaborating on the exec’s oddly specific request, August tweeted this:
As far as I could tell, he just really envisioned Catwoman washing another woman’s hair— John August (@johnaugust) August 16, 2018
Read August’s full thread, which includes text from his 1998 pitch.
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
UPDATE: I found my old pitch and I actually still love it. Dated January 13, 1999. Also, I used to be a double-spacer. pic.twitter.com/mMngeQ2XCt— John August (@johnaugust) August 16, 2018
One more bite. Keep in mind, these were just my own notes for the pitch, thus the many typos (incl “Selena”). These would and should *never* be left behind. #catwoman #ShareYouRejections pic.twitter.com/rCHziIteOK— John August (@johnaugust) August 17, 2018
Although we’ll likely never get a Catwoman spin-off with Michelle Pfeiffer, there are currently 22 DC Extended Universe movies that are rumored, confirmed or currently in production.