Catwoman (film)

Catwoman is a 2004 American superhero film loosely based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Directed by Pitof and written by John Rogers, John Brancato and Michael Ferris with music by Klaus Badelt, the film stars Halle Berry in the title role, Benjamin Bratt, Lambert Wilson, Frances Conroy, Alex Borstein and Sharon Stone. The film centers on Patience Phillips, a meek designer who discovers a dark conspiracy within the cosmetics company she works for that involves a dangerous product which could cause widespread health problems. After being discovered and murdered by the conspirators, she is revived by Egyptian cats that grant her with superhuman cat-like abilities allowing her to become the crime-fighting superhero Catwoman, while also falling in love with a police detective who pursues her.

Produced by Village Roadshow Pictures and Denise Di Novi's Di Novi Pictures, Catwoman was released theatrically on July 23, 2004 by Warner Bros. Pictures and was a critical and commercial failure, grossing $82 million against a budget of $100 million. The film received seven Golden Raspberry Award nominations and won in the categories of Worst Picture, Worst Actress, Worst Director and Worst Screenplay; many critics consider it to be one of the worst films of all time.[3][4]

Catwoman poster
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPitof
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
Based on
Music byKlaus Badelt
CinematographyThierry Arbogast
Edited bySylvie Landra
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • July 19, 2004 (Los Angeles)
  • July 23, 2004 (United States)
Running time
104 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$100 million
Box office$82.1 million[2]


Artist and graphics designer Patience Phillips is a meek people-pleaser whose main support is her best friend Sally. She works for a cosmetics company called Hedare Beauty which is ready to ship a new skin cream called Beau-line that is able to reverse the effects of aging. However, when Patience visits the R&D laboratory facility to deliver a redone ad design, she overhears a discussion between the scientist Dr. Ivan Slavicky and Laurel Hedare, the wife of company-owner George Hedare, about the dangerous side effects from continued use of the product. Laurel's guards discover Patience and are ordered to dispose of her. Patience tries to escape using a conduit pipe, but the minions have it sealed and flush her out of it, drowning her. Washed up on shore, Patience is mysteriously revived by an Egyptian Mau cat which had appeared at her apartment earlier; from that moment on, she develops cat-like abilities.

From Mau's owner eccentric researcher Ophelia Powers, Patience learns that Egyptian Mau cats serve as messengers of the goddess Bast. Patience realizes that she is now a "catwoman," reborn with abilities that are both a blessing and a curse. Disguised as a mysterious vigilante named Catwoman to hide her identity, Patience, under cover of darkness, searches for answers as to who killed her and why. Eventually, her search (which includes finding Slavicky's body, and later being accused of his murder) leads her to Laurel. She asks Laurel to keep an eye on George, to which Laurel agrees. However, when Patience confronts George (who is attending an opera with another woman) as Catwoman, he reveals he knows nothing about the side effects. The police, led by Patience's love interest Detective Tom Lone, arrive and Catwoman escapes. Later on, Laurel murders her husband for his infidelity and admits to having Dr. Slavicky killed because he wanted to cancel the product's release. She contacts Catwoman and frames her for the murder. Catwoman is then taken into custody by Tom, but not before Laurel reveals the side-effects of the product: discontinuing its use makes the skin disintegrate, while continuing its use makes the skin as hard as marble. She also plans to release Beau-line to the public the following day.

Patience slips out of her cell and confronts Laurel in her office, rescuing Tom who came to question Laurel after second thoughts about Patience's guilt in the process and revealing that Laurel is the one responsible for her death. During the fight, she scratches Laurel's face multiple times, causing Laurel to fall out of a window and grab onto a pipe. Laurel sees her face in a window's reflection and horrified by her skin's rapid disintegration (as a result of the scratches and her own use of Beau-line for years), fails to grab hold of Patience's outstretched arm and falls to her death. Though Patience is cleared of any charges made against her regarding the deaths of Dr. Slavicky and the Hedares, she decides to end things with Tom by choosing to continue living outside the law and enjoying her newfound freedom as the mysterious Catwoman.


Missy Peregrym appears uncredited as the Hedare factory computer monitor image (Beau-line graphics model), depicting the bad effects of the beauty product. A photograph of Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman in Batman Returns can be seen among the pictures that Ophelia shows to Patience.



With Warner Bros. moving on development for Batman Forever in June 1993, a Catwoman spin-off film was announced. Michelle Pfeiffer was set to reprise her role from Batman Returns[5] while Tim Burton became attached as director and producer Denise Di Novi and writer Daniel Waters also returned.[6] In January 1994, Burton was unsure of his plans to direct Catwoman or an adaptation of "The Fall of the House of Usher".[7] On June 16, 1995, Waters turned in his Catwoman script to Warner Bros., the same day Batman Forever was released. Burton was still being courted to direct. Waters joked, "turning it in the day Batman Forever opened may not have been my best logistical move, in that it's the celebration of the fun-for-the-whole-family Batman. Catwoman is definitely not a fun-for-the-whole-family script."[8] In an August 1995 interview, Pfeiffer re-iterated her interest in the spin-off but explained her priorities would be challenged as a mother and commitments to other projects.[9]

The film labored in development hell for years with Ashley Judd set to star as the lead as far back as 2001,[10][11] but eventually dropped out of the role.[12] Nicole Kidman was also considered for the role after Judd stepped out of the project[13] until Halle Berry was chosen and production began.


The catsuit was designed by Academy Award-winning costume designer Angus Strathie together with Berry, director Pitof and producers Di Novi and McDonnell. Strathie explained, "We wanted a very reality-based wardrobe to show the progression from demure, repressed Patience to the sensual awakening of a sexy warrior goddess."[15]

Choreography and training

Berry started intensive fitness training with Harley Pasternak in June 2003.[16] Berry was given instruction in cat-like movement by choreographer Anne Fletcher,[17] who also oversaw Berry's training in the Brazilian martial art style Capoeira.[16] Berry was trained to crack a whip by coach Alex Green.[16]


Principal photography began late September 2003. Shooting took place on 4th Street in downtown Los Angeles, California and Winnipeg, Manitoba, as well as Lions Gate Film Studios, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Warner Bros. Burbank Studios, 4000 Warner Boulevard, Burbank, California. Most of the cats cast in the film came from animal shelters throughout California. Filming finished on February 20, 2004.[17]


The film was originally given an IMAX release coinciding with the general release as evidenced by a poster with the tagline "CATch Her in IMAX", but it was cancelled because Warner Bros. decided that the delays on the visual effects did not give IMAX enough time to remaster the film in time for its release. The decision to cancel the IMAX release was announced on June 30, 2004.

Home media

Catwoman was released on VHS and DVD on January 18, 2005, and on Blu-ray on September 8, 2009.


Box office

Catwoman earned a gross of $40,202,379 in North America and $41,900,000 in other territories for a worldwide total of $82,102,379 against a production budget of $100 million.[2]

The film grossed $16,728,411 in its opening weekend playing in 3,117 theaters, with a $5,366 per-theatre average and ranking #3 alongside The Bourne Supremacy and I, Robot.[18] The biggest market in other territories being France, Spain, Japan and Mexico where the film grossed $5.2 million, $4.05 million, $3.05 million and $2.9 million.[19]

Critical response

Halle Berry in Hamburg, 2004
Halle Berry was panned by critics for her performance.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 9% based on 195 reviews with an average rating of 3.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Halle Berry is the lone bright spot, but even she can't save this laughable action thriller."[20] On Metacritic the film has a score of 27 out of 100 based on 35 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[21] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.[22]

The film appeared on the list of Roger Ebert's most hated films. He criticized the filmmakers for giving little thought to providing Berry "with a strong character, story, supporting characters or action sequences", but his primary criticism came from the failure of the film to give the audience a sense of what her character experienced as she was transformed into Catwoman. He rather referred to it as being a movie "about Halle Berry's beauty, sex appeal, figure, eyes, lips and costume design. It gets those right".[23] In their onscreen review, Ebert and his former co-host Richard Roeper both gave the film a "thumbs down". Heldman et al said that as the film ends with Catwoman choosing "a solo existence as her sexualized body slinks into the full moon; even this otherwise agentic act is constructed for the consumption of the male gaze that follows her. The film presents her agency, power, and freedom as derivative of her hypersexualization."[24] Bill Muller of The Arizona Republic stated that Berry should possibly give back her 2001 Academy Award as a penalty for the film.[25]


The film received seven Golden Raspberry Awards nominations in 2005 including Worst Supporting Actress (Sharon Stone), Worst Supporting Actor (Lambert Wilson) and Worst Screen Couple (Halle Berry and either Benjamin Bratt or Sharon Stone). It also won in the categories of Worst Picture, Worst Actress (Halle Berry), Worst Director (Pitof) and Worst Screenplay. Berry arrived at the ceremony to accept her Razzie in person with her Best Actress Oscar for Monster's Ball in hand and said: "First of all, I want to thank Warner Bros. Thank you for putting me in a piece of shit, god-awful movie... It was just what my career needed."[26]

Tie-in media

Video game

A video game based on the film was published by Electronic Arts UK and Argonaut Games. Featuring the voice talents of Jennifer Hale,[27] the game varied from the film's plot and received negative reviews much like the film.[28]

Cancelled animated direct-to-video film

In 2003, Warner Bros. approached Boyd Kirkland to write a script for a Catwoman direct-to-video animated feature film to tie-in with the film's release. Although the script was written, the project discarded due to the film's critical and commercial failure.[29]

See also


  1. ^ "CATWOMAN (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. July 28, 2004. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Catwoman at Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-11-15.
  3. ^ Jean Lowerison. "'Catwoman' The cat and the Bratt". San Diego Metropolitan. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  4. ^ Janet Kim (July 20, 2004). "Me-Ouch – Page 1 – Movies – New York". Village Voice. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  5. ^ Michael Fleming (June 17, 1993). "Dish". Variety. Retrieved August 14, 2008.
  6. ^ Michael Fleming (July 22, 1993). "Another life at WB for Catwoman and Burton?". Variety. Retrieved August 14, 2008.
  7. ^ Michael Fleming (January 13, 1994). "Seagal on the pulpit may be too much for WB". Variety. Retrieved August 14, 2008.
  8. ^ Judy Sloane (August 1995). "Daniel Waters on Writing", Film Review, pp. 67-69
  9. ^ Tim Egan (August 6, 1995). "Michelle Pfeiffer, Sensuous to Sensible". The New York Times. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  10. ^ "Ashley Judd Talks 'Catwoman'". Killer Movies. April 16, 2001. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  11. ^ "Film Notes: Ashley Judd Takes on 'Catwoman'". ABC News. April 3, 2001. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  12. ^ "Halle Berry As... Catwoman?". The Daily Haggis. March 15, 2003. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  13. ^ "Nicole Kidman Offered 'Catwoman' Role". Killer Movies. February 5, 2003. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  14. ^ Director Pitof on Catwoman. Superhero Hype
  15. ^ "CATWOMAN - Movie Production".
  16. ^ a b c "CATWOMAN - Movie Production".
  17. ^ a b "CATWOMAN - Movie Production".
  18. ^ "Weekend Box Office for July 23-25, 2004". IMDB. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  19. ^ "Catwoman International Box office". IMDB. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  20. ^ "Catwoman (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  21. ^ "Catwoman Reviews". Metacritic.
  22. ^ "CinemaScore".
  23. ^ Ebert, Roger (July 23, 2004). "Catwoman". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 11, 2007.
  24. ^ Heldman, Caroline; Frankel, Laura Lazarus; Holmes, Jennifer (April – June 2016). ""Hot, black leather, whip" The (de)evolution of female protagonists in action cinema, 1960–2014". Sexualization, Media, and Society. 2 (2): 7–8. doi:10.1177/2374623815627789. Pdf.
  25. ^ Muller, Bill (July 23, 2004). "'Catwoman' provides less than purr-fect performances". Gannett News Service. Archived from the original on March 21, 2006. Retrieved June 18, 2008.
  26. ^ "Halle Berry accepts her RAZZIE Award". Golden Raspberry Awards. February 26, 2005. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  27. ^ Jennifer Hale [@jhaletweets] (July 9, 2014). "@MattMcMuscles yep" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  28. ^ "Catwoman for Xbox on". Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 30, 2015. Retrieved 2016-11-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links

Batman in film

The fictional superhero Batman, who appears in American comic books published by DC Comics, has appeared in various films since his inception. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, the character first starred in two serial films in the 1940s: Batman and Batman and Robin. The character also appeared in the 1966 film Batman, which was a feature film adaptation of the 1960s Batman TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward, who also starred in the film. Toward the end of the 1980s, the Warner Bros. studio began producing a series of feature films starring Batman, beginning with the 1989 film Batman, directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton. Burton and Keaton returned for the 1992 sequel Batman Returns, and in 1995, Joel Schumacher directed Batman Forever with Val Kilmer as Batman. Schumacher also directed the 1997 sequel Batman & Robin, which starred George Clooney. Batman & Robin was poorly received by both critics and fans, leading to the cancellation of Batman Unchained.Following the cancellation of two further film proposals, the franchise was rebooted in 2005 with Batman Begins, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale. Nolan returned to direct two further installments through the release of The Dark Knight in 2008 and The Dark Knight Rises in 2012, with Bale reprising his role in both films. Both sequels earned over $1 billion worldwide, making Batman the second film franchise to have two of its films earn more than $1 billion worldwide. Referred to as The Dark Knight Trilogy, the critical acclaim and commercial success of Nolan's films have been credited with restoring widespread popularity to the superhero, with the second installment considered one of the best superhero movies of all-time.

After Warner Bros. launched their own shared cinematic universe known as the DC Extended Universe in 2013, Ben Affleck was cast to portray Batman in the new expansive franchise, first appearing in 2016 with the Zack Snyder directed film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film would help begin a sequence of further DC Comics adaptations, including Justice League, a crossover film featuring other DC Comics characters, in 2017, and a stand-alone Batman film directed by Matt Reeves. Outside of the DCEU, Dante Pereira-Olson will appear as Bruce Wayne in the 2019 film Joker, directed by Todd Phillips.The series has grossed over $4.99 billion at the global box office, making it the eleventh highest-grossing film franchise of all time. Batman has also appeared in multiple animated films, both as a starring character and as an ensemble character. While most animated films were released direct-to-video, the 1993 animated feature Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, based on the 1990s Batman: The Animated Series, was released theatrically. Having earned a total of U.S. $2,407,708,129 the Batman series is the fifth-highest-grossing film series in North America.

Catsuits and bodysuits in popular media

Catsuits are a recurring costume for fictional characters in various media, as well as for entertainers, especially for use in musical performances. They are sometimes referred to as "bodysuits", especially in reference to a full-body suit worn by a man (although bodysuit usually refers to a legless garment); catsuit is typically used only in reference to women.The catsuit has been identified as a film-maker's costume of choice for stealth. In films like Irma Vep, Les Vampires and Heroic Trio, crime and catsuits are featured together, as well as its major original use in Alfred Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief.A trend of bodysuits was observed by film reviewer Alan Farrell in his book High Cheekbones, Pouty Lips, Tight Jeans, and a number of occurrences of the garb in films were mentioned - Charlize Theron in Aeon Flux, Milla Jovovich in the fourth and fifth film of the Resident Evil franchise, Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix, Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Kate Beckinsale in Underworld, and Raquel Welch in Fantastic Voyage. The trend of leather and vinyl catsuits were identified as an attempt to redefine the gender role of women through films. Theresa L. Geller described the catsuit as a part of the Hollywood tough chic paradigm in an article published in the journal Frontiers. That view was shared by Sherrie A. Inness in her book Action Chicks, which also included computer games and professional wrestling in that paradigm. The Action Heroine's Handbook describes the catsuit as one of the three options of the first rule of thumb described in the book: "Dress to accentuate your best physical assets". Action Chicks: New Images of Tough Women in Popular Culture by Sherrie A. Inness describes catsuits as an iconic garb of female TV and film characters.

Catwoman (disambiguation)

Catwoman is a DC comic book character.

Catwoman may also refer to:

Catwoman (film), a 2004 film loosely based on the DC character

Holly Robinson (comics), a DC Comics character, ally of Selina Kyle, who temporarily replaced her as Catwoman

Catwoman (video game), a video game based on the 2004 film

DC Showcase: Catwoman, also titled as simply Catwoman, a 2011 short animated film

Soo Catwoman, also known as Soo Lucas, a member of Britain's 1970s punk rock subculture

Catgirl, a female character with cat traits, such as cat ears, a cat tail, or other feline characteristics on an otherwise human body

Feline animal-human hybrids with a half-and-half mixture of cat-related and human-related traits or some other combination

Cat lady, a woman who dotes on cats

Cat-Women of the Moon, an influential 1953 science fiction film

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He has been nominated for sixteen Artios Awards, and has won four in addition to his five Emmy nominations. His casting credits have included The Dark Knight, Enchanted, and Westworld.

List of DC Comics publications

DC Comics is one of the largest comic book publishers in North America. DC has published comic books under a number of different imprints and corporate names. This is a list of all series, mini-series, limited series, and comic book sized one-shots published under the imprints DC or AA, and published by National Periodical Publications, National Comics Publications, All-American Comics, Inc., National Allied Publications, Detective Comics, Inc., and related corporate names. The list does not include trade paperbacks or series that included only reprints of previously published material.

List of unproduced DC Comics projects

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List of unproduced Warner Bros. Animation projects

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Supporting characters
In other media
Related articles
Single films
See also
Early serials and films
1989–1997 series
The Dark Knight Trilogy
DC Extended Universe
Theatrical animated films
Spin-off films
Unofficial and fan films
See also
Films directed by Pitof
Awards for Catwoman

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