In 2004, Warner Bros. Pictures released Catwoman – a feature-length adventure about the classic comic book character. The film – directed by Pitof – starred Halle Berry, Benjamin Bratt and Sharon Stone and acted as an origin story for the iconic anti-hero.
Warner Bros. had high hopes for Catwoman, expecting it to connect with audiences in the same way that the Batman movies did – but it didn’t. Catwoman was not a success, neither critically or commercially, and certainly didn’t deliver in the way the studio had hoped.
But often when it comes to the movie business, films that under perform can still inspire sequels – either on the big screen or direct to home video. So, what of Catwoman? Did Catwoman ever get a sequel?
Is there a Catwoman 2?
Prior to its release, Catwoman was in development for a long time – in fact, more than a decade was spent trying to get the film off the ground. The project was originally conceived as a spin-off of Batman Returns, with Michelle Pfeiffer set to take on the title role, but that version of the film never came to pass and it eventually morphed into something else entirely.
Between 1992 and the film’s eventual release in 2004, Catwoman underwent a considerable amount of alterations; from a different lead actress to a different lead character. Oh, the finished film might have been called Catwoman, but the story was originally supposed to focus on Selina Kyle (Pfeiffer’s Catwoman), rather than Patience Phillips (Halle Berry’s Catwoman) and the two movies were not one and the same.
Due to the project’s lengthy development, only one movie was ever conceived. So, when the picture failed to impress critics and (more importantly) audiences, there was no major plan in place for a sequel because no one had thought that far ahead.
And even if there had been ideas or thoughts about Catwoman 2, they would have been quashed very quickly. Why? Because of just how badly Catwoman performed.
Produced on a budget of $100 million, Warner Bros. wanted the picture to score big, but Catwoman struggled to make back its money, taking just over $82 million at the box office. This figure included both domestic and international incomes, with the film making approximately $40.2 million in the US and $41.9 million everywhere else.
These figures were disastrous for the studio. Not only did the film underperform in the US, but it did just as badly across the rest of the world too.
If there was an appetite for Catwoman in some territories, and it at least looked financially viable, then a sequel would have been considered. But it was very clear, very quickly that Catwoman was a ‘one film and done’ kind of project, that would not get a sequel.
Post-release both the industry and even its lead star turned on it too. Catwoman won four Golden Raspberry Awards – an accolade given out to bad movies – and that included Worst Actress for Halle Berry.
Berry took the win in her stride, even turning up in person at the ceremony to claim her award. She then proceeded to thank everyone who made her win possible, including Warner Bros. for putting her in “a piece of shit, god awful movie.”
That’s not the sort of comment you make if you’re expecting to return for a sequel. Berry’s words spoke volumes about the possibility of a sequel.
So, with audiences disinterested in Catwoman, critics panning the film, Berry down on the movie, and of course the financial problems, there was simply no chance of a follow-up. The film came and went with little to no real interest and no one mourned the loss of a sequel.
But what if Catwoman was a success? And what if this success had led to Catwoman 2?
Catwoman 2 and beyond
If Catwoman had been successful, it could have led to a series of sequels – not just one follow-up, but potentially more. Warner Bros. Pictures was keen on developing a solo Catwoman movie, following the character’s crowd-pleasing turn in Batman Returns, and if 2004’s Catwoman had proved popular then the studio would have pushed the character further.
In the same way that the Batman movie series became a lucrative source of income, had Catwoman pulled in big numbers then the initial entry could have been one of many. In fact, we could still be watching new Catwoman movies today!
But of course, that didn’t happen and instead of more Catwoman films, the character was brought back into the Batman series instead; first with The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and then with The Batman (2021). Catwoman also became a significant character in the live-action Batman prequel show, Gotham.
I hope this information about Catwoman has proved useful. For more posts about the Batman movie series, check out one of the recommended reads below.