Tim Burton wanted to make a Catwoman movie that would have been an $18 million black-and-white version of 1942’s Cat People.

Burton first debuted his version of Catwoman, played by Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns, opposite Michael Keaton’s Batman. The film ended with a scene teasing the return of Pfeiffer’s character, and for years there was talk of a Catwoman spinoff movie. It never happened — until DC made a totally unrelated (and quite terrible) Catwoman movie in 2004, featuring Halle Berry as a different incarnation of the feline anti-hero.

Obviously, that’s not what Burton had in mind. His Batman Returns screenwriter Daniel Waters recently revealed Burton’s original plan at an L.A. screening of Batman Returns — and how his take different from Burton’s. He explained (via Indiewire) ...

[Tim] wanted to do an $18 million black-and-white movie, like the original Cat People, of Selina just low-key living in a small town. And I wanted to make a Batman movie where the metaphor was about Batman. So I had [Catwoman] move to a Los Angeles version of Gotham City, and it’s run by three assh— superheroes. It was The Boys before The Boys. But he got exhausted reading my script.


Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

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Waters also revealed how his initial script for Batman Returns was far more meta than the one we saw, and included material aimed at poking fun at the first Batman movie, and the way it became a pop culture phenomenon with every possible merchandising tie-in. Waters said the initial plan was for Returns to be gun with the Batman logo — and a reveal that it was at a store selling merchandise in Gotham City. Batman would have made jokes about the merchandise as well, but Waters said Michael Keaton told him “This is very clever. Cut it.”

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