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Catwoman (film)

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Movie poster that reads: "Halle Berry is Catwoman". In the foreground, Berry wears a leather suit and crouches on the edge of a tall building.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPitof
Screenplay by
Story by
Based on
Produced by
CinematographyThierry Arbogast
Edited bySylvie Landra
Music byKlaus Badelt
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • July 19, 2004 (2004-07-19) (Los Angeles)
  • July 23, 2004 (2004-07-23) (United States)
Running time
104 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$100 million
Box office$82.4 million[2]

Catwoman is a 2004 American superhero film directed by Pitof and written by John Rogers, John Brancato and Michael Ferris from a story by Theresa Rebeck, Brancato and Ferris, with music by Klaus Badelt. It is loosely based on the DC Comics character Catwoman. The film stars Halle Berry, Benjamin Bratt, Lambert Wilson, Frances Conroy, Alex Borstein, and Sharon Stone. Its plot centers on Patience Phillips, a meek graphic designer, who discovers a conspiracy within the cosmetics company she works for that involves a dangerous product that could cause widespread health problems. After being discovered and murdered by the conspirators, Patience is revived by an Egyptian mau cat that grants her superhuman cat-like abilities, allowing her to become the crime-fighting superheroine Catwoman.

Produced by Village Roadshow Pictures and Denise Di Novi's Di Novi Pictures, Catwoman was released in the United States by Warner Bros. Pictures on July 23, 2004. The film was panned by critics and performed poorly at the box office, grossing $82 million against a budget of $100 million. The film received seven Golden Raspberry Award nominations, winning Worst Picture, Worst Actress (Berry), Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay.



Artist 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 scientist Dr. Ivan Slavicky and Laurel Hedare, the wife of company-owner George Hedare, about the dangerous side effects from continually using 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 named Midnight which had appeared at her apartment earlier; from that moment on, she develops cat-like attributes.

From Midnight'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 that 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 George 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. Tom then takes Catwoman into custody. Laurel 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. Laurel reveals the product's side effects: discontinuing its use makes the skin disintegrate, while continuing its use makes the skin as hard as marble and the user impervious to pain. During the fight, she scratches Laurel's face several times, causing Laurel to fall out of a window and grab onto a pipe. Laurel sees her rapidly disfiguring face in a window's reflection, and horrified, she fails to grab hold of Patience's outstretched hand and falls to her death.

Although Patience is cleared of any charges made against her regarding the deaths of Dr. Slavicky and the Hedares, she decides to end her relationship with Tom by choosing to continue living outside the law and enjoying her newfound freedom as Catwoman.



Missy Peregrym appears uncredited as the Hedare factory computer monitor image (Beau-line graphics model), depicting the bad effects of the beauty product.[3] A photograph of Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle in Batman Returns is among various photographs that Ophelia uses to explain the history of former Catwomen.[4]





With Warner Bros. developing Batman Forever in June 1993, a Catwoman spin-off film was announced. Michelle Pfeiffer was cast to reprise her role from Batman Returns,[5] 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 that "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 reiterated 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 as the lead in 2001,[10][11] but she eventually dropped out[12] so Nicole Kidman was considered.[13] When Warner Bros. canceled a Batman vs. Superman film scheduled for 2004, the studio decided to quickly produce Catwoman as replacement, starring Halle Berry.[14] Berry chose to be involved with the film after the cancellation of Jinx, a James Bond spin-off featuring her character Giacinta "Jinx" Johnson from Die Another Day (2002).[15] Josh Lucas was considered for the role of Tom Lone.[16]

I checked out some to see how Catwoman is treated in the comics, to make sure that our Catwoman was in the same vein. But I didn't want to be too influenced by the comic book, because the whole point of the movie is to be first a movie, and to be different. Different from Batman, different from Spider-Man – this movie has its own identity. I tried to find my sources more in the character of Catwoman herself. To me, the Catwoman we're filming now with Halle Berry is in the continuity of the others. She's different than Michelle Pfeiffer's character, different from anybody who's played Catwoman in the past. But she is Catwoman. When you look at the differences between the comic book Catwoman and the TV or movie Catwoman, they're all different – but there's a feeling that they are all Catwoman. Halle brings her own personality, through her attitude and through the outfit.

—Director Pitof[17]



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 that they wanted a "reality-based wardrobe to show the progression from demure, repressed Patience to the sensual awakening of a sexy warrior goddess".[18]

Choreography and training


Berry started intensive fitness training with Harley Pasternak in June 2003.[19] Choreographer Anne Fletcher instructed Berry in cat-like movement,[20] and in the Brazilian martial art style Capoeira.[19] Berry was trained to crack a whip by coach Alex Green.[19]



Principal photography began in late September 2003. Shooting took place on 4th Street in downtown Los Angeles, California, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, at Lionsgate Film Studios, Vancouver, British Columbia, and at 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.[20]


Halle Berry at the Catwoman premiere in Hamburg, Germany



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 Warner Bros. announced its cancellation on June 30, 2004, because the delays on the visual effects did not give IMAX enough time to remaster the film in time for its release.

Home media


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



Box office


Catwoman grossed $40.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $42.2 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $82.4 million against a production budget of $100 million,[2] becoming a box office flop.[21]

The film grossed $16.7 million in its opening weekend at 3,117 theaters with a $5,366 per-theatre average, ranking third behind The Bourne Supremacy and I, Robot.[22] 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, while topping the Bulgarian weekend listing.[23]

Critical response


The film was critically panned.[21] The Village Voice reported that the critics "universally—and predictably—tore apart Catwoman".[24]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 8% based on 132 reviews, with an average rating of 3.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Halle Berry is the lone bright spot, but even she can't save this laughable action thriller."[25] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 27 out of 100 based on 35 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[26] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.[27]

The review from San Diego Metropolitan Magazine praised Berry's appearance in the suit, the dynamic action sequences with Catwoman's whip and the director's efforts to maintain momentum, but criticized the film's script and logical consistency, highlighting the absurdity of certain scenes, and found the actors struggling "to make sense" of the script, ultimately deeming it one of the worst of the year.[28]

The film appeared on the list of Roger Ebert's most hated films.[29] He criticized the filmmakers for giving little thought to providing Berry "with a strong character, story, supporting characters or action sequences", but he primarily criticized the film for failing 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".[30] On their At the Movies show, Ebert and his former co-host Richard Roeper both gave the film a "thumbs down".[citation needed]

In a scholarly analysis of female protagonists in action cinema, Caroline Heldman et al said that 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".[31] Bill Muller of The Arizona Republic stated that Berry should possibly give back her 2001 Academy Award as a penalty for the film.[32]

In July 2024, IndieWire described the film as a "superhero cult classic" that "has become a sleeper hit".[21]



Berry arrived at the ceremony to accept her Razzie in person while carrying her Best Actress Oscar. She semi-sarcastically described the finished film as "a god-awful movie" and quipped, "It was just what my career needed".[33] She later explained that "The studio [Warner Bros.] knew what I was going to do at the Razzies. I told them I wanted to take the piss out of it and laugh at it [...] I don't think it's a God-awful film, but I was at the Razzies, so I had to do what they do; I shit on it because they shit on it! I wrote [that speech] within an inch of my life. I put a lot of thought into how I could do it in a fun way and let everyone know I didn't take it that seriously. You can never take away my Oscar, no matter how bad you bash me! If you say I earned it, I'll take this, too."[21]

Award Ceremony date Category Subject Result
Golden Raspberry Awards February 26, 2005 Worst Picture Warner Bros. Won
Worst Actress Halle Berry Won
Worst Supporting Actor Lambert Wilson Nominated
Worst Supporting Actress Sharon Stone Nominated
Worst Screen Couple Halle Berry and either Benjamin Bratt or Sharon Stone Nominated
Worst Director Pitof Won
Worst Screenplay John Brancato and Michael Ferris, John Rogers Won
Stinkers Bad Movie Awards 2005 Worst Picture Warner Bros. Won
Least "Special" Special Effects Won
Most Intrusive Musical Score Nominated
Worst Screenplay Nominated
Worst Director Pitof Won
Worst Actress Halle Berry Won
Worst Supporting Actress Sharon Stone Won

Оther media


A video game based on the film was published by Electronic Arts UK and Argonaut Games. Featuring voice actor Jennifer Hale,[34] the game varies from the film's plot and received negative reviews on Metacritic.[35]

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 was discarded due to the film's critical and box office failure.[36]

See also



  1. ^ "Catwoman (12A)". BBFC. July 28, 2004. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Catwoman at Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-11-15.
  3. ^ Mason, Aiden (April 24, 2020). "10 Things You Didn't Know About Missy Peregrym". TV Over Mind. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  4. ^ Reinhardt, James (January 25, 2021). "A Catwoman Easter Egg Links the 2004 Flop to Batman Returns". Comic Book Resource. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  5. ^ Fleming, Michael (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. Archived from the original on June 20, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  13. ^ "Nicole Kidman Offered 'Catwoman' Role". Killer Movies. February 5, 2003. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  14. ^ Greenberg, James (May 8, 2005). "Rescuing Batman". Los Angeles Times. p. E-10. Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  15. ^ Annabel Nugent (September 15, 2020). "Halle Berry reveals why her Bond character's spin-off film was axed". The Independent. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
  16. ^ Stax (July 25, 2003). "IGN FilmForce Exclusive: Who is Catwoman's Leading Man?". IGN.
  17. ^ Director Pitof on Catwoman. Superhero Hype
  18. ^ "CATWOMAN - Movie Production Notes...CinemaReview.com". www.cinemareview.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  19. ^ a b c "CATWOMAN - Movie Production Notes...CinemaReview.com". www.cinemareview.com. Archived from the original on September 9, 2018. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  20. ^ a b "CATWOMAN - Movie Production Notes...CinemaReview.com". www.cinemareview.com. Archived from the original on September 9, 2018. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  21. ^ a b c d Bergeson, Samantha (July 19, 2024). "Halle Berry: Critics Have 'So Much Power' to Tank Films". IndieWire. Retrieved July 19, 2024.
  22. ^ "Weekend Box Office for July 23-25, 2004". boxofficemojo.com. IMDB. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  23. ^ "Catwoman International Box office". boxofficemojo.com. IMDB. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  24. ^ Kim, Janet (July 20, 2004). "Me-Ouch". Village Voice. Archived from the original on September 15, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  25. ^ "Catwoman (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved May 2, 2024.
  26. ^ "Catwoman Reviews". Metacritic.
  27. ^ McClintock, Pamela (August 9, 2015). "'Fantastic Four' Gets Worst CinemaScore Ever for Studio Superhero Movie". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 10, 2022.
  28. ^ Lowerison, Jean. "'Catwoman' The cat and the Bratt". San Diego Metropolitan. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  29. ^ "Ebert's Most Hated". rogerebert.com. Retrieved October 16, 2023.
  30. ^ Ebert, Roger (July 23, 2004). "Catwoman". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 11, 2007.
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ Halle Berry accepts her RAZZIE Award. Golden Raspberry Awards. February 26, 2005. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved July 8, 2013 – via YouTube.
  34. ^ Jennifer Hale [@jhaletweets] (July 9, 2014). "@MattMcMuscles yep" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  35. ^ "Catwoman for Xbox on Metacritic.com". Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  36. ^ "The World's Finest - Batman: The Animated Series". Archived from the original on May 30, 2015. Retrieved 2016-11-18.