In the pantheon of "so bad, they're almost good" comic book movies, 2004's Catwoman movie has a unique position among that. The Halle Berry-led film was met with scrutiny almost from the get-go, from its confounding plot to its loose interpretation to the character's DC Comics source material. The film was a critical and commercial failure by the time it was released, and ultimately won multiple Razzie Awards in the following year. According to a new interview with Berry, even she was apprehensive about the film's script -- and her lack of say in the film itself led to her wanting to pursue directing, something she is now doing with the sports drama Bruised.
“The story didn’t feel quite right,” Berry explained to Variety. “I remember having that argument: ‘Why can’t Catwoman save the world like Batman and Superman do? Why is she just saving women from a face cream that cracks their face off?’ But I was just the actor for hire. I wasn’t the director. I had very little say over that.”
That plot Berry was speaking about is a reference to the conflict between Berry's Patience Phillips and Sharon Stone's Laurel Hedare, a cosmetics magnate whose product's formula has some negative side effects. While nearly all of the film's plot befuddled audiences, that plotline was met with particular scorn -- both for the somewhat-reductive focus on two women fighting over a cosmetics company, and the fact that it was nothing like Catwoman's adventures in the comics.
While Catwoman might still go down in infamy, Berry has had a positive outlook on how the film influenced racial representation in the world of comic book movies.
“Each story builds on the next,” Berry said of the film's impact during an appearance in 2018. “It’s like that old saying goes: behind every Black Panther is a great black Catwoman! You know, I’ve gotten a really bad rap for this role, and I think Catwoman deserves another g—damn chance, don’t you?”
Berry also previously offered her well wishes for Zoe Kravitz, who will be the latest to step into the role of Catwoman in Matt Reeves' The Batman.
"I spoke to Michelle [Pfeiffer]. We sat at the same table at the Golden Globes, and I’ve met her a bunch over the years because of David E. Kelley [Pfeiffer's husband and Big Little Lies creator]," Kravitz said in an interview earlier this year. "She’d always been so nice. I had just gotten cast so I was really nervous to be around her, and she was so sweet. She just gave me a big hug and said, 'You’re going to be great.' That was really just amazing. Both Halle and Anne [Hathaway] were really sweet on Instagram and Twitter. [They] sent really sweet, encouraging messages when that was announced. So I feel supported by my girls."