John Rogers, one of the credited screenwriters on 2004’s Catwoman starring Halle Berry, raised eyebrows on social media this week when he declared the film a “s— movie” with “zero cultural relevance.” Not that Berry herself and critics at the time didn’t say something similar.
With the rise and success of Black Panther, one user on Twitter wondered why the Marvel film was getting so much praise for cultural representation when Catwoman did not.
“As one of the credited writers of CATWOMAN, I believe I have the authority to say: because it was a s— movie dumped by the studio at the end of a style cycle, and had zero cultural relevance either in front of or behind the camera,” Rogers responded. “This is a bad take. Feel shame.”
He went on to say he “never watched the movie all the way through in one sitting” and “skipped premiere night.”
Berry starred in the Pitof-directed Catwoman as Patience Phillips, a shy graphic designer who’s transformed into Catwoman after seemingly falling to her death. It marked a drastic departure from the villain known to DC Comics fans as Selina Kyle. As Rogers went on to explain, the character “couldn’t be Selina Kyle because of an insane rights issue.”
Though he was credited as one of six writers on the film, Rogers also clarified he was “fired off the movie” because he “kept arguing with notes that’d make the movie ‘very, very bad.’ Which I said out loud. At meetings.”
Rogers praised Pitof’s “eye for action,” but tweeted that “nobody in power knew what movie they wanted.” He then pointed to a scene from the film’s third act in which Patience is “dressed like a Québécois stripper” and was “beating the s— out of a makeup exec in a pantsuit.”
Berry herself called Catwoman “a godawful piece of s— movie” when she accepted one of the film’s four Razzie awards in 2005. She called the distinction “a lesson learned, and I hope to God I never have to see these people again.”