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How The Axed Catwoman Spinoff Was Almost ‘The Boys Before The Boys’

In the years since “Batman Returns,” different live-action versions of Catwoman have appeared in Batman-centric productions. Anne Hathaway portrayed the character in 2012’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” and Zoë Kravitz recently put her own spin on the role for 2022’s “The Batman,” for instance. Unfortunately, even as the character has remained culturally relevant and Michael Keaton’s Batman has received a reprisal, Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman hasn’t returned to live-action. Still, that doesn’t mean her character’s universe doesn’t include a Catwoman solo adventure.

Twelve years after “Batman Returns” came and went from theaters, moviegoers were offered “Catwoman,” starring Halle Berry in the title role. The film was written off by DC fans and casual audience members alike in short order, predominantly for failing to do anything memorable with the lead character and the comic book universe it’s said to be based on. What some might not realize though is that this film actually ties back to Burton’s “Batman” franchise. It’s explained that Patience Phillips (Berry) has been given cat powers by the Egyptian goddess, Bast, to become a catwoman. In one scene, she looks at images of those who came before her, with one of them being Selina Kyle from “Batman Returns.”

This is more than likely just an Easter egg meant to highlight Catwoman’s cinematic history up to that point. Then again, if one wanted to, they could interpret this as proof that “Catwoman” is indeed a “Batman Returns” spin-off set in the same world. 

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