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As one of the most iconic characters in comic book history, Catwoman has found herself adapted for live-action on numerous occasions. From Julie Newmar in Adam West’s cult classic TV show to Zoe Kravitz’s turn in The Batman, Michelle Pfeiffer’s legendary performance in Batman Returns to Anne Hathaway’s more muted approach in The Dark Knight Rises, and Camren Bicondova’s youthful Selina Kyle in Gotham, each actress has managed to put their own stamp on the feline anti-heroine.
However, no matter how many people play the role from now until the end of time, something would have to go spectacularly wrong for the end result to be worse than what Halle Berry brought to the table as Patience Phillips in 2004’s Catwoman, which is without a doubt one of the worst comic book movies ever made.
Having just won an Oscar, Berry almost managed to torpedo her career straight afterwards by signing onto the ill-conceived spin on the story that was absolutely slaughtered by critics and tanked at the box office after failing to even come close to recouping the $100 million budget. Somewhat unbelievably given its well-deserved reputation as an utter disaster, it would remain the highest-grossing superhero movie with a female lead for thirteen years until Wonder Woman came along.
The leading lady was gracious enough to accept her Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress in person and at this point, will probably never live the movie down. In fact, in a recent interview, the 54 year-old admitted that something always felt a little off about the story compared to the genre’s other blockbusters, explaining:
“The story didn’t feel quite right. 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.
She’s got a point, and Batman wouldn’t be caught dead in a movie where he battles an evil moisturizer. But we imagine that Berry’s $14 million salary for starring in Catwoman surely softened the blow of being a part of something so awful.