As “Catwoman” prepares for principal photography this September, FilmJerk.com has learned from several sources that the newest screenwriter to try his hand at the project is Ed Solomon. He replaces screenwriter John Rogers, who is no longer with the project, and whose draft was rewritten by John Brancato and Mike Ferris. A source indicates that Solomon’s script, a “tear-down-and-build-again-from-the-ground-up” effort that will incorporate several key aspects of the film’s previous drafts, is “coming along”; this is corroborated by a casting call we received today.
Solomon, whose most recent endeavor was writing and directing “Levity” with Billy Bob Thornton and Morgan Freeman, also has received screenwriting credits for “The In-Laws,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “What Planet Are You From?,” “Men In Black,“ “Super Mario Bros.” and “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”
Originally a DC Comics character, Michelle Pfeiffer last portrayed Catwoman in 1992’s “Batman Returns.” For this effort, the leather catsuit has now been passed on to Halle Berry. Whereas Catwoman was the alter ego of Selina Kyle in “Returns,” in this version Catwoman will be the masked identity of Patience Price.
Other screenwriters who have tried their at the project include Daniel Waters, Theresa Rebeck and Kate Kondell. One source describes the move to Solomon as amicable – “It wasn’t doing it for them, and the rewrites were not working.”
In a review of Rogers’ March 2002 version of the script, Stax at IGN FilmForce gave it a lukewarm appraisal, noting that he thought “the “Catwoman” project simply needs a new formula to work from (and my hunch is that “formula” is precisely what the studio wants). As long as “Catwoman” remains so closely tied to “Batman Returns,” the project will never really establish its own identity, never be allowed to develop its own personality and style. Without that freshness, “Catwoman” seems to be reliving the same life in each of her subsequent incarnations.”
In other news on the project, casting agents are looking for a younger version of Price that will further explain the background of the character. According to sources, they are looking for a “9- or 10-year-old actress to play a 7-8 year old version of the Halle Berry character.” Viewers will meet this character in the opening of the film, as the young Catwoman escapes from an orphanage and is forced to survive on the street.
Calls were not returned from Warner Bros. asking for comment to this story.
As of this writing, “Catwoman” begins shooting on September 10 for a fall 2004 release. French director Pitof (“Vidocq”) will direct, making this his American debut.
Producers: Denise Dinovi, Ed McDonnell
Writer: Ed Solomon
Casting Director: John Papsidera
Start Date: September 10, 2003
Distributor: Warner Bros. Updated on June 21.