In a recent conversation with Comicbook.com, Annette Bening shared that her unexpected pregnancy was the reason she had to refuse the Catwoman role, a part that later went to Michelle Pfeiffer in ‘Batman Returns.’
Bening, originally cast in the Tim Burton-directed sequel, was set to wear the Catwoman suit. However, her pregnancy, which she chose to keep private initially, was an issue she wasn’t aware of at that time. She said:
“You know what happened was I got pregnant – Yeah, I did [laughter] – and I mean it was so surprising because I was trying to get pregnant, and I had never been pregnant, so I didn’t know how long it was going to take. It didn’t take very long [laughs]. So then I was supposed to do Batman, and I didn’t want to announce my pregnancy – because, of course, you never want to do that early for obvious reasons. So, I was actually measured for my catsuit.”
As her physical appearance changed, Bening had to confess the truth as she realized the tight-fitting costume and her pregnancy were incompatible:
“They did a whole body cast in those days – I’m sure they wouldn’t have to do it that way now. But then in those days, they would do an entire body cast – and then I had to call Tim Burton and say, ‘I’m having a baby.'”
Pfeiffer Was Devastated to Hear She Lost the Role
As she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017, Michelle Pfeiffer was obsessed with Catwoman, so it made her pretty sad to hear that she missed the role:
“As a young girl, I was completely obsessed with Catwoman. When I heard that Tim was making the film and Catwoman had already been cast, I was devastated. At the time, it was Annette Bening. Then, she became pregnant. The rest is history. I remember telling Tim halfway through the script that I’d do the film; that’s how excited I was.”
However, this meant no ill fate between the two actresses. In 1991, Bening said she loved the role, and she’s sure Pfeiffer would do it justice:
“It’s a great part. I’m very flattered that Michelle Pfeiffer is doing it, and I’m sure she will be terrific. I loved the role. I loved the script, but it was really no contest in terms of what was more important to me.”
So, Pfeiffer replaced Bening in the Catwoman role, but in a twist of fate, Bening also replaced her in ‘Bugsy,’ which made her meet her future husband, Warren Beatty.
Besides Bening, Sean Young, originally cast as Vicki Vale in 1989’s ‘Batman,’ also had to leave the project due to a horse-riding accident. Young later campaigned for the role of Catwoman in ‘Batman Returns,’ even appearing in a homemade costume on television to show her interest.
Currently, Bening has several projects on the horizon, including ‘Other Plans,’ ‘Apples Never Fall,’ and an untitled Frankenstein project with Warner Bros.