Comic book fans will be purring with delight at the mews that Zoe Kravitz will play Catwoman opposite Robert Pattinson in the next Batman film.
Kravitz as good as confirmed her casting when she responded to an Instagram post by Aquaman star Jason Momoa in which he said he was “freaking stoked” by her latest role.
“Love that Aquaman and Catwoman spend the holidays together from now on,” wrote the 30-year-old, best known for her appearances in Big Little Lies and the Fantastic Beasts films.
Kravitz, daughter of rock star Lenny and actress Lisa Bonet, previously provided Catwoman’s voice in 2017’s The Lego Batman Movie.
The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Pattinson as a young Bruce Wayne, will be released in the UK in June 2021.
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Cat burglar Catwoman – aka Selina Kyle – made her debut appearance in the first stand-alone Batman comic when it was published in 1940.
She quickly became one of the most popular villainesses in the DC Comics canon, making her return in The Batman a claws for celebration for many.
“No actress has ever had a chance to explore her role across multiple entries, something Kravitz will hopefully be able to do,” writes Richard Newby in the Hollywood Reporter.
Join us as we purr-use seven of the other cat-resses who have had prior hiss-tory with this fur-midable character.
1. Julie Newmar
Newmar became the first actress to be cast as “The Catwoman” in the 1960s Batman TV series, despite having never heard of the character before.
The ballerina turned actress appeared in 13 episodes in all and would later say how “satisfying” it felt to be “mean, bad and nasty”.
Newmar’s other achievements include patenting a brand of tights in the 1970s that were marketed under the name “Nudemar”.
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2. Lee Meriwether
The Batman TV series was so successful it quickly spawned a big-screen spin-off that was shot between the show’s first and second seasons and released in 1966.
Newmar was unavailable to play Catwoman, so former Miss America winner Meriwether was cast in her stead alongside Cesar Romero’s Joker, Burgess Meredith’s Penguin and Frank Gorshin’s Riddler.
“I did the role the best way I could and fans accepted it, which was really nice,” she revealed last year. “I was so lucky to be working with such a talented group of villains.”
3. Eartha Kitt
Newmar was unavailable again when the third and final series of Batman came to be shot, so Kitt was cast as Bruce Wayne’s feline nemesis.
“I was in dire need of tremendous help at that time, and like a starving cat I had to find a way to survive,” she would later tell the Television Academy.
“[Being cast in Batman] helped me grow back into being a successful name again. People recognised my name, and still do, because of Catwoman.”
The singer and actress, who died in 2008 at the age of 81, appeared in six episodes in all.
4. Michelle Pfeiffer
Catwoman slinked back to the big screen in Batman Returns, the 1992 sequel to Tim Burton’s 1989 blockbuster.
The film saw Michelle Pfeiffer wear a skin-tight catsuit she would later call “the most uncomfortable costume I’ve ever been in”.
“They had to powder me down, help me inside and then vacuum-pack the suit,” she told the Hollywood Reporter. “Originally, they didn’t leave me a way to use the restroom.”
Pfeiffer, who replaced Annette Bening after she became pregnant, also performed the scene in which Catwoman holds a live bird in her mouth for real.
5. Halle Berry
Panned by critics and snubbed by audiences, the 2004 Catwoman film starring Halle Berry was more of a dog’s dinner than the cat’s pyjamas.
Directed by French visual effects specialist Pitof, the film saw its title character reinvented as a mousy graphic designer who falls foul of an evil designer of cosmetics.
The film went on to receive four Golden Raspberry awards, one of which Berry sportingly picked up in person.
“I want to thank Warner Brothers for putting me in a piece of [expletive] god-awful movie,” she told an appreciative audience.
6. Anne Hathaway
Catwoman is never referred to by that name in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, which saw Hathaway don the familiar mask and catsuit opposite Christian Bale’s Batman.
The Les Miserables star worked out five days a week to prepare for a role she would later call her most physically demanding to date.
“I love Catwoman’s sense of humour,” she told Fandango. “I love how sly she is. I love the way she walks a fence, and you don’t know which side she’s going to come down on.”
Hathaway has passed her own goodwill message onto Kravitz, congratulating her for “landing the role of a lifetime”. “Enjoy the ride, Selina,” she wrote on Facebook.
7. Camren Bicondova
TV series Gotham introduced Selina Kyle as a teenage street thief years away from adopting her catty alter-ego.
When Camren Bicondova was cast in the role, the actress and dancer said the show saw Selina at a “different part of her life” and that she would not be basing her characterisation on previous paw-trayals.
The series finale featured flash-forward scenes in which Lili Simmons played an older kit-eration of the Selina character.