With the matter of Robert Pattinson’s casting as Bruce Wayne now confirmed and sorted, we can only jump to conclusions and wonder who might play the Catwoman to his Batman. The fanboy and -girl portion of the internet is, after all, rife with rumors that Gotham’s most famous cat burglar will be one of two major villains in The Batman (alongside the Penguin, as the gossip goes). Even without those rumors, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to land on this assumption. As of last check, the Pattinson-starring, Matt Reeves–directed film will be connected to the already established DC Extended Universe (which means Pattinson’s eventual Joker would be Jared Leto’s version—unless of course that part gets recast as well). And despite some rumors she might pop up in one spin-off movie or another, Catwoman may be the most iconic DC character left who hasn’t debuted in the franchise. Her introduction here would both add extra excitement to the film, and give the movie and Pattinson’s version of Batman room to breathe and develop on its own before weaving back into the main franchise. Given how complicated and entangled Catwoman and Batman’s relationship is over the years, there’s also the possibility of her being a recurring character throughout what is now rumored to be a trilogy.
Plus, Reeves has described his plans for the film as a “neo-noir,” and every good noir needs its femme fatale.
But who has the charisma to step into Selina Kyle’s storied boots, previously worn by Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt, Anne Hathaway, and (perhaps most memorably) Michelle Pfeiffer? Well, we’re glad you asked. We’ve got some thoughts.
It’s a calculated risk to put Comer as our first suggestion, because almost anyone who has seen her phenomenal work as Villanelle on Killing Eve is very likely to be instantly convinced and not need to read further. The 26-year-old actress is a charismatic yet menacing presence as the contract assassin, and the kind of twisted chemistry she shares with Sandra Oh’s Eve is very reminiscent of versions of the relationship between Catwoman and Batman that have been explored over the years. That’s not to say Comer would just need to recreate Villanelle with an American accent (though don’t worry, she can do a great one) to play Kyle. After all, Villanelle is a psychopathic murderer. Catwoman, though her origin and outlook have differed over the years, is something of an antiheroine with her own strict morals and code of contact, usually filling in the gray area between Batman’s own law-and-order view of the world and the violent nihilism of some of his male villains. The character could offer Comer something different, while still playing to the strengths she displays in Eve.
If certain segments of Batman fandom are upset about Pattinson’s casting as the Bat, they’d probably be near-apoplectic if Johnson were cast as the Cat. Both young actors, after all, are only really known to the wider mainstream audience for their roles in those corny series of twisted romance movies based on a corny series of books. Yet both have done enough exciting work in lower-profile indie and European cinema that your average serious movie critic is convinced of their acting bona fides and star potential. The pairing could be just crazy enough to work.
Besides, we know Johnson would be interested. When Vanity Fair strapped her to a lie detector for a video interview, she didn’t waste a second answering which comic book character she’d most like to play: Catwoman.
The internet is abuzz with Hudgens’s potential casting ever since she took to Instagram late last week and revealed that Catwoman was her dream role. There hadn’t been any rumors about the possibility before, but apparently enough people online remembered her work in Spring Breakers and thought, “Hmmm, maybe.” Of course, actors don’t typically comment on social media about roles they’re up for, and the last time an actress so publicly campaigned for the role of Catwoman, it didn’t go well. Just ask Sean Young.
Kravitz is technically already the incumbent big-screen Catwoman: She voiced the character in The Lego Batman Movie, but we see no reason she shouldn’t be bumped up to live-action status as well. She’s got the cheekbones to fill out the famous mask, and has proven herself in action films such as the X-Men franchise and Mad Max: Fury Road. Plus, her turn as a spoiled starlet with a dark secret in Gemini makes us think she could bring the required playful villainy to the role.
To predict whom a director may cast in a future project, it’s sometimes best to look to their past efforts. As it turns out, Reeves’s most frequent choice of lead is none other than The Americans star. Reeves not only cocreated and served as showrunner on Felicity, but also cast Russell in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. She’ll also prove her big-screen badass credentials as the mysterious new character of Zori Bliss in the upcoming Star Wars movies.
Russell is a bit (though not dramatically) older than Pattinson, but having Batman square off against an older and more experienced Catwoman could refresh not only the decades-old dynamic of the characters, but also the genre itself. Alas, the current Twitter rumor has it that Russell is more likely to play Batman’s mom, Martha Wayne, instead (presumably in flashbacks).
Nyong’o already has a prime comic book role as Nakia in Black Panther, but if she wanted to try to tap into the dark side of the genre (and Us proved she can very much play a villain), we could very easily see her stepping into the role of Selina Kyle. That is, of course, if (semi–spoiler alert, we assume) her version of Nakia doesn’t follow the comic book storyline and become a villain down the road.
We know it’s never going to happen. The obvious media frenzy would probably overshadow any work Pattinson and Stewart do. Yet there is a world where Stewart never starred in Twilight nor dated Pattinson off-screen—and we can imagine her career taking shape in other ways, with her landing this role minus the tabloid drama. We’d imagine her Catwoman as a very millennial take on the character, full of inner anxiety and nervous energy, but still not hesitating to crack the whip when needed. Of course, Stewart will still take her own crack at returning to franchise pictures soon with the upcoming Charlie’s Angels reboot.