Kravitz (“Big Little Lies”) is no stranger to superhero movies: She voiced Catwoman two years ago in WB/DC Comics’ “The Lego Batman Movie”; voiced Mary Jane in last year’s Oscar-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"; and played Angel Salvadore in 2011’s “X-Men: First Class.” (And she also could star in a DC crossover with her stepfather, “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa.)
Yet not only has the “Divergent” trilogy actress never had an extended turn in any one superhero franchise, but the on-screen history of Catwoman (often a.k.a. Selina Kyle) is marked mostly by short stints in supporting roles.
In the 1960s, “Batman: The Movie” and the TV series it spawned couldn’t stick to a single Catwoman actress even during a relatively brief run: Lee Meriwether, Julie Newmar and purring Eartha Kitt all played the DC character, who was created eight decades ago.
Catwoman has been voiced by numerous actresses in animated projects, including Adrienne Barbeau (“Gotham Girls”) and Eliza Dushku (the “Catwoman” and “Batman: Year One” videos). Yet in live-action roles, two of the most memorable Catwomen — Michelle Pfeiffer from Tim Burton’s Batman movies, and Anne Hathaway from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy — never got a shot at a solo movie. Not even the longest-running version, played by Camren Bicondova for five seasons on Fox’s “Gotham,” has received an opportunity for a title series.
Which is why director Pitof’s critically drubbed “Catwoman” (2004) — starring Halle Berry shortly after her Oscar win — has so marred the character’s screen legacy.
And that’s where Kravitz comes in.
It is possible that her Catwoman will appear in only one Batman movie (scheduled to come out June 25, 2021), amid a full gallery of rogues. But given DC’s building-out of its own film universe in the past decade, including solo movies for Wonder Woman and Aquaman, it is more likely that WB/DC and director Matt Reeves are casting Kravitz with multiple movies in mind.
Which means that after more than 50 years of the character mostly purring in support of the Caped Crusader, the casting of Kravitz sparks hope for a worthy new Catwoman film.