Of all the iconic female characters in the history of cinema, few continue to tantalise us like Catwoman. Inhabited by some of the most important actresses of our time (Michelle Pfieffer, Halle Berry, Anne Hathaway), it’s no surprise that when Zoë Kravitz was cast in the role for the upcoming film The Batman, the world was waiting with bated breath to see the end results.
Now, we have a glimpse. Set photos taken during filming in London yesterday show Kravitz in a deliciously OTT head-to-toe patent leather ensemble, no doubt satiating the many fans who were disappointed by the weekend’s announcement that the film’s release date has been pushed back to 2022. Kravitz is starring alongside Robert Pattinson in the titular role, as well as Colin Farrell, Paul Dano and John Turturro (with whom she’s pictured in these shots).
The last woman of colour to take on the role, Halle Berry, spoke out last month about her ill-fated turn as the latex-wearing superhero. Berry’s 2004 film Catwoman, was so poorly received that it won ‘Worst Picture’ at the Golden Raspberry Awards. Berry says, in retrospect, her desire to represent a Black superhero trumped her concerns about the superficial and sexist script. Berry’s nemesis, for example, was a cosmetics executive played by Sharon Stone, whose skincare products caused women’s faces to ‘crack off’ (yes, really).
“I remember having that argument: ‘Why can’t Catwoman save the world like Batman and Superman do? Why is she just saving women from a face cream that cracks their face off?’ But I was just the actor for hire. I wasn’t the director. I had very little say over that,” Berry Variety in September. “People said to me, ‘You can’t do [this movie]. You’ve just won the Oscar… [but] I thought, ‘This is a great chance for a woman of colour to be a superhero. Why wouldn’t I try this?’”
Thankfully, a certain amount of progress has taken place in Hollywood during the intervening 16 years, and we are hoping Zoë’s Catwoman is in safe hands with director Matt Reeves. Sadly, we’ll have to wait another two years to find out.