Over the weekend, Warner Bros. released the first new trailer for The Batman since last summer’s teaser. The preview features some oblique glimpses of Paul Dano’s Riddler, a little more of Colin Farrell’s Penguin, lots of Robert Batinson. But who are we all kidding? Zoe Kravitz is the center piece of this trailer—literally, kinda; she first appears almost exactly in the middle of it! So, what did we learn about her character? Let’s over-analyze, shall we?
Here’s what we already knew: Kravitz plays Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman, Batman’s long-time foe/love interest. The first teaser trailer showed the master thief breaking into a safe and later sparring with the Caped Crusader wearing what looked a utilitarian catsuit and balaclava that suggested a black version of the pink pussy hats worn by Women’s March demonstrators in recent years. Writer/director Matt Reeves has said that while The Batman won’t be yet another origin story for the superhero, it will explore the origins of some of his iconic adversaries, like Selina Kyle. It’s reasonable to assume, then, that this may not be her ultimate Catwoman costume.
Regardless, we don’t see much of the kitty ears in the new trailer. Our first glimpse of Selina is a shot of her knee-high patent leather boot stepping out of a car. That’s clearly from the outfit captured by photographers while filming in Liverpool last October. It’s worth noting this look, not just because it’s stunning and suggests that this Selina Kyle will be something of a chameleon who wears different wigs for different situations—and, we assume, different schemes—but also because she’s wearing it in a scene with John Turturro, who plays mob boss Carmine Falcone. Kravitz has said that she read the classic Batman: Year One storyline to prepare for her role, and in that story and the mythos that evolved from it, it’s heavily suggested that Selina has some familial connection to the Falcone crime syndicate. And as Kravitz told filmmaker Lu Chuan this weekend, “So much of this particular story is about [Selina’s] history.” She also suggested that her version of the character is in deep with some bad people: when she’s not cat-burglarizing, she moonlights at a nightclub owned by the Penguin and frequented by mobsters—which probably explains the gaudy red bob we see her wearing at one point.
But, as she tells Batman, Selina can take care of herself. According to Kravitz, the character is searching for a missing friend who might be connected to the big mystery that Batman is trying to solve. Of course, anytime a friend of Selina’s is involved, comics fans are going to assume it’s Holly Robinson, Catwoman’s queer former junkie bestie and occasional sidekick/protégé. (Juno Temple played a version of the character in The Dark Knight Rises.)
If all that comic book lore is too in-the-weeds for you, suffice to say that in Reeves’s neo-noir take on Batman, Kravitz’s Selina Kyle will likely fill the role of the classic femme fatale: a woman with secrets who entices our hero, but probably can’t be trusted. “Maybe we’re not so different,” we hear Selina telling Batman in the trailer, and there are several shots of the two getting super close on rooftops, including in this iconic Bat and Cat silhouette:
Kravitz and Patinson have both promised plenty of romance between their characters, but Selina is clearly a lover and a fighter. Note all the tough girl cartilage piercings and the shots of her loading the clip into a handgun. We also see glimpses of Selina kickboxing and jumping off roofs. And forgive the cliché, but this kitty has claws! If you pause the trailer in just the right spots you can see that, unlike Anne Hathaway’s more subtle take on Catwoman, Kravitz’s manicure looks truly dangerous. As Kravitz herself says in her chat with Chuan, “One of my favorite things about Selina in this film is that you really can’t get a handle on her. You think she’s one thing and she shifts into something else.” Hence the wigs, right?