Catwoman: from Zoe Kravitz to Michelle Pfeiffer, all the cats that have scratched the screen

The Batman 3

The Batman: Robert Pattinson with Zoë Kravitz in a scene from the film

It has many cats“”I have a weakness for strays“. It is one of the dialogues between Batman and Catwoman, which have the face of Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz in The Batman, the new movie on the character of Bob Kane directed by Matt Reeves, which has been in theaters since March 3. It is one of the dialogues from which we can feel the attraction between the two characters, the electricity, the chemistry. The Bat and The Cat, the bat man and the cat woman, much more than in the other films, are two outsiders, they are kindred spirits, but at the same time they are different, they come from very different worlds. You have already read about the visual and narrative power of the new Batman. In sumptuous packaging, part of the film’s appeal is due to Zoë Kravitz. The new cat woman is sexy, intense, iconic and perfect in the role. Zoë doesn’t make the other Batman movie Catwomen regret it, and maybe she might be the best ever. From those who have always been in love with Michelle Pfeiffer’s Selina Kyle, it means a lot. Net of the historic Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt, let’s go and see the four Catwomen of the modern era.

Zoë Kravitz: it is the allure that makes the character

The Batman Trailer Selina Kay

The Batman: Zoe Kravitz is Selina Kyle in the new movie

Zoë Kravitz’s Selina Kyle appears for the first time in “bourgeois“But she’s not herself anyway. She’s actually wearing another mask, a long black wig that is her waitress look at a notorious nightclub. Matt Reeves’ camera lingers on black boots, black stockings and then on the body, tight in a black leather miniskirt and a thin white tank top. But it is home that we then watch Selina become the cat woman. While, like perfect voyeurs, together with Batman we spy on her out of her window. The wig falls and her we see in her real look, those intriguing short and raven hair. Selina puts on a black leather jumpsuit, tight and very simple. Even the mask she wears is little more than a simple balaclava. It doesn’t need frills, just the allure of Zoë Kravitz to do the character. By the time we see Selina Kyle becoming her heroine, she’s already Catwoman. We didn’t see how she became. But we don’t need to see her. We realized she had a difficult life behind her, what a bit she has a great pain with her. And this is what unites it to Batman.

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Zoë Kravitz: sore and sensual, shrewd and tender

The Batman Selina 3

The Batman: Selina Kyle in an image from the trailer

Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman is curvy, supple, fetish sheathed in that black onesie. But perhaps this could be said of all the other cat women on the big screen. However, there is something painful and unresolved in Zoë Kravitz’s Selina Kyle. It is something very sensual. That balaclava cut out to actually look like a mask leaves her eyes and mouth free. Those eyes of a deep black, elongated, just like a cat, which the make-up further emphasizes, and that fleshy and perfectly designed mouth. She is petite, Zoë’s Selina Kyle. And the feline has not only the shrewdness, the agility, the instinct of the hunter. But also that sweetness and tenderness that, under the mask, the suit, under the armor that she builds around her, still manages to shine through.

The Batman 1

The Batman: Robert Pattinson with Zoë Kravitz in one scene

Michelle Pfeiffer: cerebral, ambiguous and mysterious

Michelle Pfeiffer is a fearsome and super sexy Catwoman

Michelle Pfeiffer is a fearsome and super sexy Catwoman

For everyone up to Zoë Kravitz, Catwoman had always been Michelle Pfeiffer’s Selina Kyle, unforgettable in Batman – Tim Burton’s Return. Unlike The Batman’s cat woman, we had followed Selina before she became her alter ego. She was Max Shreck’s clumsy and vexed secretary, (well, let’s say they tried to make Michelle Pfeiffer clumsy). We had seen her die and be reborn: after all, Catwoman, like cats, has nine lives. Her costume was very fetish, shiny and with the seams clearly visible, suggesting a jumpsuit made by herself, but also to give movement to her look. Her mask is more defined, structured than that of the new Catwoman. Here too she is made on purpose to bring out, emphasized by the make-up, the green eyes and lips, which are enhanced by a fiery red lipstick. Batman – the return is perhaps the film where the relationship between Batman and Catwoman is more ambiguous, where the contrast between love-hate, attraction-repulsion, friendship-rivalry hangs by a thread. Until the end of the film we don’t know if Catwoman is an ally or a villain of the film. While Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne, without masks, dance together embraced, Face To Face as the song of Siouxsie And The Banshees goes. Michelle Pfeiffer is disturbing, and those fights between the cat woman and Batman, one on top of the other, entwined, evoke and sublimate sex. Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman is cerebral, ambiguous and mysterious.

Michael Keaton and Michelle Pfeiffer in a scene from the movie Batman - The Return

Michael Keaton and Michelle Pfeiffer in a scene from the movie Batman – The Return

Michelle Pfeiffer, 60 years of fascination: the 5 iconic roles of the actress

Halle Berry: a postmodern Amazon

The sexy Halle Berry in a scene from the movie Catwoman

The sexy Halle Berry in a scene from the movie Catwoman

Michelle Pfeiffer should also have been in the standalone film Catwoman, directed by Pitof, an unfortunate film dedicated entirely to the cat woman, the first and only one without Batman. Bringing Catwoman to the big screen again with Michelle Pfeiffer would have been the logical choice. But she the actress she refused: she had become a mother and had other projects and priorities. And then she, no, she just didn’t want to wear that awkward costume again. More years passed, and Halle Berry was chosen. The black latex full bodysuit is replaced by a dress made up of ripped trousers and a leather bra and zippers, in order to enhance the statuesque body of the Berry, but also to emphasize ribs and backbone, fundamental in the movements of a cat. Catwoman (who is no longer called Selina Kyle here, but Patience Phillips) here is a kind of postmodern Amazon. She is athletic, sensual, but psychologically much more linear than Pfeiffer’s Catwoman.

Anne Hathaway: out of a 1940s noir

Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway dance together a scene from The Dark Knight Rises

Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway dance together a scene from The Dark Knight Rises

In The Dark Knight Returns, the third episode of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, it is Anne Hathaway who gives face and body to Selina Kyle, and therefore to Catwoman. She is a mysterious thief who, in Nolan’s vision, looks like something out of a 1940s noir film. Or, if you prefer, from a sophisticated comedy of the same era. Anne Hathaway is the most elegant, least ambiguous cat woman. She is the one with whom the love story (see also the ending of the film, between imagination and reality) with Batman is more defined, evident, clear. In the Catwoman version, Anne Hathaway wears a very simple tight bodysuit, the rest of her does it with her harmonic movements. And, on the face, she does not wear a cap like the actresses who preceded her, but a simple mask of those that cover only the eyes (the ears are applied directly on the hair), which could be those of a masked ball (and in fact we see her with a similar mask even when she is not Catwoman, just at a ball. But she is often on stage, very elegant, in normal clothes. Refined and a little haughty, she is the opposite of Zoë Kravitz’s stray cat. Every era she had her cat woman, we told you about four that, with Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt, make six, but the cat woman, you know, has nine lives.

Anne Hathaway as curvy Catwoman on the rooftops of Gotham in The Dark Knight Rises

Anne Hathaway as curvy Catwoman on the rooftops of Gotham in The Dark Knight Rises

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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