The cinematic adaptations of the Batman comics have brought some delightfully fiendish characters to life in epic ways. But in my opinion, the most bold, fierce and iconic page-to-screen adaptation from each live-action Batman era is Catwoman / Selina Kyle, and her latest portrayal in The Batman is no different.
From Eartha Kitt‘s puuuurfect rendition in the ’60s to Michelle Pfeiffer’s spicy version in the 1992 classic Batman Returns, we’ve seen the complex villain explored tremendously through film.
But there’s one aspect of the IRL Catwomen that has always disappointed me: although your girl is bisexual in the comics, the movies have routinely portrayed her as a heterosexual woman who lusts after Bruce Wayne.
Now, in the brand new flick The Batman, we finally see a slight nod to Catwoman being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. Emphasis on the ‘slight’ though.
In one scene, Selina Kyle (Zoë Kravitz) enters her apartment in search of her mate Anika, and while searching for her, she calls her “baby”, seemingly implying that their relationship is more than platonic.
But in other scenes throughout the film, she macks on with Batman (Robert Pattinson) and Anika is simply referred to as Selina’s “friend.” So is Catwoman bisexual in this universe or nah?
As both a member of the LGBTQIA+ community myself and a die-hard Catwoman worshipper from way back, I felt it necessary to ask Zoë and The Batman director Matt Reeves if this potential nod to Selina’s sexuality was intentional or if it’s just wishful thinking on my part.
Well, according to Zoë, my interpretation was accurate.
“That’s definitely the way I interpreted that, that they had some kind of romantic relationship,” Zoë told me.
When I expressed how happy I was to finally see Catwoman portrayed as a bisexual woman in the cinematic universe, Zoë nodded emphatically and said: “I agree!”
In a seperate interview, I asked the director the same question and here’s what he had to say.
“[The film is] very true to the character of Selina Kyle. She’s not yet Catwoman, but all the elements of how she’s going to become Catwoman are there,” he said.
“And in terms of her relationship with Anika, I spoke to Zoë very early on and one of the things she said which I loved was that: ‘She’s drawn to strays because she was a stray and so she really wants to care for these strays because she doesn’t want to be that way anymore and Anika is like a stray and she loves her. She actually represents this connection that she has to her mother who she lost, who was a stray anymore’.”
He added, “So I don’t think we meant to go directly in that way, but you can interpret it that way for sure. She has an intimacy with that character and it’s a tremendous and deep caring for that character, more so than a sexual thing, but there was meant to be quite an intimate relationship between them.”
While this is at least a step in the right direction, here’s hoping that Catwoman’s sexuality is explored more thoroughly and purposefully in subsequent films and not so much as a cryptic anecdote.
The Batman hits cinemas on March 3.