A look at the cast of characters for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) reveals all the usual DC suspects: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor, The Flash, Perry White. It’s a similar story with Suicide Squad (2016): Harley Quinn, Batman, The Joker, plus a few less well known (to me at least ) Enchantress, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Rick Flagg, Killer Croc, El Diablo, Slipknot. Then you have the other upcoming DC Universe movies : Wonder Woman (2017), Justice League Part One (2017) & Part Two (2019), The Flash (2018), Aquaman (2018), Shazam ( 2019), Cyborg (2020), Green Lantern (2020).
So who is missing? Catwoman. I can understand the reluctance to give her a standalone movie following the unmitigated disaster of the Halle Berry vehicle Catwoman (2004), but surely there must be space this most beloved of characters somewhere within the universe. Although a tricky character to get right, two films have got it very right. Michelle Pfeiffer in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns (1992) and Anne Hathaway in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises (2012). The brilliance of the two portrayals is twofold; firstly they get both Catwoman and Selina Kyle right; secondly they are completely different to each other making them fight their respective films perfectly.
Everyone remembers Michelle Pfeiffer PVC catsuit and her fight scenes but some of her best moments are out of the costume, including when she comes back from the dead and meets Bruce Wayne in Max Shreck’s office; or when she is dancing with Bruce Wayne when they both realise who each other is. The same is true of Anne Hathaway, we first meet her out of costume as a jewel thief and then we get her “there’s a storm coming” speech that features in the trailer, incidentally also whist dancing with Bruce Wayne. Will there be time for moments like this in a movie with such a large cast of characters as the DC movies seem to be? However they do it, I can’t imagine a DC Cinamatic Universe without Catwoman, so have to ask the question, is this the one secret they are keeping from us, or are they yet to decide what do with this most tricky of characters? With a heavy bias towards male characters so far, it is something they need to decide on quickly.