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What You Need To Know About Catwoman In The Batman

"Live fast. Love hard. Die young. Leave a good-smelling corpse."

Selina Kyle — the bullwhip-wielding burglar better known as Catwoman — is set to sink her claws into The Batman, director Matt Reeves' chapter in the Dark Knight's ever-expanding cinematic canon. Thanks to an exclusive scoop by Variety, we now know which actress will portray Catwoman opposite Robert Pattinson's Batman. The lucky lady? Zoë Kravitz. 

The actress, who has stunned as Bonnie Carlson on the Golden Globe-winning HBO series Big Little Lies, beat out serious competition for the role of Catwoman in The Batman. Kravitz was reportedly up against Baby Driver actress Eiza Gonzalez, Tomb Raider reboot star Alicia Vikander, and Emmy-nominated Atlanta actress Zazie Beetz — who's no stranger to comic book fare given her credits in Deadpool 2 and the recently released Joker. Though she's said to have had "some worry" about whether she could commit to both The Batman and the yet-untitled follow-up to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, in which she will reprise her role as Leta Lestrange, Kravitz won the part and signed on for the film. 

By landing the role of Selina Kyle, Kravitz will follow in the footsteps of some immensely talented women. The first actresses to play Catwoman in a live-action project were Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt, both of whom starred on the 1966 series Batman. (Newmar played Catwoman on seasons 1 and 2, while Kitt took over on season 3.) Just months after that series premiered, Lee Meriweather portrayed the DC Comics character in the feature film Batman. Michelle Pfeiffer took the mantle from Meriweather in 1992, bringing Catwoman to life for Tim Burton's film Batman Returns. A little over a decade later, Halle Berry slipped into the cat-suit for her own feature film, released in 2004. It wasn't until 2012 that another actress took Selina Kyle out for a spin on the silver screen — the woman being Anne Hathaway, and the film being 2012's The Dark Knight Rises. Other Catwoman actresses — both live-action and voiceover — include Camren Bicondova, Lili Simmons, Adrienne Barbeau, Grey DeLisle, Gina Gershon, Cree Summer, and more.

It will still be a few years before we see Kravitz's iteration of Catwoman – The Batman isn't slated to hit theaters until June 25, 2021 — but in the meantime, here are a few things you should know about the actress who's about to become a part of the DC movie universe. 

Zoë Kravitz was reportedly shut out of the Catwoman role before

Landing the Catwoman role is an accomplishment worth celebrating, for certain, but it has to feel even better for Kravitz, who was reportedly rejected for the part several years ago before she even had a fair chance at it. 

Kravitz had wanted to audition for a small role (widely believed to be the Catwoman part that ended up going to Anne Hathaway) in director Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to secure an audition because the filmmaking team felt that she was too "urban" for the movie. 

She revealed to Nylon (via The Independent) in 2015, "In the last Batman movie [The Dark Knight Rises], they told me that I couldn't get an audition for a small role they were casting because they weren't 'going urban.' It was like, 'What does that have to do with anything?' I have to play the role like, 'Yo, what's up Batman? What's going on wit chu?'"

But The Batman won't be her first time playing Catwoman

Though this recent casting news proves that The Dark Knight Rises wasn't her only opportunity to play Catwoman, The Batman will actually mark the second film in which Kravitz embodies the lithe thief. She previously portrayed Selina Kyle in a voiceover capacity for 2017's The Lego Batman Movie, directed by Chris McKay. Maybe the Batman creative team will take a look at the Lego Batman Movie cast list and get some additional inspiration? Michael Cera as Dick Grayson, anyone? (We kid, we kid.)

Playing comic book characters runs in the family... sort of

Just as it seems it was meant to be that Kravitz, who has had a unique relationship with the Catwoman character, will become the new live-action Selina Kyle, it also makes perfect sense that she would be the woman to do so given her family's connection to comic book movies. 

No, Kravitz's father Lenny Kravitz, the legendary musician with a whole collection of Grammys, isn't a superhero film star. Her mother, actress Lisa Bonet, isn't either. It's her step-father whom the world knows best as a comic book hero. 

Thanks to his marriage to her mother, Jason Momoa is technically Kravitz's step-father, though he's only 10 years older than she is. As fans know, Momoa appeared as Arthur Curry (a.k.a. Aquaman) in the DC Extended Universe film Justice League in 2017 before top-lining his own feature film in 2018, a flick that went on to earn more than $1 billion worldwide and was well-received by critics and audiences alike.

There's something quite serendipitous about Kravitz entering the same live-action universe as a member of her family (though they aren't related by blood). Let's just hope family gatherings aren't awkward when and if The Batman beats out Aquaman's box office earnings or its rating on Rotten Tomatoes

Catch Zoë Kravitz in action as Catwoman when The Batman flies into theaters on June 25, 2021.