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Zoë Kravitz Studied Real Cat Fights to Play Catwoman in ‘The Batman’

There's a new cat in Gotham, and this one mixes "martial arts and capoeira and a kind of feline, dance-like movement," Kravitz says.

Zoë Kravitz

Zoë Kravitz

Sipa USA via AP

Whether played with slinky sensuality by Michelle Pfeiffer in “Batman Returns” or as a high-rise-scaling vixen by Halle Berry in “Catwoman,” Selina Kyle is best identified by her feline agility in a crisis. That same catlike prowess extended to Zoë Kravitz’s turn as Catwoman in Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” coming out next year from Warner Bros. In a new interview with Empire Magazine (via Collider), Kravitz talked about how she studied actual cat and lion fights to get into character.

The idea, she said, came to her while working with stunt coordinator Rob Alonzo — who choreographed stunts on “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Deadpool,” among many other films — on her physical training,

“We watched cats and lions and how they fight,” Kravitz said, “and talked about what is actually possible when you’re my size, and Batman’s so much stronger than me. What is my skill? It’s being fast and tricky. So we did some really interesting floor work that incorporated different kinds of martial arts and capoeira and a kind of feline, dance-like movement.”

The result is a very different, purposeful kind of Catwoman (and one we’ve only briefly glimpsed in piecemeal footage so far).

“[Rob]’s not just trying to do a bunch of impressive backflips that wouldn’t be possible for that person to do, and he takes into account where we are in the story and where the characters are emotionally,” said Kravitz. “So it was really fun to work from that place.”

Kravitz also made it clear that, in keeping with director Reeves’ noir approach, she’s a femme fatale figure to match the brooding Bruce Wayne, and that the film is as much her story as his.

“This is an origin story for Selina,” she said. “So, it’s the beginning of her figuring out who she is, beyond just someone trying to survive. I think there’s a lot of space to grow and I think we are watching her become what I’m sure will be the femme fatale.”

The rest of the cast for “The Batman” also includes Robert Pattinson as Batman, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, Paul Dano as The Riddler, Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, Colin Farrell as The Penguin, and John Turturro as Carmine Falcone. Pattinson has reiterated that this version of Batman will not resemble Christian Bale in Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy, or Michael Keaton in Tim Burton’s “Batman” and “Batman Returns.”

The film opens March 4, 2022.

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