Zoë Kravitz could have made her debut in the Batman universe much earlier, had she not been rejected by the casting team behind Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. DC’s Extended Universe is currently going through some changes, including new versions of superheroes that had already been introduced, among those Batman himself with The Batman. Originally played by Ben Affleck in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, the role is now in the hands of Robert Pattinson, and is set to make his debut in June 2021.
The Batman is slowly building its cast, with Jeffrey Wright playing Commissioner Gordon and Zoë Kravitz on board as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman. Kravitz is no stranger to the world of superheroes, having played Angel Salvadore in X-Men: First Class and lending her voice to Catwoman in The Lego Batman Movie and Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. However, her introduction to DC’s universe could have happened earlier, in the final entry of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
In an interview with Nylon back in 2015, Zoë Kravitz spoke about her career as an actress and how she avoids roles in which her race is a key factor. However, at the time there had been one role she lost because of her race: a minor role in Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. According to Kravitz, they didn’t even let her audition for it because they “weren’t going urban”. Although she didn’t offer details on that “minor role”, it’s possible it was that of Jen, played by Juno Temple. The character is said to be a version of DC Comics’ Holly Robinson, a young prostitute who became Selina Kyle’s sidekick, and even took on the mantle of Catwoman at some point.
Temple had very little screen time in The Dark Knight Rises, thus her character wasn’t explored at all, and it’s not for sure that she was a version of Holly, even though they were similar. In a fun turn of events, Kravitz went on to voice Catwoman five years later in The Lego Batman Movie, and is now set to have a much bigger and important role in The Batman as Selina Kyle – maybe she was meant to be the anti-heroine instead of her sidekick, even if it was in a big film (although with little to no dialogue).
Of course, that small bump on the road didn’t stop her, and she went on to appear in films like the Divergent trilogy, Mad Max: Fury Road, and the Fantastic Beasts series. She’s also part of HBO’s Big Little Lies, so in a way, being rejected for a minor role in The Dark Knight Rises only opened more doors for her, and she can now prepare to play Catwoman in a new era of Batman films.
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