Just when it seemed like director Zack Snyder had more than enough characters filling out his Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, the most recent rumors imply that he could be adding yet another actress in a substantial role - if not in this particular film, then the ever-expanding DC movie universe. Currently preparing for the opening weekend of her action-packed, rumors that Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow) is being courted for a role in the film is less than shocking. But an actress of her caliber doesn't seem the right fir for a bit part, so we have to wonder: could Zack Snyder be searching for his Catwoman? And if that's the case, is it a wise move for the series going forward, regardless of who is cast?
There's no doubt that the mere thought of Batman's iconic love interest/ally/nemesis being added to the cast of Dawn of Justice will have some eyes rolling; the film has already grown from a Man of Steel sequel to include Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), and more. But regardless of how large a cast you may be handling, it's rare for any director to turn away the chance to include someone with Blunt's credentials - and in the world of Batman, a feline femme fatale is never too far from the action.
To reiterate: the rumors of Blunt being "in talks" with Warner Bros. for the film are still pure conjecture, so this is all speculation and spit-balling on our part. It makes sense to see her name put forward though, as Blunt is on the rise, attracting attention with dramatic, comedic, and now physical roles. Marvel has made more than one attempt to attach her to a superhero property, as we now know why she turned down a role in Captain America, later to be in the running for the role of Black Widow, and most recently rumored to be targeted to bring Ms. Marvel to life as part of Marvel's cosmic universe.
Given the evidence, it would seem that Blunt's casting in a superhero film is simply bound to happen sooner or later - a fact certainly not lost on Warner Bros..
Now that we're just days away from Blunt and co-star Tom Cruise taking on the box office in Warner Bros.' sci-fi action blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow, and with Marvel chomping at the bit to find a spot for her in their stable of stars, it makes sense that Blunt being recruited for WB's next superhero franchise should be discussed. The problem, though, is that a small role in an already well-established ensemble cast doesn't seem to be the ideal course for capitalizing on Blunt's rising star.
The question, then, is whether Zack Snyder has any room left for an actress of her experience this close to production (whether or not he's intending to film two movies back-to-back, as rumored). To answer that means examining just what Dawn of Justice is seeking to accomplish. Comic book writer/superfan Kevin Smith has offered his opinion that WB is thinking long term, crafting a five-to-six film story built on all members of the Justice League; with DoJ, introduce Batman and Wonder Woman and merely tease other characters to come (Ray Fisher's Cyborg, for example).
For the record, this isn't the first time Blunt has been mentioned in regards to a WB superhero film, as past rumors suggested that she had passed on Captain America to potentially play Catwoman in Chritopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. The role went to the similarly-acclaimed Anne Hathaway; but could Snyder consider giving Blunt a second shot (as he did with his Superman, Henry Cavill)?
At this point that we would remind readers of another actress who was, at one time, considered a frontrunner for the mysterious "leading woman" role in Dawn of Justice: Jaimie Alexander (Thor: The Dark World). Long considered a fan favorite to bring Wonder Woman to life, it was Alexander herself who confirmed that she had been having "conversations" with Warner Bros. about Batman V Superman. Given the actress' stance on Wonder Woman (and experience as Lady Sif, herself a godlike heroine) it was assumed Diana of the Amazons was the subject of conversation until Gal Gadot nabbed the part.
It seemed odd at the time for one of Marvel's heroes to openly confirm they had been discussing a role as iconic as Wonder Woman; but what if the role were actually a much smaller one, intended to be brief appearance with potential for more screen time down the road? Again, that is purely our speculation, but it certainly seems like the kind of discussion that an actress as experienced as Alexander would be willing to admit. And a role uncertain enough to keep her firmly placed in Marvel's camp.
Whether or not Snyder placed the role on the cutting room floor as he prepared to launch the rest of the Justice League universe, could there really be room or reason to include Catwoman in an already-packed cast?
We would immediately assume that were Selina Kyle a.k.a. 'Catwoman' to appear in Dawn of Justice, it would most likely be in her public identity, as a regular among Gotham City's night owls. It's still unclear if Warner Bros. or Snyder intend to spin off Affleck's Batman into solo films (with the actor possibly also directing), or keep the Justice League franchise as the main event.
However, rumors have suggested that Holly Hunter may be playing a minor Batman character with knowledge of Bruce Wayne's dual identities, so Selina Kyle teased as an old friend or love interest - in or out of the Batsuit - would fit with the older version of the hero.
Even if the character is meant to play a larger role in bringing the new take on the Dark Knight to life, there is no doubt Emily Blunt would be up to the task. Her past roles may not have cast her as fearless or deadly, but her turn in Edge of Tomorrow has changed all that. With both the screen presence (and physique) needed to make the character more than just a titillating femme fatale, we would say if Warner Bros. is in talks, then they're making a wise move.
It may also be wise to include a character who is every bit as famous as Dawn of Justice's leads, yet willingly removed from the battle of morals and world-ending supervillains the franchise will presumably feature. Obviously, keeping Selina Kyle to the fringes of the main Dawn of Justice story will help keep the plot focused on the Herculean task of launching Justice League, but it could also warm audiences up to the idea that not everyone in DC's movie universe has to be interested in their colleagues' personal battles. Some just have to worry about their next theft or cocktail party.
It's impossible to tell when all of these discussions and rumors will be completely confirmed or dismissed. Again, it becomes clear that Zack Snyder and writer David S. Goyer's plans for the future of DC Comics on film is still a complete mystery. But if the studio continues to add Academy Award-winning talent to their roster, seeing names like Blunt bandied about may become commonplace - and that is good news for comic fans everywhere.
What do you make of all the recent rumors and reports? Do you think there's a chance that Snyder could be filling Dawn of Justice with even more signs of things to come, or does it all seem too hard to believe? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and let us know what you make of our own theory.
Batman vs. Superman is scheduled for May 6, 2016.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.