Now that Robert Pattinson is in as the next big-screen Batman, it’s time to start speculating about who might join him as Selina Kyle–AKA Catwoman.
Catwoman has graced both movie and TV screens many times in the past. Actresses to take on the role include Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises, Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns, and Halle Berry in the disastrous solo Catwoman.
On the small screen, Camren Bicondova portrayed a young Selina Kyle on Gotham, while the statuesque Julie Newmar originated the role in the 1960s TV show.
However, there’s one woman who truly captured the playful-yet-deadly spirit of the character. That’s right, we’re talking about Eartha Kitt.
Her swagger was so powerful that she transcended the campy Adam West show, which she appeared on during the third and final season, to deliver an iconic performance.
Director Matt Reeves leaked the news that he’s interested in casting a woman of color in the role, and she’s likely to be around the same age as Pattinson. That limits the pool considerably, but we have a few ideas.
Irish actress Ruth Negga seems like a fantastic choice. She’s got an Eartha Kitt-esque vibe to her performance as Tulip on Preacher, and we know she looks good creating chaos and beating up bad guys. She also has incredibly expressive eyes, which is important if you have to act around a mask.
Negga has an Oscar nomination thanks to her work in the period drama Loving, so she’d bring a little class to the picture, too.
Sofia Boutella is a French-Algerian actress with incredible flexibility thanks to her background as a dancer and gymnast. She had a mostly silent role in Kingsman: The Secret Service, but she proved that she can act opposite Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde.
A point against Boutella is that she starred in the 2017 box office bomb The Mummy. That film was such a disappointment that it tanked an entire franchise, so producers might steer clear of casting her for another big-budget picture.
If movies were cast by popular vote, then Teyana Taylor and Nicki Minaj would both be in the running for the role of Catwoman. Multi-talented singer, dancer, and actress Teyana Taylor has the physicality for the role, but I’m not convinced that she can pull it off.
Nicki Minaj’s brand of camp would have worked in the Adam West era, but I seriously doubt that she has a chance at being cast in the Bat-Pattz movie.
My top pick for Catwoman opposite Robert Pattinson? It’s gotta be Janelle Monae. She’s a strong actress with the pixie-like quality of the character’s recent comic book makeover. Monae has moves too, as evidenced in her many music videos.
She’s a smart, unexpected choice that would get people talking, but at the same time, Janelle Monae is enough of a household name that casting her wouldn’t be that big of a risk.
If none of those suggestions appeal to the casting director of the upcoming Batman flick, then they should just hire Tessa Thompson. She had a slight misstep with Men in Black: International, but Thompson was great in Thor: Ragnarok.
Plus she already has her own costume! She dressed up as Eartha Kitt’s Catwoman for an episode of Drunk History and the resemblance was eerie.
Let’s just hope they don’t choose a Method actor for the role. I am not in the mood for reading endless stories about how she prepped for the role by stocking up on cat litter and collars with little bells.