Why Catwoman doesn’t need her own The Batman spin-off series

ZOË KRAVITZ as Selina Kyle in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “THE BATMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo: Jonathan Olley/™ & © DC Comics. © 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
ZOË KRAVITZ as Selina Kyle in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “THE BATMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo: Jonathan Olley/™ & © DC Comics. © 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Matt Reeves’ The Batman has garnered more than buzz since the film’s release. It’s also been riding a wave of praise as audience’s fall in love with this new take on Bruce Wayne’s well-trodden story. Now everyone is on tenterhooks for its sequel as well as its spin-off series which were announced prior to the movie’s release.

The Penguin spin-off, which takes place after the events of The Batman, is moving forward at HBO Max. The prequel addition to this franchise focused on Gotham PD has been scrapped for a horror story set at Arkham Asylum. The cogs and wheels of the Batverse Reeves has established are turning, however, there’s a noticeable absence. Catwoman, Batman’s reluctant right-hand woman in the film, doesn’t have her own spin-off series in the works.

A project focused on Selina Kyle isn’t out of the question. Matt Reeves spoke about the potential for the cat burglar’s story to continue in his Batverse during the press tour.

"I’ve talked to the HBO Max folks. What we’re really trying to do is to launch this world. If the world embraces this, we have a lot of ideas for things we want to do, and for sure we want [Selina Kyle] to continue…We’re talking about a lot of things, but all of it depends on…we’re about to release this movie, and it comes down to how people receive it."

However, there’s been no word on what Selina’s continued story could look like. The assumption has been that a project with Zoë Kravitz reprising her role would follow in the same vein of the other spin-offs; it would be a series. But, I’m of the mind that would be a misstep.

Reeves’ Catwoman doesn’t need her own show, she needs her own film.

Catwoman should have her own The Batman spin-off movie

Spoilers ahead of The Batman

The Batman does a lot of work setting up Selina’s backstory. She works at the Iceberg Lounge scraping by and doing what she needs to survive. It’s the same club her mother worked at before she was murdered. The lounge is also under the control of her father, Carmine Falcone.

Selina’s main objective in the movie is finding out who killed her friend and roommate, Annika. She’s not even really Catwoman yet though she does have the skills she’ll need to assume her alter ego. In parts, her role in this Gotham story is that of a revenge plot.

The line she’s walking isn’t that different than Batman’s, Selina’s just willing to kill while he isn’t. Though she doesn’t take a life in the movie, she does come close more than once and it’s Bruce who gets in her way both times. He keeps her hands clean of blood and ensures that she’s not dragged down by the men responsible for upending her life.

By the end of The Batman, Selina’s ready to leave Gotham and find what’s out there for her. Unsurprisingly, she leaves Batman behind though she wishes their lives weren’t on diverging paths.

It’s a set up that lends itself to an origin story for Catwoman, one that could be told within the time frame of a film. While its possible to do a series on the infamous burglar, not every story needs to be spun into a six to eight episode series that has hour-long episodes, especially when the lead’s in-universe material is set in the city the character left.

However, a 90 minute to two hour heist flick with Selina pulling off a score that’ll somehow lead her back to Gotham for one of the The Batman sequels is definitely on my wish list. She’s a Batman character that would play well on screen in her own live-action film. The largely panned Catwoman doesn’t count since Halle Berry’s turn as the icon wasn’t as Selina Kyle but as Patience Phillips.

Kravitz plays Selina with a balance of vulnerability, a fierce sense of loyalty, the expected sultriness, and an anger at the broken system that lends itself to the kind of social commentary that Reeves’ Batverse incorporates. Not to mention a heist orchestrated by Selina, whether she’s committing the crime on her own or has a band of fellow thieves, would be fun to watch.

While I don’t want to shoot down the idea of a Catwoman series in general, one set in The Batman‘s universe could come up short if it happens outside of Gotham. That’s where her history is and if they’re going to do a spin-off series for her then it should come after we get the story of how and why she returns. Otherwise, it’ll feel disconnected from what’s already been set-up.

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