Why is it So Important Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman be Bisexual?


 

Zoë Kravitz, who plays Catwoman in the umpteenth movie directed by Matt Reeves that’s now been released to theaters, was interviewed by Pedestrian, and they make such a big deal out of interpretations that her take on Selina Kyle is bisexual:

 

But there’s one aspect of the IRL Catwomen that has always disappointed me: although your girl is bisexual in the comics, the movies have routinely portrayed her as a heterosexual woman who lusts after Bruce Wayne.

 

And what concrete proof do you have Selina was always portrayed as bisexual in the comics? If there was anywhere where it may have been injected, it may have been Frank Miller who did it when DC was turning out “Year One” in 1987, although what was certainly established at that time was Selina working as a prostitute early in her career. It was dropped when Zero Hour came about, and goes without saying such a crossover was not needed to de-canonize Miller’s retcon, if they’re really that hysterically embarrassed by the subject of prostitution. Whether or not Miller’s take was in good taste, this demonstrates how USA commercialism dampens art for the sake of moral panic. In any case, shame on Pedestrian for making such an entitled claim without offering any clear evidence to make their case. But, based on the following, you can see why:

 

Now, in the brand new flick The Batman, we finally see a slight nod to Catwoman being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. Emphasis on the ‘slight’ though.

In one scene, Selina Kyle (Zoë Kravitz) enters her apartment in search of her mate Anika, and while searching for her, she calls her “baby”, seemingly implying that their relationship is more than platonic.

But in other scenes throughout the film, she macks on with Batman (Robert Pattinson) and Anika is simply referred to as Selina’s “friend.” So is Catwoman bisexual in this universe or nah?

As both a member of the LGBTQIA+ community myself and a die-hard Catwoman worshipper from way back, I felt it necessary to ask Zoë and The Batman director Matt Reeves if this potential nod to Selina’s sexuality was intentional or if it’s just wishful thinking on my part.

Well, according to Zoë, my interpretation was accurate.

“That’s definitely the way I interpreted that, that they had some kind of romantic relationship,” Zoë told me.

When I expressed how happy I was to finally see Catwoman portrayed as a bisexual woman in the cinematic universe, Zoë nodded emphatically and said: “I agree!”

 

Again, we seem to have here somebody who’s just so selfish, they wish to hijack somebody else’s creation to represent their self-important platforms. (And all without even thanking Bill Finger and Bob Kane, who co-created Kyle in 1940). Which the film’s director, intentionally or not, indulged:

 

In a separate interview, I asked the director the same question and here’s what he had to say.

“[The film is] very true to the character of Selina Kyle. She’s not yet Catwoman, but all the elements of how she’s going to become Catwoman are there,” he said.

“And in terms of her relationship with Anika, I spoke to Zoë very early on and one of the things she said which I loved was that: ‘She’s drawn to strays because she was a stray and so she really wants to care for these strays because she doesn’t want to be that way anymore and Anika is like a stray and she loves her. She actually represents this connection that she has to her mother who she lost, who was a stray anymore’.”

He added, “So I don’t think we meant to go directly in that way, but you can interpret it that way for sure. She has an intimacy with that character and it’s a tremendous and deep caring for that character, more so than a sexual thing, but there was meant to be quite an intimate relationship between them.”

 

Something not brought up here is whether they believe it’s great that a character who had been portrayed as a crook should be the one to represent a bisexual/lesbian figure, her honorable characterization and working on the good side at times notwithstanding. Or, put another way, why is it they’re fine with applying the mentality to a character who’s a criminal? That’s where it really becomes wobbly, though nowhere near as troubling as it is to see these ideologues rooting for Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.

 

 

In some reviews of this movie, like this one from Ft. Worth Report, they stress how it’s basically an imitation of David Fincher’s Se7en from the past 2 decades:

 

Matt Reeves gives moviegoers the darkest interpretation yet of Gotham City’s vigilante crime-fighter with “The Batman” a foreboding film noir that plays like David Fincher’s “Se7en” thus injecting “detective” back into DC Comics. […]

 

But the irony is that, for a movie that touts grisly and gruesome elements like serial killers, the studio still secured a PG-13 rating, the violent themes in the screenplay notwithstanding. Making this additionally ironic is that, for a movie whose producers forbade depiction of the Penguin’s cigarette smoking, it still contains drug content, as noted on the Rotten Tomatoes page. How much more of this hypocrisy will we be seeing in productions like these? It’s just plain head-shaking how inconsistent they are with their standings on drugs of any sort, considering tobacco is, in its own way, a drug, just not as noxious as cocaine, nor as deceptive as cannabis can be. Tobacco may not be healthy, but compared to the mental effects those other drugs can cause and worse, that’s why Reeves and WB’s hypocrisy is stupefying.

 

In Breitbart’s review, they let know of a part where the filmmakers didn’t try to be PC:

 

Didn’t we get a grimy Gotham just a couple of years ago with Joker? As far as Batman, he does the same Batman stuff, but this time he does it for three hours. Three hours! […]

I will say this… At least THE Batman is not sexless. Zoë Kravitz is allowed to bring some heat. But again, the fact that a little sexuality in a movie is now a novelty only proves how sterile, conformist, and Applebee’d we’ve allowed our culture to become.

 

Well that’s mostly because conservatives of the past, religious or otherwise, succumbed to sex-negative hysteria, unwisely taking the same side as feminists with similar hysteria and lack of courage to deal with such topics. I’ll admit, it’s pretty amazing Reeves, Kravitz and company threw a bone, as one could argue they did, to an audience that’s got no problem with the concept of sex appeal. Even so, it doesn’t excuse other PC elements in the movie like the anti-smoking mandate, not to mention lines about “white privilege” or the fact this is a retread of too many clichés, not the least being the over-saturation of Batman on the marketplace at the expense of a lot of other comics with more optimistic themes. It reminds me, no matter what I think of live-action adaptations today, it’s a terrible shame the Fantastic Four movies were such a disaster, particularly the 2015 movie. When you have such artistic failures along with financial, it’s no wonder the concept of optimism – and comedy – risks being destroyed for the sake of darkness. The upper echelons will do everything they can to spin it as a rejection of optimism, though there’s also a very valid case to be made many modern audiences are being indoctrinated to buy into the bleakness propaganda to the very end. And that’s a shame.

 

 

The movie, wouldn’t you know it, has fared very well so far in its first week at the box office. But it’s still decidedly regrettable darkness has become the go-to angle that’s selling big with any particular audience, while brighter superheroes like Superman fall into neglect, and so many creators refuse to recognize everything depends on merit to make optimism and humor work. Not to mention avoiding PC directions, for that matter. In any case, as the above info about Zdarsky’s assignment suggests, even Bruce Wayne may soon become just as vulnerable as Clark Kent when it comes to PC eliminations to suit a PC narrative, and the cheap excuse the comics writer are using is that the movie audience won’t bother reading the comics regardless. Which says quite a bit about what the film audience in attendance really thinks of the source material to boot.

 

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Avi Green

Avi Green was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. He enjoyed reading comics when he was young, the first being Fantastic Four. He maintains a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy of facts. He considers himself a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. Follow him on his blog at Four Color Media Monitor or on Twitter at @avigreen1

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