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Catwoman: Hunted Writer Explains Why The DC Movie Uses Batwoman Instead Of Batman

Catwoman and Batwoman in Catwoman: Hunted movie
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)

While Catwoman has visited many corners of the DC universe, more often than not you’ll find her involved in a Batman-related story. It makes sense, as she debuted in 1940’s Batman #1 and has evolved over the decades from being one of the Caped Crusader’s most notorious adversaries to being a cherished ally and arguably his most famous love interest. However, Batman is absent from the upcoming animated movie Catwoman: Hunted, which instead depicts Elizabeth Gillies’ Selina Kyle partnering up with Stephanie Beatriz’s Kate Kane, a.k.a. Batwoman.

I recently has the pleasure of interviewing Catwoman: Hunted writer Greg Weisman (whose other DC credits include Young Justice and the Green Arrow DC Showcase short), and because it would have been natural to pair the eponymous protagonist with Batman, I asked him why he decided to use Batwoman instead. Starting off, Weisman explained his rationale for leaving Bruce Wayne out of this particular story with the following:

Well what we decided first of all, and we all agreed on this, was that we didn’t want Batman in the movie. He looms, as Batman is won’t to do, as a presence in everyone’s mind. But we thought that if we include Batman, it almost instantly stops being a Catwoman movie and becomes a Batman movie where she’s his foil or his opponent or his love interest or something like that, and we didn’t want that. We wanted this to be her movie. So decision #1 was he’s out.

That makes sense. While a live-action Catwoman movie did come out in 2004, that version starred Halle Berry as an original character named Patience Phillips and basically had no ties to the Batman mythos. As such, Catwoman: Hunted is the first time Selina Kyle is the central protagonist in an on-screen project. While there surely would have been a way to fit Batman organically into this story, Greg Weisman and the people he collaborated with at DC didn’t want him overshadowing Catwoman, so it was agreed that he shouldn’t be present.

So with the issue of Batman’s absence in Catwoman: Hunted settled, how was Batwoman thrown into the mix? As it turns out, that idea didn’t originate from Greg Weisman, though he was instantly on board to make it happen. As the writer recalled:

And then Ames Kirshen at DC, on the day I pitched [Catwoman: Hunted], Ames said, ‘Well what if you put her up against Kate [Kane]?’ And I instantly said, ‘Oh my God, that’s perfect,’ because in personality, they couldn’t be more different. Kate is military, she’s laconic, she’s pragmatic, kind of all business, she works with Julia Pennyworth often, which gives that whole Interpol thing. Then you compare that to Selina, who seems as if nothing is serious, nothing truly matters. Of course that’s a facade, but it’s a damn good facade. And everything is a bit of a joke, everything is light. No matter how much danger we’re in, we’re just keeping it breezy. And just being able to set those two against each other, and Elizabeth [Gillies] and Stephanie [Beatriz] just did a fantastic job in playing off each other like that. I think [it was] even more challenging because due to the pandemic, I don’t think they were able to record together. And yet somehow, those two performances just integrate so well and are so lovely.

Kate Kane debuted in the pages of the 52 maxi-series over a decade and a half ago, and in addition to leading The CW’s Batwoman TV series in its first season before Ryan Wilder inherited the cape and cowl, she’s also appeared in Batman: Bad Blood and Young Justice. Catwoman: Hunted is special though, because it marks the first tie in any media that Selina and Kate have spent any significant time together, and as Greg Weisman laid out, their clashing attributes make for an amusing dynamic between the two. Weisman also mentioned that “some of the tools” Selina has with Bruce Wayne she doesn’t have with Kate, so just because another Bat-themed hero is appearing in this story doesn’t mean she’s simply a stand-in for Batman.

Catwoman: Hunted sees Selina Kyle stealing a priceless jewel, which swiftly puts her in the crosshairs of a powerful criminal organization. It’s not long before Selina is approached by Batwoman and her Interpol allies, and the feline-themed antiheroine works out a deal to help bring these baddies down. Elizabeth Gillies and Stephanie Beatriz’s co-stars on Hunted, which was directed by Shinsuke Terasawa, include Jonathan Banks as Black Mask, Lauren Cohan as Julia Pennyworth, Jonathan Frakes as King Faraday, Keith David as Tobias Whale, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Barbara Minnerva/Cheetah and Kelly Hu as Cheshire, among others.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Catwoman: Hunted in digital and physical forms on February 8. In the meantime, keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more news about upcoming DC movies.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.