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Catwoman: Hunted's Elizabeth Gillies Explains Which Version Of Selina Kyle Inspired Her Performance In The DC Movie

Elizabeth Gillies' costumed Selina Kyle in Catwoman: Hunted
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Animation)

2022 is set to be a big year for Catwoman, and not just because Zoë Kravitz is playing the character in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Selina Kyle will also be leading her own animated movie for the first time, with Dynasty’s Elizabeth Gillies voicing the longtime Batman rogue in the anime-style Catwoman: Hunted. When it came time for Gillies to craft her version of Catwoman, there was one prior depiction that influenced her the most: Michelle Pfeiffer’s from 1992’s Batman Returns.

Having recently had the pleasure of speaking with Elizabeth Gillies about Catwoman: Hunted ahead of its upcoming release, I kicked off the interview by asking about what drew her to the animated DC movie. The actress wasted no time declaring her love for Catwoman in general, but particularly the one Michelle Pfeiffer brought to life three decades ago, saying:

I have always been a fan of Catwoman. She’s a character I’ve always wanted to play. I was always drawn to Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman. So I was very excited, not only to play her, but also to be part of the DC universe. And I love animation and voiceovers, so really across the board, it really caught my interest and I was very thankful that they asked me to do it.

With the combination of her Catwoman enthusiasm and her fondness for voiceover work (her credits in that area including Winx Club, The Penguins of Madagascar and American Dad!), it’s no wonder why the actress found Catwoman: Hunted to be such an appealing project. Gillies joins a long lineup of actresses who’ve voiced Catwoman over the years, like Jennifer Morrison in Batman: Hush, the late Naya Rivera in Batman: The Long Halloween and Anika Noni Rose in Injustice. Gillies’ Catwoman, however, gets to stand out among the rest by leading her own animated movie, exemplifying how popular this character has become beyond simply being an enemy/ally to Batman, depending on the story being told.

After Elizabeth Gillies brought up Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman, who antagonized Michael Keaton’s Batman alongside Danny DeVito’s Penguin in Tim Burton’s second Batman movie, I asked if she specifically drew any inspiration from this version of the character or looked to any other Catwoman incarnations when crafting her take on Selina Kyle for Catwoman: Hunted. She responded:

No, I absolutely drew my inspiration from [Michelle Pfeiffer]. I brought my own flavor to it, but she was my starting point and my jumping off point. I love the way she did it, and that is the version that is sort of ingrained in my brain. I did watch some other animated Catwoman things where Catwoman appeared, and I wanted to hear what people did with her voice as well. But to me, Michelle’s was sort of my favorite, so I used her as a jumping off point. I wasn’t going to try and completely reinvent the wheel because she’s such an iconic character, and I think people want to hear her a certain way, so I took a swing and tried to keep it close-ish to the original with my own spin.

Michelle Pfeiffer’s whip-wielding Catwoman was certainly one of the most praised elements of Batman Returns, to the point that there were plans for the actress to reprise the role for a spinoff. However, the project ended up languishing in development hell for years and ultimately transformed into 2004’s Catwoman, which starred Halle Berry as original character Patience Phillips and was a critical and commercial disappointment. Fortunately, this didn’t diminish the original Catwoman’s popularity, and now Elizabeth Gillies is getting to leave her stamp on the character in Catwoman: Hunted.

The animated movie follows Selina Kyle attempting to steal a priceless jewel, only to find herself being targeted by both a powerful criminal organization and Interpol. Elizabeth Gillies’ costars include Stephanie Beatriz as Batwoman, Jonathan Banks as Black Mask, Lauren Cohan as Julia Pennyworth, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Barbara Minerva/Cheetah, Jonathan Frakes as King Faraday and Keith David as Tobias Whale. Shinsuke Terasawa directed Hunted off a script written by Young Justice co-showrunner Greg Weisman.

Catwoman: Hunted will be released on February 8, 2022. Meanwhile, our upcoming DC movies guide is available for those curious about what live-action offerings this corner of the superhero film market has coming up.

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.