The Batman’s Zoe Kravitz Was Turned Away From The Dark Knight Rises Audition For Being ‘Too Urban’

Zoe Kravitz in Big Little Lies

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The DC Extended Universe is a fascinating place, constantly keeping the fandom on their toes regarding the future of the massive franchise. Rather than releasing full slates of films in advance, Warner Bros. takes the success of each release into account, and changed its strategy in response. This is one reason why The Batman sat in development hell for so many years, although director Matt Reeves has finally begun assembling its cast and crew. Big Little Lies and The Crimes of Grindelwald actress Zoe Kravitz was recently cast as Catwoman in the upcoming blockbuster, but it turns out she has a history with Batman movies. Namely, because she was rejected from auditioning for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises.

Zoe Kravitz has become a household name over the past few years, showing impressive acting work on both the small and big screens, and in a variety of genres. Fans are eager to see what her Selina Kyle will be like in The Batman, and her casting is truly a full circle moment. A previous interview with Kravitz has resurfaced in the wake of her nabbing the role, where she revealed she wasn't permitted to audition for a part in The Dark Knight Rises, seemingly due to the color of her skin. As he put it:

In the last Batman movie [The Dark Knight Rises], they told me that I couldn't get an audition for a small role they were casting because they weren't 'going urban.’ It was like, 'What does that have to do with anything?' I have to play the role like, 'Yo, what's up, Batman? What's going on wit chu?'

Whoa. That's a truly personal and upsetting story that Zoe Kravitz shared, and shows how the film industry has moved forward over the past few years. Because given Kravitz' impressive tenure as an actress, it's hard to imagine her being turned down from an audition, especially based solely on her appearance.

Zoe Kravitz' comments about The Dark Knight Rises comes from a 2015 interview she did with Nylon, while gracing the cover of the publication. The future Catwoman actress wasn't able to audition for a small role in the movie because she was too "urban", in a moment that she likely won't forget. And ultimately the actress has gone on to push boundaries, as a person of color in major projects like Fantastic Beasts, Mad Max: Fury Road, and now The Batman.

Related: Aquaman’s Jason Momoa And Nicole Kidman Congratulate Zoe Kravitz On The Batman Casting

As for which role Zoe Kravitz had her eye on, smart money says it was Juno Temple's character Jen. She was an accomplice and friend of Anne Hathaway's Selina Kyle, and presumably based of the comic book character Holly (you can read up on Catwoman's life on the page here). Unfortunately, Kravitz didn't even get the chance to fight for the role.

The past few years have seen a change in the entertainment industry, as conversation around visibility and inclusion have led to film projects becoming more diverse place. Matt Reeves seems to be doing the same with The Batman, with Catwoman and Jeffrey Wright's Commissioner Gordon both being played by actors of color. And that's just the beginning of the movie's casting process.

The Batman is set to arrive in theaters on June 25th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.