In a variety of live-action adaptations, DC’s Catwoman has been portrayed by ten actors, but many more almost played the antihero opposite Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. Batman. Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman, debuted in DC Comics back in 1940’s Batman #1, originally depicted as a supervillain to Gotham City’s Caped Crusader but later was shown to be an antihero and Batman’s longest-running love-interest. Since then, several other DC characters have taken up the moniker of Catwoman, including Holly Robinson and Eiko Hasigawa, and the character has been adapted into a variety of live-action and animated media since the 1960s.

Alongside the Joker, Catwoman is the most regular supporting character to Bruce Wayne in live-action Batman stories, first being introduced by Julie Newmar in 1966’s Batman TV series, though she would later be replaced by Eartha Kitt, and Lee Meriwether for the 1966 Batman feature film, based on the series. Since Newmar debuted as Catwoman, nine other actors have portrayed the villain-turned-antihero in various live-action projects, including Michelle Pfeiffer, Casey Elizabeth Easlick, Halle Berry, Anne Hathaway, Camren Bicondova, Lili Simmons, and Zoë Kravitz in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. However, there are several other high-profile names who were almost chosen to play Catwoman in DC’s live-action movies.



15 Annette Bening (Batman Returns)

annette bening as supreme intelligence in captain marvel

As a rising star of the 1970s and 80s, Michelle Pfeiffer took on the role of Selina Kyle in Tim Burton’s 1992 film Batman Returns. However, it was almost Annette Bening who performed as Catwoman opposite Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne instead. In an excerpt from the book Batman: The Definitive History of the Dark Knight in Comics, Film, and Beyond, (via Insider), producer Denise Di Novi revealed that Bening’s pregnancy during production for Batman Returns left the crew in a tailspin as they’d already “fitted the costumes and the mask.” In fact, Pfeiffer sported pieces of Bening’s costume in Batman Returns, as she joined the film so late in production.

14 Susan Sarandon (Batman Returns)

susan sarandon in monarch

Plans for a Catwoman spinoff starring Michelle Pfeiffer in the 1990s would have seen her develop her role from Batman Returns. However, Pfeiffer mentioned that she almost didn’t appear in Batman Returns, replacing Annette Bening, as she had been attached to star in George Miller’s Lorenzo’s Oil. Eventually, Pfeiffer was replaced in Lorenzo’s Oil by Susan Sarandon, who also “had been interested in playing Catwoman,” (via Yahoo). Sarandon was a big name in the 90s, so it’s a shame she didn’t get the opportunity to show off her skills as Catwoman, but she is set to make her DC debut in 2023’s Blue Beetle.

13 Madonna (Batman Returns)

madonna in evita

During a 2021 interview on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Madonna revealed that she carried regrets over several turned-down acting roles throughout her career. Though she is best known for her musical career, Madonna has been acting since her first appearance in 1985’s A Certain Sacrifice, and confirmed to Fallon that she had been offered the role of Selina Kyle in 1992’s Batman Returns. She stated, “I regret that I turned down Catwoman… That was pretty fierce,” (via W Magazine). Madonna would have certainly brought a different spin to Catwoman in Batman Returns, though it’s difficult to imagine anyone besting Pfeiffer’s iconic portrayal of the character.

12 Sarah Michelle Gellar (Catwoman Spinoff)

sarah michelle gellar in buffy the vampire slayer

While a Catwoman spinoff featuring Michelle Pfeiffer never materialized, Warner Bros. tried for years to bring the project to fruition, leading to the hiring of John August to pen a script in 1998. While August envisioned Pfeiffer reprising her role, he mentioned to Graffiti with Punctuation in 2019 (via Independent) that the studio wanted a “younger, sexier, sensual Catwoman,” suggesting Sarah Michelle Gellar for Catwoman. Best known for portraying Buffy Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer between 1997 and 2003, Gellar never got the chance to play Catwoman, as the spinoff project would eventually morph into 2004’s reviled Catwoman, featuring Halle Berry as Patience Phillips, a variation on the character.

11 Kate Mara (The Dark Knight Rises)

kate mara in fantastic four

When Catwoman was revealed to be appearing in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, the final film in his Dark Knight trilogy starring Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, many actors were revealed to have screen-tested for the role before Anne Hathaway was eventually cast. One of these names was Kate Mara, who until then had only seen small roles in a variety of projects, including American Horror Story and Iron Man 2. Speaking to ESPN in a 2012 interview, Mara revealed that Nolan was one of her favorite directors and that “just to get the opportunity to test for such an iconic role as Catwoman was an honor.”

10 Keira Knightley (The Dark Knight Rises)

keira knightley in pirates of the caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean star Keira Knightley was among the many names who tested for the role of Selina Kyle in Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. IndieWire reported in 2012 that Knightley screen-tested alongside the likes of Kate Mara, Charlotte Riley, Gemma Arterton, and Natalie Portman, though the role would eventually be given to Anne Hathaway. After testing for Catwoman, Knightley has not appeared in any other superhero movie roles.

9 Jessica Biel (The Dark Knight Rises

jessica biel in blade trinity

After gaining recognition as the lead star of 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and 2004’s Blade: Trinity, Jessica Biel was also picked out as an actor who screen-tested for the role of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. The Hollywood Reporter included her among the likes of Kate Mara, Keira Knightley, and Anne Hathaway, all of whom were up for the position of Selina Kyle opposite Bale’s Batman. While Biel would miss out on the role, 2012 would still be a fruitful year for the actor, who starred in The Tall Man, Total Recall, Hitchcock, and Playing for Keeps in the same year The Dark Knight Rises released.

8 Gemma Arterton (The Dark Knight Rises)

gemma arterton in the king's man

After a standout performance opposite Daniel Craig’s James Bond in 2008’s Quantum of Solace, Gemma Arterton became one of the most sought-after actors of the early 2010s. She was among the many names considered for the role of Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises, following strong performances in Clash of the Titans and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, though she would eventually miss out when Hathaway was cast instead. Though she wouldn’t have many blockbuster roles in the years after, her appearances in films such as The Voices, Their Finest, Vita & Virginia, and The King’s Man would bring her huge success.

7 Blake Lively (The Dark Knight Rises)

blake lively in a simple favor

In 2010, IndieWire reported that several names were in consideration for a position in The Dark Knight Rises, including Blake Lively. Lively starred alongside future-husband Ryan Reynolds in 2011’s Green Lantern, giving her precious experience in the world of DC, but it would have been fantastic to see her fill the much larger role of Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises. This would have seen her perform opposite Christian Bale as Batman and Tom Hardy as Bane, but unfortunately, while Reynolds would go on to find success as Deadpool, Lively wouldn’t return to any role in a superhero franchise – at least not yet.

6 Olivia Wilde (The Dark Knight Rises)

olivia wilde in in time

While Olivia Wilde would go on to have a fruitful career as director, producer, and star in several acclaimed projects such as Booksmart, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and Don’t Worry Darling, there was a time that she almost played Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises. While this didn’t come to fruition, Wilde would later voice Lois Lane in the 2022 animated film, DC League of Super-Pets, a role which she could reprise in the future as the film has been confirmed to be the start of a new franchise. Wilde is also attached to direct a female-led project in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe.

5 Lady Gaga (The Dark Knight Rises)

lady gaga in a star is born

Before getting starring roles in American Horror Story, A Star is Born, and House of Gucci, Lady Gaga lobbied hard for the role of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. Though it’s unknown whether she was screen-tested for the role, E! Online noted that Gaga was vying to appear opposite Christian Bale in Nolan’s third Dark Knight film after appearing in a form-fitting dress resembling Catwoman’s costume during her Born This Way tour in 2012. Fortunately, Gaga will be entering the DC Universe in 2024’s Joker: Folie à Deux, starring as Harley Quinn opposite Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck, a.k.a. Joker.

4 Carla Gugino (Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice)

carla gugino in the haunting of hill house

As a frequent collaborator with Zack Snyder, who paved the way for the DCEU to develop, Carla Gugino was under early consideration to appear as Catwoman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and subsequent DCEU projects. During a 2020 livestream (via IGN), Snyder revealed that there had been early plans for Gugino to appear in flashbacks establishing a relationship between Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne and Catwoman. Gugino appeared in Snyder’s Sucker Punch and Watchmen and even voiced Kelor, Superman’s ship’s computer, in Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but it would have been great to see her physically suit up as Catwoman.

3 Zazie Beetz (The Batman)

zazie beetz in joker

For Matt Reeves’ The Batman, which saw Robert Pattinson portray Bruce Wayne in a DC Elseworlds project, Zazie Beetz was among the names considered for Selina Kyle prior to Zoë Kravitz’s casting. The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit revealed on Twitter that Beetz was high on the list to appear as Catwoman in The Batman but had to pull out due to commitments with Atlanta. After appearing as Sophie Dumond in 2019’s Joker, Beetz’s appearance as Catwoman could have established alternate realities in the DC film universe, but since she’s set to reprise the role in Joker: Folie à Deux, her casting in The Batman could have also confused viewers.

2 Eiza González (The Batman)

eiza gonzalez in baby driver

Along with Zazie Beetz, The Hollywood Reporter also suggested that Eiza González was in the running to portray Selina Kyle in The Batman. Star of Baby Driver, Alita: Battle Angel, and Godzilla vs. Kong, González was a fan-favorite contender for the role of Catwoman, and the actor even revealed that she was heartbroken when her Catwoman audition for The Batman didn’t lead to her receiving the role. While she didn’t get the role she necessarily wanted, González’s career shows no signs of slowing down, as she appeared in Ambulance in 2022 and is currently filming for 2024’s The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.

1 Ana De Armas (The Batman)

ana de armas in no time to die

While casting news for The Batman was becoming a hot topic, Ana De Armas was picked as one of the most favorable names to portray Selina Kyle. In recent years, Armas’ popularity has been growing, landing her high-profile roles in films such as Knives Out, No Time To Die, and Blonde, and she is slated to appear in the John Wick spinoff Ballerina in 2024. It was suggested by Twitter account Ana de Armas Updates that the actor was runner-up for the role of Catwoman in The Batman, only being beaten by Zoë Kravitz, though it hasn’t been directly commented on by the actor herself.

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