The Batman Star Zoë Kravitz Debunks 'Clickbait' Dark Knight Casting Reports

By Klein Felt Updated:
The Batman Zoe Kravitz Catwoman

The Batman is here and fans cannot get enough of the Matt Reeves-directed Gotham City epic. Warner Bros.' latest DC epic features a new take on the Dark Knight, taking on the milieu of Zodiac-like crime-thriller rather than the typical comic book fare. Robert Pattinson took on the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman and was backed up by a stellar cast including Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman).

Up and down the cast, The Batman featured stand-out performances, but for many, it was Kravitz's Catwoman who was a revelation. Her chemistry with Pattinson on screen was palpable, and she took on the legacy of the role while very much making it her own. 

However, recent headlines regarding the actress have distracted from her The Batman performance. The Guardian first reported that Kravitz was turned down for the Catwoman role in The Dark Knight Rises because Kravitz allegedly claimed she was too "urban" for such a part. Kravitz told The Guardian:

“I don’t know if [the role rejection] came directly from Chris Nolan... I think it was probably a casting director of some kind, or a casting director’s assistant… Being a woman of colour and being an actor and being told at that time that I wasn’t able to read because of the colour of my skin, and the word urban being thrown around like that, that was what was really hard about that moment.”

This caused many to accuse the filmmakers behind TDKR of being racist. 

Kravitz, though, has come out to clear the air regarding the "urban" comment, clarifying what actually happened. 

Zoe Kravitz Takes to Instagram Stories

Catwoman, Zoe Kravitz, Batman

The Batman star Zoe Kravitz revealed, by way of Instagram Stories, that she was never actually up for the role of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. She clarified that she was not calling anyone racist when making the "urban" comment in a recent Guardian interview. 

The actress said she "was NOT told [she] was too urban to play Catwoman" and that instead she "wanted to AUDITION for a small part in the film." It was then that she was told "that they were not going ‘urban’ on the part," a term that she mentions was said "a lot" ten years ago:

“So let talk about click bait bad journalism. I was NOT told I was too urban to play Catwoman in The Dark Knight. It would have made NO sense for me to even be considered for that role at that time.I wanted to AUDITION for a small part in the film and was told (I do not know who said this but this is how it was worded to me) that they were not going ‘urban’ on the part. This is something I heard a lot 10 years ago - - it was a very different time."

Kravitz admitted she "did not mention this to point any fingers or make anyone seem racist," she was simply offering an example of "what it was like to be a woman of color in the industry at that time:"

"I did not mention this to point any fingers or make anyone seem racist, namely Chris Nolan, the film’s producers, or anyone on the casting team, because I truly do not believe anyone meant any harm. I was simply giving an example of what it was like to be a woman of color in the industry at that time.Again this was many years ago when words like that were thrown around very casually and although I am glad we are attempting to evolve - let’s all calm down - as well as fact check before we write things down.”

A Case of Catwoman Confusion

This is a prickly situation that Kravitz has seemingly caused here, and it is good of her to try and clear the air. But does it not feel like there still is an issue at hand here? 

Firstly, The Guardian looks to have misquoted or misinterpreted Kravitz's words, thus making one think that the actress had auditioned to play Catwoman before. Now, she cleared that up, mentioning that she wanted to audition for a smaller role and didn't get it. 

But is it not an issue that the "urban" term was thrown around at all. Sure, Kravitz herself says terms like this were thrown around quite a bit back in the day, but why? 

She is not trying to make any one person out to be racist; however, this is just evidence of the deep-rooted problems found in Hollywood. Maybe, a word like "urban" doesn't come up as much as it used to, there is still plenty of superficial prejudice seen across the movie industry. 

The Catwoman actress is really trying hard to say there is no problem and there likely isn't (at least personally for her). But it is an example of a wider issue across the industry. And while things have gotten better, there is still plenty of work to do. 

The Batman is now in theaters worldwide.

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.