Gyllenhaal as Catwoman after all?

We were kind of joking when we cast Maggie Gyllenhaal as Catwoman two weeks back. But Hollywood may be stranger than fiction...

Doh! Now I see it...


Well over two weeks ago Den Of Geek published 15 Contenders to play Catwoman after the Dark Knight, where various of our writers pontificated on their favourite choices for actresses to portray Batman’s kinkiest love interest in Batman 3.

This was before anyone outside of Warner Bros editing rooms had seen The Dark Knight, and before we were to find out that Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Rachel Dawes character was to be killed off – apparently – in The Joker’s explosive Saw-style hard choice scenario. Therefore Dog’s Duncan Bowles put MG forward for the role…

“Maggie Gyllenhaal would make a great Catwoman in some ways, possessing an unusual beauty and a way of expressing such varied emotions that there always appears to be hidden depths to her characters…”

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Suddenly I wake up to find a ferment of net-rumours about Gyllenhaal getting slinky for the next Bat-outing (see links below); and it makes perfect sense…

One of the things I noted in my own review, and which has been noted elsewhere, was how wasted she was in TDK, and some speculated that she may have been getting on the ‘one for  the money, two for the show’ rhythm which has stood co-stars Michael Caine and Gary Oldman in good stead throughout their careers.

But how much more sense it makes that her almost-cameo role in Dark Knight turns out to be the dues payable on a much juicier role as Catwoman in the third episode of Nolan’s ultra-successful franchise reboot.

It’s fantastically elegant, since so many have said how insipid the Rachel Dawes character was – and that’s always how Catwoman starts out before the revenge-motif and the mad larceny kicks in.

It also explains in a wonderfully hermetic manner just why Batman is so enthralled with Catwoman. Previous incarnations of that relationship have explained his attraction as being one of empathy for the fact that dark events in Selina Kyle’s life turned her to evil, much as hard knocks turned Bruce Wayne into an avenging crusader; but not so far to evil that Batman isn’t tantalised by the possibility of redeeming her.

But how much stronger the dynamic when Catwoman is actually a twisted version of the woman Wayne has loved since he was a child, and for whose transformation to the dark side he blames himself?

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The death of Dawes? Pah. Total obliteration in a petrol-fuelled fireball is a classic scenario for a sequel return, and it leaves the re-emerged character with 8 lives to use up and the feeling that she can survive anything (and her survival of that impossible fireball situation is clearly the inspiration for the cat-identity).

The name? The character will have utter contempt for her former existence, resurfacing in public life as ‘Selina Kyle’ and inveigling her way into the halls of industry with the ambit of robbing them blind. It’s a fair bet that Dawes’ rabid idealism will transform into total cynicism, and her old girly notions of love into hatred for the former ‘love of her life’ (Wayne/Batman) who failed to help her (though she may be unaware that he was tricked by The Joker in this respect, or may not believe it).

Sure, Dawes/Kyle will know who Batman is, but she won’t spill the beans: she wants to kill him herself, not see him arrested and treated fairly.

Holy shit, Batman – it even fits in with the kinkiness Maggie Gyllenhaal is most famous for to date, as James Spader’s S&M assistant in Secretary (2002).

It’s all just rumours of course – but it’s too good not to be true…

Hollywood Newsroomio9

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