Batman Returns director Tim Burton reveals why Catwoman is his favorite Batman character and what he loves about Michelle Pfeiffer’s version.
Batman Returns director Tim Burton has disclosed why Catwoman is his favorite Batman character.
In an interview with Empire, Burton responded to a question about the DC villain’s unpredictability and how she isn’t a typical strong female character. “Yeah, and that’s why I love that character. That’s my favourite character,” the director explained. “And that’s what Michelle [Pfeiffer] did such a beautiful job with. To me, it’s a strong character, it’s not about being a strong woman. And I love that about her. With Michael and her and all of them, they’re like silent-movie actors. Michelle, she did things that I was so amazed and impressed by. She truly was that character, her unpredictability and her vulnerability and her psychology — everything all in one.”
Created by writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane, Selina Kyle/Catwoman first appeared in Batman #1 in 1940. The character has endured throughout DC Comics history as one of the Caped Crusader’s best-known villains, although she has also been depicted as an anti-hero. Her romantic and professional relationship with Batman has also been a focal point in many stories. Pfeiffer’s performance as Catwoman in Batman Returns garnered universal praise from critics and fans, with many considering her portrayal the best adaptation the character has received yet.
In addition to Batman Returns, Catwoman has appeared in multiple film and TV adaptations related to Batman. Anne Hathaway played the character in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises while Zoë Kravitz stepped into the role for 2022’s The Batman, after previously voicing the character in the 2017 animated film The Lego Batman Movie. Camren Bicondova played a younger version of Selina Kyle in the Batman prequel series Gotham, with Lili Simmons playing an older Kyle in the series finale. Lee Meriwether appeared as Catwoman in the 1966 Batman film while Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt portrayed different versions of the character in the 1960s television series opposite Adam West as Batman.
Although only directing two Batman films, Burton left a lasting impact on the franchise, with his darker vision for the Dark Knight inspiring the critically acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series. The director recently opened up about departing the film franchise after Returns and what he thought about Batman and Robin‘s infamous batsuit nipples. “I was like, ‘Wait a minute. Okay. Hold on a second here. You complain about me, I’m too weird, I’m too dark, and then you put nipples on the costume? Go fuck yourself,'” Burton recalled at the time. “Seriously. So yeah, I think that’s why I didn’t end up [doing a third film].”
Wednesday, Burton’s next project, will premiere on Netflix in Fall 2022.
Lee Freitag is a movie and television news writer at CBR. Raised on the Canadian Prairies, Lee enjoys spending time with friends and family and watching Back to the Future for what has to be the hundredth time.