Greg Weisman Shares Biggest Inspiration for Catwoman: Hunted
Batman's current love interest in comic book land, Selina Kyle (Elizabeth Gillies), is finally getting her own animated movie treatment in Catwoman: Hunted. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, the feature-length, anime-style movie arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray, and Digital on February 8, 2022.
Penned by the busiest man in the business, Greg Weisman (Young Justice, Star Wars Rebels), the all-new original animated feature-length film features Catwoman's attempt to steal a priceless jewel, which puts her squarely in the crosshairs of both a powerful consortium of villains and the ever-resourceful Interpol, not to mention Batwoman (Stephanie Beatriz). It might just be enough to contain her. Or not. In anticipation of Catwoman: Hunted's release, the prolific novelist, writer, and producer sat down with Bleeding Cool to discuss what classic anime influenced this project the most if he thinks Selina is bisexual and the representation of the LGBTQ+ community in modern animation.
I really loved this piece. It seems like a new direction with the anime, the jazz, the whole mood, and the esthetic of the piece. Can you talk about what inspirations you drew from it for this?
Greg Wiesman: The biggest single inspiration is the Miyazaki film within The Castle of Cagliostro (known in Japan as Lupin III: Cagliostro no Shiro). A movie I've seen many times, although not recently, and that's on purpose. I pitched Catwoman as being in a Lupin the Third kind of film; when they bought in on it (I realized that), it's been years since I've seen this movie, I should go back and watch it. I made a conscious decision not to because it's one thing to be influenced by it; it'll move away from being an homage to a flat-out theft. That style just seemed perfect for Selina Kyle. International heist thriller where the thieves are trying to get something, but they are also in danger; it just felt right and felt like a good venue. She's just not doing this for fun or because the Emerald was called the 'Cat's Eye Emerald' in Adam West/ Julie Newmar fashion.
You mentioned Julie Newmar. Did you have a Catwoman voice in your head when you're writing for her?
GW: I do now. It's Elizabeth Gillies. Exactly the kind of thing I was imagining wasn't Julie Newmar or Eartha Kitt or Lee Meriwether, though I am a huge fan of all three. There might have been, maybe, a little aspect of Michelle Pfeiffer in there. I was really trying to come up with something that I felt was archetypal and inherent to the character. I was hoping that it would come out in the script in such a way that it would inspire the actor who took on the role. I love her work in live-action, specifically, Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll. I thought that was perfect casting for that role. She really was able to take the dialog that I wrote and brought it to life. Now she's forever my Catwoman.
Let me ask you about a specific scene towards the beginning of the movie when Catwoman has ventured past flirting and downright teasing Batwoman. In the comic books, Batwoman is out as a lesbian, but is Selina Kyle now, or in this movie, is she bisexual, or is she doing whatever she can to distract Batwoman?
GM: My answer to that is both. I think Selina is bisexual, but I also think in this case, what that scene was about was her doing what she needed to do to solve a specific problem in a specific moment. The way I judged that scene, taking Batman specifically out of the equation because her relationship with him is obviously way more complicated. But if she were standing there opposite Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) or Eel O', Brian (Plastic Man), would she do anything differently? No, she wouldn't. She uses the tools in her toolbox to accomplish goals that seem frivolous but are actually quite serious. And in this case, she used those tools on Kate, and they only worked briefly, right? And then Kate immediately realized, Wow, this is an extremely bad idea. I do think that she's bisexual, but in essence, I don't think those two notions a diametrically opposed. She can be bisexual and still be using people.
Do you have a comment on the importance of the representation of the LGBTQ+ community in modern animation?
GM: The short answer is, I'm all for it. All sorts of people, all sorts of groups in the LGBT+ community, want to see representation on screen. It's only recently in my history that I've been allowed to do that. I've been asking to do it going all the way back to the 90s and for literally decades was told, No, you absolutely cannot. Back in those days, all we could do was write the characters consistently so that if and when the answer became yes, it wouldn't seem jarring when in essence, they were objectively revealed to be part of the LGBTQ +community. But now that we can, I want to do it. We're doing it more and more on Young Justice. It's not an overnight process, but it's something that we've been doing and are continuing to do. In doing so, at least a little tiny bit of it here on Catwoman: Hunted, I think is a good thing, although again, this isn't exactly a positive representation of it here. I just felt that, again, if it were Barry Allen, this is what Selina would do, so why wouldn't she also do it to Kate Kane?
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, the feature-length, anime-style Catwoman: Hunted arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray, and Digital on February 8, 2022.
Stay up-to-date and support the site by following Bleeding Cool on Google News today!