Warner Home Video will present the world premiere of “Catwoman,” the latest addition to the DC Showcase Animated Shorts series, as part of its DC Universe Animated panel on Friday 3-4 p.m. in the IGN Theater at New York Comic Con.
Catwoman is included in the October 18 Blu-ray/DVD release of “Batman: Year One,” the next entry in the ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies.
The panel includes animation legend Bruce Timm, nine-time Emmy Award-winning dialogue director Andrea Romano, and the fan favorite voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy. The panelists will discuss the Catwoman short, the upcoming release of Batman: Year One, and next spring’s release of Justice League: Doom.
The world premiere of the Justice League: Doom trailer is another New York Comic Con exclusive to be unveiled during the panel.
Catwoman/Selina Kyle is voiced by Eliza Dushku, well known for her television roles in Buffy the “Vampire Slayer,” “Tru Calling” and “Dollhouse.” The 15-minute short is penned by respected comics/animation writer Paul Dini.
The short finds Catwoman posing as an “entertainer” in a strip club to get close to black market diamond smuggler Rough Cut — who doesn’t take kindly to Catwoman’s interference in his business, leading to an all-out battle through the streets of Gotham City.
“When Alan Burnett and I first started discussing the idea of a Catwoman short, we both agreed that we wanted to make the story and the settings as adult as we could,” Dini explains. “The world of burlesque has returned in a big way to the contemporary consciousness, and that proved to be a very natural setting for this Catwoman story. At the time I wrote the initial screenplay, I didn’t know the short would be paired up with Batman: Year One, but the steamy setting that Selina inhabits in that book also proved to be ideal for the short.”
For the short, Dini created the character Rough Cut, a villain whose smuggling interests beyond diamonds catches Catwoman’s attention.
“I liked the idea of a villain who was obsessed with diamonds, but as this story takes place in the down and dirty side of Gotham, I felt the bad guy couldn’t be too glamorous,” Dini said. “I came up with the name Rough Cut both to describe the man and the kinds of crude, unfinished diamonds he pedals. There’s always a market for industrial diamonds, but lately Rough Cut has been feeling the economic pinch, so he’s smuggling more precious cargo. That’s what brings Catwoman into the picture.”
Dushku was very happy to return to her Batman: Year One role, having already taken equity in the part of Catwoman/Selina Kyle. Dushku has definitely found a clear understanding of her character’s emotional make-up.
“A lot of people are familiar with the characters I’ve played – these strong and vicious women who are, very deep down inside, really wounded women with an entirely unexpected side, so there’s nothing black and white about them,” Dushku said. “I think people identify with the characters I play because even though they do terrible things, there’s a humanity there. They’ve got lots of layers. They’re not just good or evil. Selina is a prostitute, and she’s abrasive and in your face, but she also has this maternal, protective, loyal quality to her. Her relationship with Holly is a perfect example – it shows a side you might not expect.”