Spolier Alert: Did You Catch The Dark Knight Rises’ Lesbian Undertones?

As the tragic massacre in Colorado fades from the headlines, we felt like we could finally bring up something that’s been gnawing at us since we caught The Dark Knight Rises last weekend.

Who was that “cute little blonde thing,” as NPR’s David Edelstein put it, running around with Ann Hathaway’s Selina Kyle?  Played by Juno Temple (Dirty Girl, Jack & Diane), the nameless character was described as a “street smart Gotham girl” prior to the film’s release.

Fanboys (and girls) speculated she was meant to represent Catwoman’s longtime gal pal, Holly Robinson. (Temple’s character is listed as “Holly” on IMDB.) If so, her presence in DKR is an awesome little Easter egg for Catwoman fans.

But as Edelstein points out in his review, she also subtly skews Selina’s sexuality, even for those unaware of her comic-book history.

Introduced by Frank Miller in the influential 1987 miniseries, Batman: Year One, Holly is initially a whiny underage prostitute who Selina takes under her wing as she transitions from dominatrix to costumed cat burglar. The character disappeared for much of the ’90s, but was brought back in Ed Brubaker’s re-vamped Catwoman series in the early 2000s.

Brubaker’s version of Holly was a recovering drug addict and lesbian who acts as Selina’s eyes and ears on the streets of Gotham. She even takes over the role of Catwoman during Selina’s 2006 maternity leave. The character earned Catwoman a 2004 GLAAD media award, though she’s so far entirely absent from the current series’ continuity. That’s the nature of the medium, folks.

Despite lacking much in the way of development, Temple’s character’s cozy relationship with Hathaway did lead Edelstein and others to suggest they may be more than just friends. For those of us aware of Holly’s comic-book bio, that’s a tantalizing possibility.

Maybe the next Batman director will give us more than just a wink and a nod.

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  • Pirate

    Meh. I caught it, but then they did less than zero with it. Ignored it and you know Catwoman is at the end of the movie, without a mention of her previous “interest”.

    Maybe they’ll make up for it in the next one, but I don’t have high hopes. I think it was thrown in gratuitously, with no respect at all. Which isn’t surprising… I wasn’t crazy about the movie. Completely different, but I liked The Amazing Spiderman and Avengers Assemble both much more.

    I really like Christian Bale, but he phoned this one in. No one was particularly inspired except Ann Hathway, and she’s the one I generally liked least. I wish we’d seen more of her. It was already too long (though paced well)–maybe more of her/them ended up on the cutting room floor.

  • Pirate

    @Pirate: generally LIKE least.

  • samwise

    I caught it too. But since women do nothing for me (even hags) I didn’t care much.

  • Charlie

    As a big Catwoman comic fan I like that they kept that aspect of Holly in the film when she gets snuggly with Selina. A lot of readers of Year One assumed Catwoman was written as a lesbian because while working as a dominatrix in one scene she says “You know what I hate about men? I’ve never met one” to her client. This was of course to set the stage for her attraction to Batman.

  • EvonCook

    So, let me understand this, the Dark Knight movie has Holly, the little sidekick chick-lite and possible lesbian friend, but Robin is nowhere to be seen? Batman doesn’t get his boy Friday, his aid de camp, his little protege and warm adoring tight bottom (in tights yet)? Sounds like the usual playing to the lesbo appetites of heterosexuals and avoiding any imaginable whiff, hint or suggestion of bromance or even the possibility of two prominent cocks stretched beneath tight nylon side by side in the catmobile. I am very, very sorry and disturbed to hear this because me and my cousin, several neighbor boys and later pickups made cars one of the hottest, horniest and easy sex scenes anywhere. Don’t tell me you’ve ever driven while getting a really hot, juicy bj? The Dark Knight has been ruined for me.

  • Greg

    I did!

  • Basch

    I noticed this, but they probably just included it as a nod to the comics. Clearly they weren’t going to do anything with it since Temple was barely in the movie.

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