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Actors Who Almost Played Batman Villains

Some potential candidates for “Batman” movie villains don’t get much farther than an audition or being tossed around as a prospective name by a Warner Bros. executive. Annette Bening, though, was an exception. She wasn’t just cast as Selina Kyle/Catwoman in “Batman Returns” — she went so far as to attend a costume fitting for the role. Fresh off her Oscar-nominated turn in “The Grifters,” Bening was an in-demand talent who could’ve easily fit into the star-studded aesthetic of 1990’s “Batman” movies. 

Unfortunately, producer Denise Di Novi revealed in “Batman: The Definitive History of the Dark Knight in Comics, Film, and Beyond” that this exciting casting was significantly complicated when Bening got pregnant (via Insider). From there, it became clear it’d be impossible for the performer to accomplish the necessary stunts and other physical work for the Catwoman part. Plus, Bening has been open about how despite her passion for playing this part, she found it an easy choice to give up a movie role for the sake of her kids (per Inquirer.net). With that, Bening bid farewell to the part, and Michelle Pfeiffer took on a role that would become iconic. Though she wasn’t a part of this Tim Burton superhero tentpole, that doesn’t mean this awards darling performer would never find herself on similar territory later on in her career. Notably, Bening eventually managed to work with Burton on the 1996 movie “Mars Attacks!” and also got to work on a superhero movie with 2019’s “Captain Marvel.” 

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