Anne Hathaway has just been announced to play Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, facing Christian Bale’s Batman in the upcoming ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ due for release July 20, 2012. Hathaway is following in the footsteps of 5 other actresses who have played the female feline on film and TV.
The ‘Batman’ TV show from the sixties is where we find 3 different takes on Catwoman:
Julie Newmar played her to the hilt of campiness even so much as to purr and lick her paws (hands). She easily brought the most fun to the character.
Eartha Kitt replaced Newmar on the show but basically just infused her own strong eccentric behavior onto the character.
Lee Meriwether played Catwoman in the Batman movie based on the TV show, (Newmar could not appear due to another commitment). Meriwether had a lot of competition in the film that also had the Joker, Penguin and Riddler. She vamped it up in her ‘disguise’ as Kitayna Ireyna Tatanya Kerenska Alisoff reporter for the Russian Bugle.
Michelle Pfeiffer played Selina Kyle in 1992’s ‘Batman Returns’ with Michael Keaton as Batman and Danny Devito as a grotesque Penguin. Director Tim Burton chose a weird origin for Catwoman having her die and being brought back to life by cats as she assumed the ability to have ‘nine lives’. Pfeiffer is a meek woman who goes crazy seeking revenge against those who wronged her. Her costume was a strange rubber mess crudely sewn together to add to this freakish portrayal.
Halle Berry was the most recent Catwoman, in the 2004 bomb, the cleverly named ‘Catwoman’. Other than the name, the movie bore no resemblance to the classic Batman character. Her name in the film is Patience Phillips and she too is brought back to life by cats and given super powers to boot. This one was so bad it was nominated for 7 Golden raspberry awards in 2005.
So how will Hathaway stack up against these other actresses? Looking back she doesn’t have too much competition other than Newmar’s fun depiction. So now we’ll have to wait and see the first pictures of her in costume and the film to follow in 2012. This will certainly be the most ’serious’ portrayal as director Christopher Nolan’s vision for his Batman world in one strongly grounded in the real world.
Romantic sparks are sure to fly but will she be friend or foe?