Naturally, when the first images of Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle/Catwoman from Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy conclusion, The Dark Knight Rises, first appeared on the Internet a fan uproar ensued. In the pictures, Catwoman was seen joy riding Batman’s motorcycle, the Batpod (cool!), while wearing a full-body leathery jumpsuit perfect for a cat burglar or do-it-yourself-vigilantism (also cool!). Of course, to fanboys and girls like me, one thing was clearly missing: cat ears. After all, “Batman” has his batiness and without looking more, well, cat-like, how was this “Catwoman” any different from Emma Peel, Scarlet Johannson’s Black Widow, or the girl gang from Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Strike Back? Here’s the “offending” image:
The more I saw it, the more I appreciated how the character design fits into Nolan’s realistic Bat-Universe. But, being such a diehard fan, my imagination still had a hard time reconciling that as being Catwoman as opposed to a sufficiently radass Selina Kyle. The level-headed among us, however, posited that the goggles Anne Hathaway sports in the above image would resemble feline sound-reception organs when placed atop her head and not in use. This made sense at the time, and for good reason, as the new on-set images of Hathaway seem to prove this exact assertion (h/t Comics Alliance):
Before we go any further, I think it’s worth pointing out how, even after two Bat-movies and a quarter of the Harry Potter adaptations, Gary Oldman still looks flabbergasted to be on set with grown-ass adults in funny outfits:
So, there you have her: Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Returns, with a mask to hide her identity and a pair of hi-tech (Wayne Tech?) goggles to assist in her super/anti-hero antics, that have the bonus of making her appear more feline. Christopher Nolan clearly appreciates the Julie Newmar aesthetic from “Batman ‘66”, and who can blame him? There’s also a bit of Darwyn Cooke’s recent redesign, that will also be seen in the Batman: Year One short featuring Catwoman coming to DVD/Blu-ray next month. All in all, this design works in Nolan’s real world grit, while still holding true to the various source influences of the comic book character. From a distance, in moonlit silhouette, it would be easy for witnesses and reporters to label her a “Catwoman” in response to the infamous “Batman,” whether she calls herself that or not.
That settles it, yeah? Argument over, right? The fans can now hold their tongues until the movie comes out next summer?
Of course, now there’s also definite confirmation that Catwoman will be wearing stilettos while fighting/committing crime. To which I can only say, “What the what?!” It’s one thing to be true to the source material, it’s another to just be ridiculously slavish.
Seriously, in a couple of those shots, she looks more concerned about staying upright than kicking the asses of either Bane or Talia al Ghul (fingers crossed). I’m sure we won’t notice them so much in the movie, with the magic of editing, but it’s pretty hard not to wonder WTF is going there?