Warner Bros. has released the first official photo of Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle from the forthcoming The Dark Knight Rises, and I think it’s a great image. The studio has deliberately avoided saying Hathaway is playing Catwoman in favor of always referring to her by her civilian identity, Selina. But everybody knows her nom du crime, and Hathaway outed herself as playing Catwoman months ago.
So what do we see here? Selina riding the Batpod. Or, at least, a two-wheeler designed to look very much like Batman’s motorcycle from The Dark Knight. She’s wearing goggles with blue lights, and tight black leather. And her hair is long. That’s all we know about her. Oh, and that she (apparently) has the stones to steal Batman’s ride! That says a lot about her right there. This image is designed to tease – to make you want to see more. And it does its job admirably.
A lot of the criticism I’ve seen online about this image centers on how the viewer cannot see Hathaway’s whole costume, and that it’s not sexy enough – as if that is the sole qualification of what makes a good Catwoman/costume. That is far from the truth. The horrible, tattered mess that Halle Berry sported in her wretched Catwoman movie was “sexy” to a lot of people, but the character, Berry’s acting, and the film itself were all utterly execrable.
This looks like the right approach. Selina’s costume resembles the ensemble that she currently wears in the comic books. And this movie’s take on the character appears to jibe with the latest thinking in the comics, which is that Selina Kyle is a cat burglar known as Catwoman for her mad skillz at stealing, not because she wears a costume with cat ears sewn onto it. I like this characterization, and hope that is where director Christopher Nolan is headed. He reimagined Joker with aplomb, so I have faith that he can do the same with Batman’s No. 1 femme fatale.