Anne Hathaways Catwoman: 18 Comic-Book Inspirations
Cat of the night
Cat Facts: Comic origin stories are altered more often than the big screen batsuit. In Frank Miller’s Year One the genius behind Sin City and 300 slips Selina Kyle into the shiny black slacks of a Gotham City prostitute.
Nolan's Version: As key source material for Batman Begins and TDK there’s little reason why Chris shouldn’t lean on his favourite story arc for T he Dark Knight Rises .
The grit of a streetwalker’s background would be a good fit for Nolan’s gloomy Batman but will Warner approve the wardrobe? They should!
More than just claws
Cat Facts: Like any good comic character Catwoman has an arsenal of themed weaponry to match her feline tendencies. Should her trusty whip ever be out of service Selina can fall back on retractable razor-sharp claws.
She also carries a stash of cruder items such as cable-ties and ductape to restraint her foes. Oh, and in-built pitons to help her scale vertical surfaces.
Nolan's Version: The dexterity shown by Selina on Gotham’s ghetto streets will translate well in Nolan’s corrupt city where crims look to take down do-gooders at every turn. But is the whip mightier than the Batarang?
The Dynamic Duo
Cat Facts: Taking place in the early days of Batman and Catwoman's on and off relationship Legends of the Dark Knight - Heat , tells the story of a Catman hunting down Gotham’s fairer sex and slashing them to ribbons.
The situation brings out Miss Kyle’s more honourable side as she fights alongside Bats to prevent any further bloodshed at the paws of Catman.
Nolan's Version: Tim Burton has already explored Catwoman’s alignment with The Dark Knight in Batman Returns . That relationship inevitably blossomed with a curious complexity. Nolan’s vision is sure to be even more convoluted. It definitely won't feature anyone called Catman, though.
Work of Jean-ius
Cat Facts: When Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson were dreaming up The Feline Fatale they turned to the sexiest of sex symbols for full-bodied inspiration. Jean Harlow, the original blonde bombshell, provided Catwoman’s outline. Hathaway has a lot to live up to.
Nolan's Version: Heath Ledger’s popular plagiarism of Sid Vicious’ appearance and Malcolm McDowell’s Clockwork Orange psychosis will help Anne Hathaway give Catwoman character. Maybe Anne could mix Karen O's style with Harley Quinn's insanity for a Joker-infused Kyle. Well, we can dream can't we?
Cat Facts: Another instalment in the Legends of the Dark Knight anthology, Terror , pits Catwoman and Bruce’s alter-egos against the hessian masked Scarecrow. Beardy baddie Hugo Strange breaks Crane out of Arkham Asylum and arms the doctor with a brainwashed hatred of Batman and a weaponised version of his fear toxin. Sound familiar? It’s going to be up to Selina to help Bats out of this one.
Nolan's Version: Watching Catwoman swoop in and save Batman from the grips of Tom Hardy’s Bane would be a highlight of The Dark Knight Rises . The forces of good and mischief combining to defeat evil and restore order; even if Selina does steal Bruce’s heart in the process.
Not a fur coat in sight
Cat Facts: Fashion over function. That’s been the brief for comic artists designing Catwoman’s combat threads over the years. And only the foxiest fashion at that. Our favourite figure-hugging outfit was designed by Adam Hughes who also pulled off the coup of the century by drawing Miss Kyle as a modern day Audrey Hepburn.
Nolan's Version: Though this is the least flashy of all the Catsuits worn by Kyle in the paperbacks, Chris Nolan intends to play down the fleshiness further and take away some of the sexy edge from Anne Hathaway’s catty portrayal. We can wave goodbye to low zips and gaping cleavage then. Shucks!
Nine Lives of The Cat
Cat Facts: The label Feline Fatale never sat so perfectly than in Dean Motter’s Nine Lives. This noir Elseworlds story re-imagines Gotham as a post-WWII crime capital complete with your favourite villains only in more realistic skins. I.e. minus hideous deformations. It transpires Catwoman has been to bed with everyone and their dad so when she turns up dead, Gotham tinkers on the brink of implosion.
Nolan's Version: We’re certain Catwoman won’t end up dead in Nolan’s third Batflick (at least not in the very beginning) but the idea of Selina acting all promiscuous would be a tantalising twist if coupled with Millar’s street walking origin story. Purely for artistic reasons.
Whip em into a frenzy
Cat Facts: Ever since Catwoman’s first appearance in Batman #1 way back in 1940 she’s never been very far away from her weapon of choice. Like Indy, Selina’s whip is both a bringer of pain and a tool used to secure the loot as she prances around Gotham playing super thief.
Nolan's Version: For some the whip brings too much of DC universe’s silly side to a franchise that has been built on very real-world foundations. But it's so iconic Mr Nolan could face a fierce fanboy backlash if he omits it. Our call? It won’t be long before we’re hearing about Hathaway’s six months at whip school.
Cat Facts: Grant Morrison killed off The Guardian of Gotham in 2008 but what role did Catwoman play in the seismic Batman R.I.P. story? Amidst the chaos engulfing the city after Batman’s passing, Selina steps in to save the one good, but reluctant, figure who could possibly lift Gotham from chaos, Robin Mark III, Tim Drake.
Nolan's Version: Now we’re not saying we’re going see Robin in The Dark Knight Rises but we are pointing at the fact that right down to her very cat core, Selina Kyle is actually a pretty egg. Working with Hathaway’s innocent charms Nolan is going to have a blast exploring the complicated dual morality of this Bat botherer.
Hush little pussycat
Cat Facts: If Batman R.I.P. was a traumatic experience for Batfans, Cat lovers had a rougher ride with Heart of Hush. Sociopathic surgeon Thomas Elliot, aka the bandage-bound Hush, cuts out Selina’s heart and uses it to lure Bats into a trap and kill him. Shocking right? Thankfully Miss Kyle survives and sends a harem of heroines on a mission to take down her assailant.
Nolan's Version: Though this plot teeter too close to the ridiculous for Chris’ Batverse, it does at least illustrate Selina’s very real mortality. She is just as vulnerable to pain and suffering as The Bat. However, it would be awesome to see The Feline Fatale ordering about Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn.
Clawing at the heartstrings
Cat Facts: Hush may have been one of Batman’s deadliest adversaries but The Caped Crusader has a lot to thank the delusional doctor for. Jeph Loeb’s Hush story is a fine example of how close Batman and Catwoman allow themselves to get; attending operas in their everyday guises and fighting crime alongside one another. But just when it looks like they might be getting it on permanently Bruce flips out of his Bat brain and ruins everything. Fool!
Nolan's Version: All bets are off when it comes to Nolan’s possible interpretation of the Bat/Cat love affair. It’ll messier than a tangled ball of yarn. Think Borden’s relationship with his wife in The Prestige . You get the idea.
Three parts Pfeiffer
Cat Facts: Before Christopher Nolan rocked up at Warner Brothers with Batscript in-hand, there was only one Batman director worth mentioning. In securing the services of Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman in Batman Returns Tim Burton helped sculpt one of the most memorable anti-heroine performances ever to grace the silver screen.
Nolan's Version: The man in the director’s chair will want to borrow some of the dark, sultry sexiness oozed by Miss Pfeiffer in Burton’s superhero sequel but rumours already suggest Hathaway’s Catwoman is going to be toned down a little in The Dark Knight Rises . Say it ain’t so!
zero parts Berry
Cat Facts: With no less than seven Razzie nominations and four ‘wins’ Halle Berry’s depiction of DC’s favourite whiskered villainess ranks among the worst car crashes in Hollywood history. There’s not a lot we can suggest Nolan use in Batman 3 here, obviously.
Nolan's Version: If Chris knew what was good for him he’d avoid any source material from this travesty like a mouse darting between the claws of the housecat. It’s safe to say anything The Dark Knight Rises pulls out the bag with their version of Selina Kyle will be better than anything left in the litter box by Pitof and Berry.
Baby Bats is born
Cat Facts: Not content with conventional timelines, DC Comics introduced the One Year Later story to explore the universe shattering events of Infinite Crisis. If you now what that is, good for you. If not, all you need to know is this time travelling jaunt saw Catwoman give birth to her very first kitten; Wayne’s daughter Helena.
Nolan's Version: We’re unlikely to hear the pitter-patter of tiny paws and the flipper-flappery of wee wings in TDKR . But it will be nice to see Miss Hathaway and Mr Bale’s onscreen chemistry smoulder so intensely that we’re left wondering what goes on in the dark corners of the Batcave.
A Dark Past
Cat Facts: Jeph Loeb, master of the modern Bat, surpassed himself when he penned the mobster inspired Dark Victory. For the most part Catwoman is absent as her relationship with Batman is put under extreme pressure as he investigates the Hangman killings. The bombshell comes when at the end Selina visits Carmine Falcone’s grave, confessing to being his daughter.
Nolan's Version: We’re not expecting some soon-to-be chronically misquoted “Selina, I am your father” moment in The Dark Knight Rises but the idea of Tom Wilkinson’s menacing mobster fathering The Feline Fatale would add more meat to the story than a tin of Whiskas.
Cat Facts: Just like her Batty counterpart Selina Kyle isn’t endowed with super-human strength, the ability to take to the skies or fire heat rays from her eyes.
No, instead Catwoman relies on worldly gifts like athleticism, hand-to-hand combat skills, slight of hand to aid her burglary spree and, ahem, an affection for cats.
Nolan's Version: Nolan’s Batman Begins origin story showed audiences exactly how human Bruce Wayne really is, even spraying him with weaponised fear toxin and setting him ablaze. Let’s hope Hathaway walks away from her bad guy brushes with a fair fewer brusies than The Dark Knight.
Everyone loves a good catfight
Cat Facts: In The Long Halloween, Loeb took the inspiration of The Godfather quite literally. You could’ve stuffed cotton wool in Carmine Falcone’s gob and, hey presto, it’s Don Corleone. Selina not only tussles with Bats but also Carmine’s daughter, Sofia Gigante, as she reacts to the execution of her father in this prequel to Dark Victory. Little did she know that Miss Kyle was also losing a dad that night.
Nolan's Version: Depending on who Marion Cotillard plays in the TDKR it’s unlikely Selina will have an equal with whom to go claw-to-claw, but if a catfight does break out expect us to be wearing a Cheshire cat grin for weeks.
Cat Facts: If you’re gamer you may very well have seen Selina Kyle’s console incarnation in the forthcoming Batman: Arkham City . From what we’ve already seen Miss Kyle’s playable character is going to be one memorable addition to the hit franchise game; sultry, teasing, athletic, fierce and not shy to show a little skin. Heavily influenced by the today's comic Catwoman there's little reason to doubt that Nolan's Selina will look very different.
Nolan's Version: As we’ve already said we can’t see Chris rubber-stamping as much cleavage as Kyle shows here but we can at least hope to be bowled over by some bendy fight scenes in keeping with Catwoman’s in-game combat style.