Hey everybody, I just woke up to see that the first official promotional photo of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman from Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises had just been released. Thirty minutes staring at the photo, 3 minutes finding a picture of Julie Newmar, and two scans later, I’m ready to give you guys my perspective in the first edition of what I like to call Geeks of Doom’s Bat-Analysis.
So, let’s start with the actual promo photo shown above, shall we?
What we have here is Anne Hathaway in a tactile suit that looks like leftover costuming from the G.I. Joe movie. That’s not a bad thing at all, mind you, it just has the appearance of being more along the lines of something a spy or high-tech thief would wear, as opposed to the all-leather costumes we’ve seen before. You know, those horrible made from scratch [get it!?] costumes that were featured in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns starring Michelle Pfeiffer and [this is totally not] Catwoman starring Halle Berry. So Hathaway’s costume itself is faithful enough to a real world adaptation of something the character that Selina Kyle from the comics would actually wear.
Good work to Christopher Nolan and crew for getting that right.
Now, let’s talk about the hair. I fancy myself a bit of a fashionista, so one of the first things I pay attention to when I see promo photos is what the actor/actress’ hair looks like [see my complaints about the Henry Cavill Man of Steel photo]. Traditionally, Catwoman has had long hair since her inception in the early days of Batman comics through the days of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s Long Halloween and Catwoman: When in Rome. So, it stays in line with that. However, for myself and from what I understand, most comic readers actually prefer the Darwyn Cooke redesign of Selina Kyle with a shorter pixie-style haircut. In fact, last night when I saw the trailer for One Day starring Anne Hathaway, I screamed out, “She’s got Catwoman hair!”
So, imagine my disappointment when I woke up to this new promo picture today. Tsk, tsk. I mean, how are you going to stealthily fight/steal things with all that hair in your face? It just doesn’t make sense, you guys. And, I mean, she already had the pixie cut! That’s a lost opportunity, if you ask me, which, I actually was asked to do for this analysis, so leave me alone!
Now let’s take a look at the mask/goggles/whatever the Hell that is on her face that in no way resembles a cowl or cat ears or anything.
I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to costume redesigns that don’t stay dead-on faithful to the source material, but taking away Catwoman’s ears just crosses the line. It’s like giving Batman a domino mask. I mean, I love domino masks, don’t get me wrong, but he stops being Batman once he doesn’t have bat features. Now, if the approach is to actually not have Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, but only as Selina Kyle, then I am going to leave the theater a very angry Batman fan. Either way, Catwoman or Selina Kyle, the goggle/mask combo pays tribute to the first on-screen Catwomen: Julie Newmar, Ertha Kitt, and Lee Meriwether from the 1960s Batman TV series.
Which, I honestly don’t have a problem with. It’s a harlequin mask style, which is at home in the reality-based Nolan Bat-verse. My only problem is that you can pretty much take the Cooke redesign of cowl with goggles of Catwoman from the page to the screen, and it would look perfect.
See what I mean? This already has the Nolan style feel, and I think Hathaway could bring that style to life on screen. I just hope this is the tease and not the final product. But again, it’s not terrible. It’s actually a really cool, stealth approach to the character, which is nice to see for once. All recent film versions of Catwoman have focused strictly on the sex appeal, and not on what makes Catwoman awesome. Yes, she is a sexy character, but the way she looks isn’t her sole purpose. Do I think that the costume could have been better? Yes, I think the current look of Catwoman in the comics is pretty much perfect in every way, and that it doesn’t need changing. But I’m also taking everything into consideration here.
But if you’re having some reservations about this take on Selina Kyle, think of two things:
1) She’s probably not going to be brought back to life by magical cat powers.
2) The costume doesn’t look like this: