Anne Hathaway and Director Christopher Nolan Discuss Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises
12.29.11 by Ryan
From the beginning, it looked like Anne Hathaway wasn't going to be the typical version of Catwoman in director Christopher Nolan's third and final Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. The first official photo of Hathaway in costume as Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, surfaced in August, showing her ride one of Batman's motorcycles while wearing high-tech goggles, which later were revealed to appear like cat ears when flipped up. In an interview with The LA Times, Hathaway talked about the practicality of her costume.
I love the costume. I love the costume because everything has a purpose, nothing is in place for fantasy’s sake, and that’s the case with everything in Christopher Nolan’s Gotham City.
Whether Hathaway's Catwoman is friend or foe in the sequel is an unknown so far. In the movie's first trailer, Hathaway's Selina Kyle warns Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) that "a storm is coming" and that "when it ends, you're all going to wonder how you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us" — which doesn't exactly seem like a friendly gesture.
According to Hathaway, her character lives by her own code, while referencing past Batman villains. This again seems to suggest that Catwoman isn't someone Batman can trust, even if Hathaway admits that "Gotham City is full of grace.”
You look at Heath [Ledger]’s performance as the Joker, there was a lot of madness there but there was also a grace and he had a code there. There’s a lot of belief and codes of behavior in Gotham and my character has one, too. A lot of the way she moves and interacts with people is informed by her worldview. Chris has given us all such complex, defined, sophisticated worldviews that it’s just a matter of doing your homework and getting underneath the character’s skin.
Catwoman hasn't ever been a hero in Batman's history, per se, though their often romantic association blurs the line between villain or trusted companion. In a scene description provided by The LA Times, which we warn will provide some possibly major spoilers (so skip ahead if you don't want to spoil the movie), the implication is that Catwoman could even be working with the villain Bane (Tom Hardy). SPOILERS BELOW:
Gotham City is a war zone. A ruthless madman named Bane has ripped away any sense of security and the citizens, haggard and clutching suitcases with refugee anxiety, sit behind barbed wire waiting to see what will blow up next. A hooded prisoner is dragged in — it’s Bruce Wayne, one of Gotham’s most famous faces – but the eyes of the crowd go instead to the woman in black standing at the top of the staircase.
"Sorry to spoil things, boys, but Bane needs these guys himself," says sultry Selina Kyle, played here by actress Anne Hathaway, navigating the steps with stiletto heels that, on closer inspection, turn out to have serrated edges capable of leaving nasty claw marks in a fight. She also wears high-tech goggles that, when not in use, flip up and resemble feline ears.
END OF SPOILERS Nolan, as usual, was completely lacking in spoilers when he spoke to the Times about Hathaway's work as Selina Kyle.
She had something very important we needed for this character — she’s an incredibly talented but naturalistic actress, which makes her great in film. She also has terrific theatrical skill so she can project a persona and there’s a big aspect of the character that is a persona. She’s a multi-layered character and we needed a great actress that could rise to that challenge.
However Nolan is planning to use the Catwoman character, it's clear that it won't be done the way the character has been used before, if Ledger's Joker is any indication. Nolan wrote the script for The Dark Knight Rises with his brother Jonathan Nolan, based on a story conceived by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer.
Returning cast members include Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Nestor Carbonell as the mayor of Gotham City and Gary Oldman as Commissioner James Gordon. New additions include Marion Cotillard as Wayne Enterprises board member Miranda Tate, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as policeman John Blake, Alon Aboutboul as a "mad scientist," Juno Temple as Holly Robinson and Josh Pence as the young Ra's al Ghul.