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Anne Hathaway’s “Dark Knight Rises” Catwoman: How does it compare to previous versions?

Anne Hathaway’s “Dark Knight Rises” Catwoman: How does it compare to previous versions? (photo)

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From the campy 1960s-era version of Catwoman to the version of the character seen in the upcoming “Batman: Arkham City” video game, the on-screen incarnations of Gotham’s feline-friendly burglar have changed quite a bit over the years. Today we got our first look at Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in “The Dark Knight Rises,” and given the character’s long history in the comics world, this first image offers a lot to ponder for Bat-fans.

In order to get some perspective on what Hathaway’s take on the character may or may not share with its predecessors, we’ve put together a list of some of Catwoman’s most notable on-screen iterations and compared them to what we’ve seen so far from “The Dark Knight Rises.”


Julie Newmar & Eartha Kitt “Batman” (1966)

Both Newmar and Kitt sported the same Catwoman costume on the 1960s live-action “Batman” television series, and it’s not surprising that Christopher Nolan appears to be distancing his version of Selina Kyle from one of the character’s more campy iterations. While there is a bit of a shine to Hathaway’s outfit, it’s nowhere near the metallic sparkle of Newmar and Kitt’s slinky costume, which was actually constructed by Newmar herself.


Michelle Pfeiffer, “Batman Returns” (1992)

When Tim Burton brought Batman back for a sequel, he introduced a new, live-action version of Catwoman, too. Pfeiffer’s take on Catwoman was very much in the Burton style: a slightly mad, disturbingly dangerous, and ultra-sexy version of the character. Her costume was composed of skin-tight vinyl that covered most of her body (but left little to the imagination), and only portions of her face were seen under a cat-eared mask. As expected, Hathaway’s look is significantly less S&M (and more H&M) than Pfeiffer’s take on the character.


“Batman: The Animated Series” (1992) – Voiced by Adrienne Barbeau

Catwoman’s costume in this fan-favorite series retained the form-fitting, one-piece suit she’d been sporting in the comics and on the big screen (“Batman Returns” was released just a few months before the cartoon premiered). However, instead of shiny vinyl, this animated Catwoman robbed from the rich while wearing a dull gray costume with black boots, gloves, and portions of her mask. She also retained the whip her character has wielded from her early days. Though this look is a little closer to Hathaway’s Selina Kyle, it’s still a far cry from what we’ve seen of the “Dark Knight Rises” actress thus far.


Halle Berry, “Catwoman” (2004)

What to say about this number? Berry’s Razzie-winning turn as Catwoman invoked no small amount of criticism, and her costume was by far the most skin-revealing of all the the on-screen iterations. Once again reverting back to the bondage-queen motif, Berry’s look in this film included a bizarre helmet/mask combination and clawed gloves, with the latter being the only truly notable nod to the character’s past costumes. While there were probably a lot of people hoping to see Hathaway in a costume resembling Berry’s “Catwoman” ensemble, everything we’ve seen so far – and let’s face it, common sense — says not to expect any nods to this low point in the character’s history.


“The Batman” (2004) – voiced by Gina Gershon

Returning to the one-piece, form-fitting look of “Batman: The Animated Series,” this version of Catwoman sports a black, skin-tight costume and mask with massive “ears” and large googles that make her look even more cat-like than previous iterations. She also carries her whip on her lower back, making it appear as if she has a tail. While this version of the character also differs greatly from what we’ve seen of Hathaway’s Catwoman, the “Dark Knight rises” photo released today does show her with a pair of high-tech goggles. That’s pretty much where the similarities end, though.


“Batman: The Brave and the Bold” (2008)

Created as a nostalgic throwback to Batman’s campier days, this animated series featured a Catwoman more in line with the character’s Golden Age design. Instead of blacks or grays (or shiny vinyl), the “Brave and the Bold” Catwoman dressed in bright purple, and instead of head-to-toe spandex, she wore a long skirt. One thing she does have in common with Hathaway’s Catwoman (and the Newmar/Kitt versions of the character) is that she doesn’t hide away her long hair underneath her mask.


“Batman: Arkham City” (2011) – voiced by Grey DeLisle

Probably the closest approximation to what we’ll see Hathaway wear as Catwoman in “The Dark Knight Rises” is the version of the character seen in early images from the “Batman: Arkham City” video game. A more utilitarian, military design is the key to the game’s take on Catwoman, and it was inspired by the grittier tone of her comic counterpart these days. Less sexpot and more cat burglar, this version of Catwoman is still easy on the eyes, but also comes equipped with high-tech gear like we see Hathaway wielding in the most recent “Dark Knight Rises” image. Heck, if you look closely, you can even see that Hathaway has a zipper pull right up by the neckline of her outfit, much like her counterpart in “Arkham City” — though the latter spends most of her time with it unzipped.


What do you think of Hathaway’s Catwoman costume so far? Which Catwoman was your favorite over the years? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.