1/19/11

Anne Hathaway as Catwoman: Yay or Nay?

I was just wondering the other day if Nolan would finally bring some female strength to the screen for the next Batman movie. After all, the DC Universe, specifically the world of Gotham City, only has about a billion butt-kicking action heroines to choose from.

Today it was announced on Moviefone (and eight trillion other websites...my goodness but I tend to favor hyperbole today) that Anne Hathaway will play the role of Selina Kyle, aka, Catwoman.

Personally, I think it's a great bit of casting, especially when we stop to consider the fact that Nolan really focuses on characterization and motivation, not just costumes and a comic-book tone. In keeping with his pattern of looking for performers that can actually perform and not just look good in a suit, I think his choice makes perfect sense.

(No, I absolutely will not use any cat puns. You know, "purr-fect". Someone has to draw the line...the internet may implode today from the sheer amount of puns flying around. We shall also not speak of the Catwoman-who-shant-be-named. You know who I mean.)

My fears? That Nolan will relegate Kyle to her true identity and we'll have to watch her origin story take a long and winding road that will only lead to a glorious reveal at the end of the movie. After all, his series has been all about the origins of the Dark Knight and his various villains.

To be honest with you, Catwoman's glory has all but eluded the big-screen. She's fabulous in the comic books, especially in more recent series like Sirens of Gotham. But just like Tomb Raider, she's been consistently controversial. Is she a feminist masthead or a sexist exploitation? Well, like everything else in the world, it depends on who is writing, drawing and portraying her.

I liked Michelle Pfeiffer's portrayal from Tim Burton's highly stylized version and I also love all the old kitschy Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt versions. I trust this Batman franchise with a new vision for a timeless character. Comic book characters are like Sherlock Holmes and so many other pop-culture icons that are meant to be seen again and again. To me, a figure that begs to be brought to the screen time and time again just doesn't worry me too much. Because the same pressure isn't there to "get it right". This will just be a different version of Catwoman, and I have faith that it will be a good one.

Of course, the real Catwoman lives on my bookshelf in my box of comics. Maybe that's why I'm not so worried...they can do whatever they want with her on film. Catwoman on film is like Santa Claus at the mall...we all know she's not the real one.

In case it wasn't clear, that's a "yay" from me.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was worried when I first heard the news but then I remembered her performance in Rachel Getting Married. Hathaway is a good actresses even though I don't usually go for the types of movies she's in. I think she's capable of creating an interesting version of Catwoman.

--Josh

xoxoxoe said...

I think you're perfectly clear (notice how I didn't say "purr-fect?) My first reaction was "NO!", but I think that's because I like the character so much. After thinking about it, I actually agree that Hathaway will probably be very good in her version of Catwoman, which, as you intimate, will not be the last, as interpretations of Batman can and will happening for a long time to come. And it could have been much, much worse - Scarlett Johansen, e.g.

Daniel said...

I would actually be surprised if Nolan took all movie to create the reveal.

The main reason is that it's leave an open plot thread and Nolan has been very adamant about this being the end of his trilogy.

I'd expect something closer to what he did with The Scarecrow, we meet the character once the alter ego has been established, albeit early in the development.

I'm very interested to see how it all plays out, it's an intresting choice with Bane in the mix.