Every key move of Christopher Nolan's newest Batman project has stirred speculation and scrutiny. So Comic Riffs eagerly awaits "fanboy" reaction to this fresh news:
Anne Hathaway has now been cast as Selina Kyle -- Catwoman's alter ego -- for Nolan's
"The Dark Knight Rises,"
Warner Bros. Pictures has just announced.
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Anne Hathaway, who will be a fantastic addition to our ensemble as we complete our story," Nolan said in a statement.
The studio also announced that Tom Hardy [right] ("Inception," "RocknRolla") has been cast to play the '90s-spawned villain Bane. Said Nolan, who directed "Inception": "I am delighted to be working with Tom again and excited to watch him bring to life our new interpretation of one of Batman's most formidable enemies."
Christian Bale, of course, will return for a third time as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Nolan, who wrote the story with David Goyer, will also direct and produce "The Dark Knight Rises," which is scheduled for release July 20, 2012.
As our sister blog Celebritology noted today, Hathaway -- who will co-host this year's Oscars telecast with James Franco -- also reportedly has been cast to play Kurt's lesbian aunt on "Glee." (And fun fact: This won't be the first time Hathaway has had a feline affinity on film; she did voicework for an English-language version of the 2002 animated film "The Cat Returns." )
Michelle Pfeiffer [right] notably played a big-screen, bullwhip-happy Selina Kyle in Tim Burton's 1992 "Batman Returns." In 2004, Halle Berry donned the sensual leather as Patience Phillips in the disappointing "Catwoman."
At a reported 5-foot-8, Hathaway apparently would be Hollywood's tallest Catwoman since the '60s, when Julie Newmar (5-foot-11) and Lee Meriwether (5-foot-8) shared the suit on the campy "Batman" TV series with the incom-purrr-able Eartha Kitt. (For the record, Selina Kyle -- according to DC Comics -- is 5-foot-9.)
Batman creator Bob Kane and Bill Finger co-created the Catwoman character, with Selina Kyle first appearing in "Batman No.1" (1940). And the mutually inspiring relationship between big-screen Batman and the comic-book Caped Crusader comes again full circle: According to lore, Kane said he was partly inspired to create Selina Kyle because of silver-screen bombshell Jean Harlow.
Perhaps it's more than coincidence, then, that Harlow's character in her 1933 film "Dinner at Eight" was named...Kitty.