The many lives of Catwoman (+photos)

Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises. Photo / Supplied
Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises. Photo / Supplied

As the latest incarnation of feline femme fatale Catwoman, Anne Hathaway slipped tentatively into the black leather catsuit to play the wily thief and love interest of Batman.

"The first time I was in it, Christian [Bale] came out in the Batman suit and then Tom [Hardy] came out as Bane [the villain], and I just got a chill and I remember thinking, 'This is going to be extraordinary'. And then because I'm neurotic, I thought, 'Or we are going to look like rejects from Hollywood Boulevard'."

It was her most physically demanding role to date, Hathaway says, but she had a blast.

"I got to learn how to fight, and it wasn't about trying to look a certain way, I actually had to get to a place where I could believably defend myself against guys three times the size of me. That was her style, she actually did that. The day we finished the rooftop fight was one of the happiest experiences I've ever had as an actor."

And she did it all in high heels.

"It's part of being a woman. You just figure it out. Devil Wears Prada was really good training for that though. I kind of ran up and down Manhattan. So, I just ran up and down Gotham."

Catwoman first appeared in Batman comics more than 70 years ago and she's had more than nine lives since...

1940: Catwoman (real name Selina Kyle) appears in first Batman comic as The Cat, a saucy jewel thief. She was created by Batman creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger to be both adversary and love interest for their hero. Initially she did not wear a catwoman costume, but in her next appearance she wore a cat mask, then a dress, a hood, ears and, a little later on, her trademark bodysuit.

1950: Batman #62 revealed that Selina Kyle was a flight attendant who turned to crime after suffering a blow to the head during a plane crash. However, she later admits she made up the story as a way out of her past life of crime.

1966: Actress Julie Newmar plays Catwoman in Batman TV series starring Adam West as the caped crusader. In a film version of the series, Lee Meriwether plays Catwoman.

1967: Singer Eartha Kitt takes over for third and final series of the show.

1970s: The series of comics from DC comics' "Golden Age version" of Catwoman (taking place on Earth II, a parallel earth) follows the story of how she gives up her life of crime in the 50s and has a baby. The father could be Bruce Wayne.

1977: A small Catwoman role in The New Adventures of Batman animated series.

1986: Writer Frank Miller revises Catwoman's origins in Batman: Year One in which she works as a prostitute but to break away from her pimp and the crime around her she learns martial arts.

1992: Featured in Batman: The Animated Series voiced by American actress Adrienne Jo Barbeau. Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns plays a supervillain who joins forces with the Penguin to take Batman down. Romance sparks between Batman/Bruce Wayne and Catwoman/Selina Kyle.

1993: Catwoman gets her own comic book series in which she is generally depicted as an international cat burglar.

2000-2002: Along with Batgirl, Poison Ivy and other characters, Catwoman (also voiced by Barbeau) stars in webisode animation series Gotham Girls about the women of Gotham City.

2004: Halle Berry stars as Patience Phillips in Catwoman. It's a box office flop and Berry's Catwoman bears little resemblance to the comic version. In it Phillips gains superpowers (something Catwoman doesn't traditionally have) after a near-death experience.

The Batman animated TV series also screens. Catwoman voiced by actress Gina Gershon.

2008-2011: Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated TV series with Catwoman voiced by Nika Futterman.

2012: Anne Hathaway plays Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises.

-TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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