By Geoff Boucher
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES – Anne Hathaway will play Selina Kyle, the slinky and savage outlaw who is known as Catwoman, in next year’s Christopher Nolan film “The Dark Knight Rises,” according to a press release from Warner Bros.
Tom Hardy, already announced as a cast member, will play Bane, the chemically created brute who first appeared in the comics in 1993 – making him a far “younger” villain for Nolan’s Batman mega-franchise, which has most prominently featured the Joker (who first appeared in 1940), Two-Face (1942), Ras Al-Ghul (1971) and the Scarecrow (1941).
Catwoman – then just called “The Cat” – first appeared in 1940 as the creation of Bob Kane and Bill Finger, and she has brought leather-clad sexual tension to the Batman adventures both on the page and beyond. She was portrayed by Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt and Lee Meriwether on the 1960s television series starring Adam West as the caped crusader, and Michelle Pfeiffer memorably cracked the whip in the role opposite the masked Michael Keaton in Tim Burton’s 1992 film “Batman Returns.” In 2004, Halle Berry starred in the character’s own solo film, “Catwoman,” but the film became an infamous flop at the box office and was jeered by comic-book fans after director Pitof jettisoned years of comic-book lore and character touchstones.
Nolan, in the Warner press release, said: “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.”
Of Hardy, who worked with Nolan on “Inception,” the director said: “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.”
Nolan will direct the film from a screenplay he wrote with his brother, Jonathan Nolan, from a story by Nolan and David S. Goyer. Nolan will also produce the film with his wife and longtime producing partner, Emma Thomas, and Charles Roven. “The Dark Knight Rises” hits theaters on July 20, 2012.