P:R Approved: More Catwoman From “The Dark Knight Rises”

Note: This weekend saw more glimpses of the Catwoman costume as worn by Anne Hathaaway for the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises. Dean’s been calling it “Darwyn Cooke meets Julie Newmar,” and that about sums it up. I’m very interested in the headgear and just how functional it is outside its ornamental pizzazz.  – Chris A.

49 comments on “P:R Approved: More Catwoman From “The Dark Knight Rises”
  1. Godawful.
    How bland and pointless.
    Realistic or not, this must be the worst Catwoman this side of Halle Berry. Nothing could be worse than her outfit. But at least someone had put thought into it, design-wise. All the wrong choices, but still an effort.
    This looks like they haven’t even tried.

  2. It looks great but I’m not 100% certain if this is the final version of the costume. The head piece is a nice throwback to the Julie Newmar piece from the Batman TV show, but I’m not too sure on the high heels. Seem way too impractical for a cat burglar imo.

    Mr. Q

  3. Not as bad as Halle Berry (what could be?) but not as nearly as good as Michelle Pfeiffer. I’m disappointed in this as it’s just sooooo bland. Looks like they were going for a sleek special forces look and slapped on those platform heels and mask. The heels kill it for me, they just don’t work. She looks so unbalanced that she might topple over in these shots. Heels worked better on the Michelle Pfeiffer because she had that dominatrix thing going on, and they were just heels not those ridiculous platform things. This Catwoman should be wearing either ninja slippers or combat boots.

    Still, I bet the movie rocks.

  4. What really kills this look for me are the shots of her standing next to the Batman costume. They don’t look like two costumes from the same movie. One is hyper-detailed with lines going every which way, and then you have her in black leather and thigh-high boots. It DOES look bland. Still, I still put a lot of faith in Christopher Nolan. He really hasn’t let me down yet. I imagine it will probably work on film.

  5. After mulling it over for a few minutes, I like it. Looks like Catwoman in the Nolan-verse anyway. It’s no great re-imagining or a mind-blowing new take on the character. I think I’d prefer some kind of hood, even if it were down 95% of the time and I think they should do something different with her hair. That’s what throws it off for me I think.

  6. There are rumours that the headpiece, if you look closely, is in fact the shape of the goggles we’ve seen before [the earlier press shot from being on the batpod] being pushed back up on her head.

    Just a thought.

  7. Dean summed it up perfectly. I’m okay with everything beneath the neck and above the ankles, outside of that is where it loses me. I mean you mix the practicality of the Darwyn Cooke inspired catsuit and then mix that up with 60′s Go-go dancer heels? I don’t get it.

    The domino mask is interesting though. Is this Catwoman a self-styled Robin Hood? Oh and as much as it is killing me to say this because I love her oh so much, but a different hairstyle would’ve been best for this Anne Hathaway in that suit. In the Nolanverse ,where everything is practical, that hair is anything but for crime-fighting. Again, this heavy 60′s influence I don’t understand.

    Overall, there are elements I like and elements I don’t like. Guess we’ll have to wait still the film hits the big screen for the final verdict.

  8. I think it works. I’d have prefered something closer to the comics with a heads up display in the lenses of the goggles but I can deal. I like idea of the goggles going on top of the head to make the ears, but they also come down over the mask (nice nod to the 60′s Batman show) to get the look we first saw in the official pic. I have faith in Nolan. Remember how people felt about the Joker when the pics first surfaced.

  9. Yeah, the more I look at this the more I think it’s just terrible. Almost nothing about it says “cat burglar” aside from the dark color. Stiletto heels, the long loose hair, the placement of the belt, it all seems both bland and clunky. And while Hathaway is a beautiful lady, she doesn’t have the physique of someone you could imagine, say, climbing up the side of a building.

    Maybe in this version she’s more of a hacker?

  10. Yup. I get the mask, in so much as the goggles would theoretically clamp onto it. Gotta have some place for the high tech gadgetry to go in the headgear, right? But the heels and the hair kill it for me. No point in the shoes, at all. And the hair, in every shot I’ve seen since the stills started coming out, looks entirely horrible. It’s simply there to differentiate her from Halle Berry’s short hair, I think. The least they could have done is give her a scrunchie.

    Also, as a manly nerdy man, it makes me sad to realize that not only do I know how to spell “scrunchie”, my computer does too.

  11. Troy:
    What really kills this look for me are the shots of her standing next to the Batman costume.They don’t look like two costumes from the same movie.One is hyper-detailed with lines going every which way, and then you have her in black leather and thigh-high boots.It DOES look bland.Still, I still put a lot of faith in Christopher Nolan.He really hasn’t let me down yet.I imagine it will probably work on film.

    That third image is like the greatest picture of all time, though. It looks like he’s telling her some weird anecdote or something.

    Troy:
    What really kills this look for me are the shots of her standing next to the Batman costume.They don’t look like two costumes from the same movie.One is hyper-detailed with lines going every which way, and then you have her in black leather and thigh-high boots.It DOES look bland.Still, I still put a lot of faith in Christopher Nolan.He really hasn’t let me down yet.I imagine it will probably work on film.

    That third image is like the greatest picture of all time, though. He looks like he’s telling some weird anecdote or something.

  12. When I saw the first Joker pics, I cheered, because I found it a great take on the theme. This however (yes, I realized the gimmick with the goggles, but lowering the glasses over the mask is just pointless; keep the glasses on AS the mask, or leave the mask out.) looks like “Oh, what can we do to have ears without having ears?” And they came up with sillily shaped goggles…
    It’s a little like Kakashi from Naruto. If you remove the mask, you find – a mask!

    As for the hair: Should have been cut to cover her real ears. Catwoman should look like she has cat’s ears, not four ears. Too retro this way.

  13. Not liking it. The Darwin Cooke aspects are great, but the Julie Newmar ones give me pause. And those pics make her look like a plastic barbie doll walking around. I’m more than willing to wait for an official pic or the actual movie, but as of right now, I’m not a fan. The Darwin Cooke costume was perfect for the movies as is, goggles and all.

  14. Is it possible this is a proto-Catwoman look? Like the not-quite-Batsuit-with-the-ski-mask outfit in Batman Begins? And maybe then she’ll get more sensible footwear half-way through the movie? And also something to tuck her hair into (if for nothing else, so that it doesn’t set off all the laser sensors by having it fly all over the place). And maybe something that also fixes how the mask does nothing to disguise her identity one bit?

    Or at least, that’s what I’m hoping it turns out to be..

  15. I find it odd, and slightly disappointing, that they went more Adam West than Darwyn Cooke with the design. However, I’m fairly certain that in the context of the film I won’t care. The batpod from the last movie generated a similar response from me and I was sold the moment it emerged from the Tumbler, so I’m excited to see it in action.

    Don’t approve of the heels though.

  16. Every time I begin a redesign the primary goal is to provide function to the established semiotic form. How can that which was purely ornamental become a working function?

    The NVD goggles flipping up to become cat ears is genius design. It’s near transcendent. The costume’s focus on black silhouette over fussy design features is measured choice and one that follows the function of a catburglar.
    I will also defend where the design becomes more outre. The hair and heels. Selina Kyle is an extraordinarily skilled and exceptionally smart person with a self destructive need for validation. It’s the exact opposite of what a catburglar should be, and thus her own fatal flaw.
    The “unrealistic” heels become a showboating handicap, and the hair a defiant dare and conceit to vanity. The rejection of functional is true to character, and thus true to Nolan’s comicbook “reality”.

    And she looks like Darwyn Cooke meets Julie Newmar! How awesome is that!

  17. I like it. I like the idea of the headgear/night vision goggly things. They’re functional and cat-like without being blatant cat “ears”. I’m not crazy about the high heels, but I’m also not worried about them. Everything in the Nolan universe is pretty multi-functional so it’s likely they’re just boots until she needs to fight and say…kick someone with spikey heel blades or something.

  18. I think there may be a bit of “proto-Catwoman” to this. Selina after all does not have access to the same resources as Bruce. I’m also wondering if she’s a continuation of the Batman-inspired vigilantes we saw at the beginning of TDK. Regarding the hair: maybe its a wig to hid her identity further?

    Not crazy about it, but not a hater, either. To Michelle Pheifer’s costume here would not have fit.

  19. I like it,it’s simple and iconic, i don’t think that stilettos are functional for a thief for roof jumping BUT…but we have to see how Catwoman character will be reinvented in DC Nolanverse first to judje,as ever i totally HATE BatIronman,too much tech and busy his costume.

  20. Daniel Heard:
    Every time I begin a redesign the primary goal is to provide function to the established semiotic form. How can that which was purely ornamental become a working function?

    But that means rejecting the entire Batman-premise. Gotham attracts freaks and mentally deranged criminals, so much that it needed a Batman to keep them in check.
    And those freaks don’t care about “function”. It’s pure “style over substance”, it’s aiming for people’s emotions, not their brains.
    Catwoman should ooze sex and lasciviousness, elegance and egoistic greed. That’s what made her adopt the cat as her totem (there have been more than enough treatments on super-persons adopting animal totems as a general rule, not only Bats and Spidey). But this design screams “Heck, how do we turn this nice girl from next door into a cat?”
    They couldn’t go with a mere costume after the disaster of Halle Berry’s movie.
    So let’s just put her in a black catsuit, add the high boots from BTAS and build this goggle-thingie that would in a real battle make a perfect handle to grab her head and ram her into the next wall.

    ‘sides, Dean: you’re defending this design in the best possible way. If it pleases you, then things are “functional”. And if need be, then the opposite is suddenly perfect.

    One could argue the other way round:
    The cat’s ears should not be functional. They are an expression of her personal totem, and should be featured prominently, as part of her personality. The boots, however, are just impractical for a peron who does not want to make a sound. Footwear should be practical.
    Long hair is not by itself sexy, btw. Plus: cats don’t have manes.

  21. We know nothing about the context of these shots. (well, we know it’s a scene with Batman, Commissioner Gordon and Catwoman, but not much else.) So who’s to say why she’s wearing heels?

    Earlier pictures of Catwoman riding the Batpod (that’s some sentence!), showed her wearing wedge heels –

    http://files.g4tv.com/ImageDb3/279795_S/the-dark-knight-rises-reveals-anne-hathaway-as-catwoman.jpg

    Maybe it’s early doors of their interaction and they’ll be a joke about how impractical the heels are?

    As others have said, I’m not too worried. And I like the look. Especially the flip down goggles/ears. It harkens to a stylised cat-burglar look. If that’s what she is in the movie, I’ve not heard that’s definitely her role here.

    Michelle Pfieffer’s catwoman stemmed from a put upon secretary being pushed out of a window by her boss and receiving head trauma, leading to a split personality and a costume that played up her new, yet twisted, “Girl power” angle. It was a fetish look and more like a ‘skin’ for her alterego. She also wore stilettos. Not exactly catwoman from the comics, but an iconic movie image.

    Halle Berry’s Catwoman? I’m happy to say I’ve never seen it!

  22. its ok its a throwback to the old school 60′s batman show but at least it not as bad as Halle berrys catwoman costume

  23. Freelancer:
    But that means rejecting the entire Batman-premise. Gotham attracts freaks and mentally deranged criminals, so much that it needed a Batman to keep them in check. And those freaks don’t care about “function”. It’s pure “style over substance”, it’s aiming for people’s emotions, not their brains.

    No it doesn’t. Catwoman is not a member of Gotham’s freaks. She’s a thief with an altruistic excuse for her actions and a flair for the dramatic, but she is not a psychotic (Burton created that story for his film).

    ‘sides, Dean: you’re defending this design in the best possible way. If it pleases you, then things are “functional”. And if need be, then the opposite is suddenly perfect.

    I’m Daniel, and yes that must be very frustrating.

    One could argue the other way round: The cat’s ears should not be functional. They are an expression of her personal totem, and should be featured prominently, as part of her personality. The boots, however, are just impractical for a peron who does not want to make a sound. Footwear should be practical. Long hair is not by itself sexy, btw. Plus: cats don’t have manes.

    Yes you could, but you don’t have to. Long hair might not be sexy by itself, but it is meant to be in this case, and actually cats do have manes. Thats where we get the term manes from.
    Love ya “Freelancer”!

  24. Sorry Daniel, but I’m siding on Freelancers stance here. I redesign supers much like you: with a form follows function attitude, given supers already have a form, then redesigning them is more about finding functions to the established aesthetic. The mask and years do this perfectly, but they better have a good reason (function) for those stilettos (shock absorption, giro stabilizers, whatever, it better be good) cause cats are all about comfort. This just smells of some more of Hollywood misogyny.

  25. My biggest problem with this is, honestly, the mask/goggles/ears combo. Yes, the shoes are impractical, and I’d like to see her in flats or wedges, but they don’t bug me the same way the goggles do. A lot of people have already pointed out the oddness of them, but here’s my take on it:

    How often does she wear the goggles? If she has them down for most of the film, then in those scenes there is absolutely nothing to visually show that this is a woman who dresses up like a cat to steal things. But if she keeps them up through most of the film to give that visual hint of cat woman, then the goggles, they do nothing. The concept itself is cool, but it turns into a problem of ‘nice visual cue, but impractical’ versus ‘practical, but no visual cue’ that will be playing through my mind in every shot she’s in, and it just leaves me scratching my head as to why they even went that direction.

  26. Sorry, Daniel. Typing error on my side.
    You may call me Lance, if you prefer.
    Back to topic:
    “She’s a thief with an altruistic excuse for her actions and a flair for the dramatic, but she is not a psychotic (Burton created that story for his film).”

    What you list there is her new origin, no better than that of Burton. The original concept of Catwoman had her as a “normal” cat burglar with a slight cat theme. But we’ve seen her grow obsessed with cats and cat-related crimes over the years. And while she always wavered in her criminal dedication and reformed several times, she still fits perfectly into Batman’s menagerie of freaks and psychopaths. All the ideas of her having an altruistic background were new additions to make her being Batman’s love interest more “believable”, thus watering the concept of Batman trying to reform her.

    You are not capable of “frustrating” me. I’m amused, and I commended you.

    Well, I see my point as more valid than yours, naturally. So I’ll stay with my point of view that the goggles are off. Especially since – when she’s wearing the goggles, there’s absolutely nothing cat-related left. It would feel like Batman taking off his ears.
    How would you know at this stage of production that the long hair is intended to be sexy, and not just to better discern this Catwoman from the previous iterations? Which seems most probable for me.
    Only male lions have manes, aside from horses and a few canidae. So it’s Lionwoman now?

  27. Are people complaining this is bland? It’s Catwoman there are few places you can take it at least there are ears now

  28. Batman has non functional ears, Catwoman should be allowed to have regular ears too. To me this is Nolan eye rolling his embarrassment about making a Batman movie. That’s why these movies all fail for me, they aren’t really Batman movies in spirit.

    Or are Batman’s ears antenna so he doesn’t have to pay for wifi at the airport?

    Also is his “functional” suit knife and dog proof yet?

  29. Don’t mind the ears/goggles, but think she should really have went with the short black hair look of Cooke’s catwoman, but they may have leaned away from that to really separate her from halle berry.

    And heals are never practical. for some reason I picture walking through a costume ball with this outfit then the heels pop off, she flips the goggles down and robs the expensive art in the next room.

  30. I suppose there’s a chance that the heels are not an actual part of the costume but are there for posture/height reasons in certain shots?

  31. @Mario Silva: High heels are not necessarily misogynistic. During the 1950′s when a dominating patriarchy made sexually provocative footwear (despite it’s impracticality and health detriments) de rigueur, you could absolutely make that claim. Since the 1960′s, and the feminist movement to reject masculine oppression in the way women present themselves, the high heel has become a symbol (to some) of female empowerment. One can choose to wear high heels as a way to show off. The Catwoman in this movie might be saying to the Batman “anything you can do, I can do better in heels.”

    @Lance: Pleasure to meet you, happy to amuse. We’ll have to agree to disagree on her “freak menagerie” status. While I don’t know if the production consciously intends it (though very little design in a Nolan film is accidental), long hair is a classic symbol of female sexuality. They have even written fairy-tales about this particular fetish. There is also the added visual interest of movement. That perfectly straight long hair will whip back an forth in a fight, and billow when she rides her stolen bat-pod. Movement on film is “sexy”.

  32. avantsweater: Batman has non functional ears, Catwoman should be allowed to have regular ears too . . . .
    Or are Batman’s ears antenna so he doesn’t have to pay for wifi at the airport?

    Actually yes. In the first movie you see him using a sound amplifying device with an antenna leading to his hears to spy on mobsters. The cowl is built around the antenna. In the second film you see him on top of a building using it to scan the city . . . for crime.

  33. @Daniel: Well, what we will also have to agree on, then, is a strange mixture of incompatible symbolism. If you consider that you are billing the high heels to a modern perception of women, and yet call the long hair a “classic” symbol (I think short hair is the recent trend for “sexy”), it’s an unbalanced design. And that explains, maybe, why opinions on her are so split. It’s neither fish nor fowl.
    Batman’s armored look was a bold and for the most part convincing move. I miss that kind of courage in Catwoman.
    My guess is that we’ll see her as Batwoman in the end of the movie, as Batman’s legacy, and hence the long hair, for the classic Batgirl-look. Add a little more black rubber to the mask, and: voila!
    Should be something like that, since there’s been all that talk about closing the circle, and “getting an idea about what will come after the end” from Nolan.

  34. Daniel Heard:
    @Mario Silva: High heels are not necessarily misogynistic. Since the 1960′s, and the feminist movement to reject masculine oppression in the way women present themselves, the high heel has become a symbol (to some) of female empowerment. One can choose to wear high heels as a way to show off. The Catwoman in this movie might be saying to the Batman “anything you can do, I can do better in heels.”

    Sure sure, i would accept that IF in both american comics and movies high heels and long hair weren’t the norm for sexy. But they are. And that women empowerment card is overused just to keep the tradition.

  35. @Freelancer: No lets just agree to disagree. I see nothing incompatible or anachronistic about high heels and long hair being considered sexy from a mainstream early 20th Century, regardless of fads.
    But whatevs. I like it, you don’t. Done.

  36. I think this pic may confirm the goggles flipping up to become cat ears thing and I think that’s pretty cool.

    http://tinyurl.com/3ceh6jx

    The heels are just ridiculous. I too hope this in a proto-Catwoman. Maybe she’s trying to impress Batman and is overly cocky with the 1st attempt to. Those heels just do NOT fit in the reality based Nolan world. I’m not liking the look of this but sometimes these things don’t work in full-body still shots. It could work better in motion. That 1st pic especially in horrible in my opinion. She looks like a clumsy girl trying to walk in heels. Not a graceful cat. And no whip so far… if you can embrace those heels we should just go all in and embrace the whip!

    The wedge heels we saw before were of the stunt double so I don’t think they mean anything either way.

  37. I do hope we get to see her whip in some shape or form during the movie. As for the rest of her look, I don’t really have a problem with this costume. Personally, I think the goggles/cat ears-thing is pretty sweet, and aside from the heels, she looks like a cat burglar. The heels don’t bother me.

    I have faith in Nolan and his crew.

  38. Did anybody else think about–and make comparisons to–the appearance of Black Widow in Iron Man 2? Both are mainly black bodysuits. Yet despite the similarities, the Black Widow design just works, whereas the Catwoman design arguably doesn’t.

    Its applications of the character’s signature design elements are similarly sparse (bracers and black widow symbol on belt vs. cat mask/ears), but on the Black Widow it works–for lack of another verb–so much better. The piping on the bodysuit makes it feel sleeker. The fingerless gloves add some attitude. The flats are sensible. Everything ties together, and so subsequently the look is instantly evocative of the Black Widow yet rooted in the “real world”. Furthermore it is sexy without being vulgar (more beating of the dead horse that is the Halle Berry Catwoman more than the DKR one). On the other hand, the DKR Catwoman looks bland. Yes, perhaps individual elements are great on the DKR Catwoman, notably the goggles/cat ears, and it’s interesting that it goes all the way back to Newmar’s Catwoman as inspiration, but as a whole.. it just looks bland. Bland wouldn’t be so bad, if it were done on purpose to look stealthy, but that clearly wasn’t the intent given the thigh-highs and stilettos. It looks bland.. bland, and impractical.

  39. Yeah, a 100 lb woman from the upper eastside can easily take on a mob of crazed mercenaries. so believable. Wrong actRESS, and she should not have been the one who finished Bane. WTF? That was Batman’s job. IF he couldn’t even do that, then he didn’t even need to be in the movie. This film should have been called Kill Bill pt. 3, the rise of catwoman.

Comments are closed.