Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty.......Wanna be my Catwoman?

So. The latest news coming out of Hollywood is that Chris Nolan has cast Anne Hathaway (ie the Hottie pictured here: ) for his upcoming 'The Dark Knight Rises' Batman flick due in 2012. I like Ms Hathaway. I think she's awesome. But to think: Princess Mia (from the Princess DIaries if you're male and single) as one of the most iconic comicbook anti-heroes? Has Chris Nolan finally jumped the shark?

Volumes have already been written in cyberspace as to just who in Hollywood should play 'The Cat' to Christian Bale's 'Bat'. Its a role desired by every woman under the age of forty. And it's been linked in the past few months to everyone from Rachel Wiesz to Meagan Fox. For my dough, I would have LOVED to see Ms Weisz slink around seductively a la Cat. But my expectations must be tempered by my not knowing just how exactly Director Nolan plans to reimagine and reinvent the character. Still, feel free to respond with YOUR CHOICES to play catwoman.

Surely, you'd recall the brilliant job that he and David Goyer did with the Joker (I refuse to even look at the Jack Nicholson version now). So, I'm just 'dying' to know what he has in mind this time around. Hathaway has built a career on 'safe' choices and her closest dalliances into the dark side would have been in Havoc, Brokeback Mountain and Rachel Getting Married - and with the exception of the latter, there is little evidence of the dramatic depth and breadth of a more seasoned actor. I have no doubt however that she'll look great in the costume - provided of course that Goyer / Nolan don't choose to go another way with Catwoman this time around.

Ahhhhh, the elusive woman in the leather suit. Not the easiest look to pull off mind you. But to some, the most seductive creature on earth. Hey, I'll be the first to admit that I still have dreams about Kate Beckinsale in Underworld - and I would pay to see her bedecked as Selene one more time if the studios insist. :) But for now, this blog intends to honour those very special women who have donned the suit in times past. Big shoes for Anne Hathaway to fill but certainly not a big suit.

  1. Julie Newmar (Batman - The TV Series c 1965)
For many of a past generation, Julie Newmar was the quintessential Catwoman. Not the most famous of celebrity names. And it certainly doesnt help when you have to compete with wooden acting and campy plot twists, but Julie baby, you sure knew how to work that suit!

2. Eartha Kitt (Batman - The TV Series c 1965)

As was often the case with episodic television in the sixties, actors were routinely replaced even in the case of an established character. Case in point - the change from Julie Newmar to Eartha Kitt in Season Three. Not only did actor change in this case, but so did her disposition towards the protagonist. (I suspect in order to avoid the scandal of a mixed race superhero couple.) Eartha Kitt may not have 'owned' the 'CatSuit' in the manner that Halle Berry would four decades later, but she certainly had the voice down pat! Her sexy purrrrring was certainly tailor-made for the character and created a new benchmark for pillow-talk for generations to come.

3. Lee Meriweather ( Batman - The Movie; 1966)

Batman got his first chance at the Box Office in 1966 and with it, much of the already established cast WITH THE EXCEPTION of Julie Newmar, who was unavailable, and was replaced by former Miss America, Lee Meriweather. Though she filled the suit and the part well, Ms Meriweather is often the most overlooked of the early Catwomen and due to her similar appearance is often mistaken with Julie Newmar.

4. Halle Berry (Catwoman; 2004)

As a movie, Catwoman called to mind two important questions: the first, how do you FUCK up a franchise as promising as this one especially when you have the beautiful Halle Berry headlining and the weight and support of the Warner machine behind it? And secondly, how HOT is Halle Berry? The movie may be an injustice to this Oscar winning actress - but she sure as hell does this costume Justice. Meeeeeoooow!

5. And the winner is.......Michelle Pfieffer (Batman Returns; 1992)

Admittedly, she played the part just a little bit grimier, darker, vulnerable and felinesque than the rest. But for me, Michelle Pfieffer is Catwoman. Whether she was licking Michael Keaton's batface or mending her home-made suit, she possessed an awkward sexiness that endears her even now. A damned sexy woman. And like Helen and the fall of Troy - the first Batman movie franchise couldnt quite recover after this.