'Dark Knight Rises': Catwoman's Transformation Through the Years (PHOTOS)

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With Christopher Nolan's final Batman installment -- The Dark Knight Rises -- in theaters, comic book fans have been buzzing about Oscar-nominated director's take on one of the series' sexiest villains, Catwoman.

Nolan certainly raised plenty of eyebrows when he cast Anne Hathaway, 29, as Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises, and he made fans sweat a little more when photos of her high-tech catsuit and mask emerged on the internet.

Since 2004's less-than-stellar Catwoman, many feared that Hollywood filmmakers would no longer be able to do the iconic character justice.

So, what are the critics saying about Hathaway's Catwoman?

Recent reviews of The Dark Knight Rises have been giving the actress a thumbs up for her performance.

"Anne Hathaway plays one of the more alluring Catwomen since Julie Newmar, creating an incredibly complex character that straddles the line of good and bad enough that you never know whose side she’s on," says Edward Douglas of ComingSoon. "Hathaway sometimes takes on a similarly affected way of delivering lines as Bale's Batman when in costume, but neither of the ‘villains’ ever can quite live up to what the late Heath Ledger brought to the Joker."

Hathaway herself has admitted she did thorough research of Catwoman in preparation of the role.

"I picked up The Dark Knight archives, and I picked up a book that explored the history of Catwoman, which was actually really, really helpful 'cause you just realize she can take anything," she tells MTV. "She's so the embodiment of her time and whatever world she's in."

Will Hathaway flop as Catwoman, or will she prove the character still has a couple of lives left in her? Launch the gallery to see how she compares to past actresses who've taken on the role, then sound off in the comments

Be sure to also see what Michelle Pfieffer -- who played the sultry villainess in 1992's Batman Returns -- had to say about Hathaway, below.

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  • RWMendez01

    Uh, sorry to burst your bubble but Selina Kyle IS Catwoman. Just because they never referred to her has Catwoman, doesn't mean she was anything but. Catwoman is simply Kyle's alias - an identity given to her by the media. Selina Kyle is the original (traditional) Catwoman. So I believe the author is not mistaken. Not sure what "traditional sense" you're referring too but perhaps learning about the character would be great before commenting about her.

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  • Melody Basemore
    Melody Basemore

    Michelle Pfieffer

  • VAN

    Apparently the author did not see the film. Anne Hathaway did not play "Catwoman." Rather, she played Selina Kyle. The confusion is understandable, but the fact is she was not "Catwoman" in the traditional sense.