Catwoman leaps out in new ‘Dark Knight Rises’ TV spots

Meriah Doty
Movie Talk

Two new television spots for "The Dark Knight Rises" have been released and one of them (above) accentuates Catwoman's role.

Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) takes off with Bruce Wayne's car, much to his surprise, speeding away while wearing a self-pleased smirk.

At the beginning of the same spot, we hear Catwoman taunt Wayne (Christian Bale) while they dance:

Wayne: That's a brazen costume for a cat burgler.
Catwoman (deadpan tone): Yeah? Who are you pretending to be?

In the other spot (below), Catwoman (a/k/a Selina Kyle) is tough-yet-sexy as she clinches her teeth and growls to Batman out of seeming concern: "You don't owe these people anymore. You've given everything." (And yes, we've heard that line in prior trailers.)

[Photos: 'The Dark Knight' Trilogy Posters]

Perhaps her toughness is due in part to the famously uncomfortable cat suit. Hathaway has said it takes three people to get her into the costume, which she has also said she loves: "The cat suit is unforgiving, man."

Her seeming growl was inspired by '30s-and-'40s screen siren Hedy Lamarr: "She takes these long, deep, languid breaths and exhales slowly. There's a shot of her in [the 1933 film] 'Ecstasy' exhaling a cigarette and I took probably five breaths during her one exhale. So I started working on my breathing a lot," Hathaway has explained.

[Related: 'Dark Knight Rises' trailer prompts speculation]

The role was first made famous on the television series by Julie Newmar (and Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt), then again by Michelle Pfeiffer (who famously uttered her deadpan "meow" in "Batman Returns"), and then again by Halle Berry. Hathaway has some big paws to fill but from all appearances she has made the role her own.

Other revelations worth mentioning in the new spots include:

  • Morgan Freeman is back as Batman's gadget guru Lucius Fox.
  • Batman asks Alfred to help him "get back in the game." (Batman takes some sort of mysterious beating and is presumably absent for an extended amount of time. This new spot -- below -- makes clear he is relying his trusted cohorts to bring him back into crime-fighting shape.)
  • Two apparent fighter jets fly over Gotham's skyline at the end of spot 2 (above). We know Gotham is in trouble and that Bane is causing city-wide destruction  -- Does Batman enlist the help of military or do he and Bane have their own fancy high-tech jets to duke it out in an epic in-air battle?

Also, lest we forget, Heath Ledger won a posthumous Oscar for his gritty, hysterical portrayal of the Joker in director Christopher Nolan's second installment. It's worth noting this latest cast features Oscar winners Bale, Freeman, and Marion Cotillard; Oscar nominees Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson; and rising serious actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt. If all goes well, "The Dark Knight Rises" -- in theaters July 20 -- could be a major Oscar contender in acting categories as well as best film and directing (not to mention special effects categories).