First look at Anne Hathaway as Catwoman

First Images of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman from "Dark Knight Rises" Warner Bros.

First Images of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman from "The Dark Knight Rises"
Warner Bros.

Written and reported by Scott Edward

(CBS) As seen in the production stills just released by Warner Bros, Anne Hathaway's Catwoman character in "Dark Knight Rises" is a complete and total departure from the Catwomen of Batman films past.

Gone is the slinky sexiness exuded by '60's villainesses Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt. There's also nary a trace of the goth-themed Michelle Pfieffer Catwoman from "Batman Returns." And as for Halle Berry's Razzie Award-winning version? Well, the less about that, the better.

Going by the photos, it appears this Catwoman will be more of the "pull no punches" physical variety than the purring sexpot seen in previous films. While the skin-tight outfit seems to have endured, there are no stiletto heels, no bullwhip and no fake ears found on Hathaway's version; replaced instead with a more streamlined hair-pulled-back 'do and a pair of LED-lighted masking sunglasses as she straddles a very muscular-looking motorcycle similar to the one ridden by the Caped Crusader in "the Dark Knight."

First Images of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman from "Dark Knight Rises
Warnrer Bros
The internet has been abuzz with commentary - both positive and negative - over the choice of Anne Hathaway to portray such an iconic comic book and film villain. Prior to the announcement of her casting, the rumor mill (and fanboys everywhere)'s leading frontrunners were Angelina Joile and Megan Fox.

In fact, '60's Catwoman Julie Newmar publicly endorsed Jolie to be cast to fill her shoes for the third film in director Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" franchise, saying in interviews "Angelina would own the part."

Early estimations of Hathaway as Catwoman have been less-than-stellar, but the same was said three years ago when it was announced that late Aussie actor Heath Ledger would play the Joker in "The Dark Knight." His uncharacteristic, frenetic performance reversed the opinions of all the naysayers and ultimately resulted in a posthumous Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Ledger.

It'll be another year before anyone can be proven either right or wrong on Hathaway's performance: "The Dark Knight Rises" isn't due in theaters until next summer.

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