Selina Kyle is one of Batman's most iconic foes. Either a jewel thief or vigilante depending on her mood, Catwoman has been an enemy, ally and lover to Batman. The most recent portrayal of Catwoman is depicted by Anne Hathaway in the 2012 film "The Dark Knight Rises".
The first appearance of Catwoman in filmed media was portrayed by Julie Newmar in the 1960's serial "Batman". Newmar took the role for the first two seasons of the show, and was replaced by Eartha Kitt in the third season. Due to conflicting schedules, Newmar was unable for the tie-in Batman film, so the role was given to Lee Meriwether. This iteration was best known for her "purrrfect" puns. This version of Catwoman had no backstory, and was a general villain whose schemes generally involved theft of some sort. Newmar's Catwoman in the first two seasons was known for having sexual tension with Batman which reflected upon the comic book relationship between the Bat and the Cat. When the role changed to Eartha Kitt, the romantic subplot was completely dissolved due to concerns of an African American woman being involved with a Caucasian male. The producer thought interracial romance would be unacceptable, so the romance shifted from Catwoman to Batgirl.
Catwoman's second major depiction was in the 1992 Batman Returns. This version was played by Michelle Pfeiffer. The origin story of this Catwoman depicts Selina Kyle as an secretarial assistant to Gotham Businessman Maximillion Shreck. After surviving an attempted murder by Max Shreck, Selina is revived as the Catwoman, and joins forces with The Penguin. The theme of Catwoman in Batman Returns in surviving death multiple times, much akin to the myth that cats have "nine lives". Her new transformation turns her from a shy assistant into a slightly mad vixen with an infatuation with Batman.
Catwoman briefly appeared in the short-lived WB series 'Birds of Prey' - a live-action series centring on Helena Kyle, the daughter of Selina (Catwoman) and Bruce Wayne (Batman). Selina is known as the "one true love" of Batman and is killed infront of her daughter by the Joker. In this adaptation, Catwoman is known as a 'metahuman' and has cat-like skills and abilities that Helena also inherited. She was portrayed by Maggie Baird. The series was cancelled after 13 episodes but has gained a cult fanbase over the years.
In 2004, the movie "Catwoman" was released, starring Halle Berry. The film had no ties to any Batman media or continuity, and creates an entirely new Catwoman character with its own continuity. The story revolves around a character named Patience Philips. Philips works for a company that makes beauty products. After overhearing the owners of the company discuss a dangerous product, they are alerted to her presence and attempt to kill her. She is revived by an Egyptian Mau cat, and is given cat like powers such as heightened senses and agility. This film was universally panned by movie critics and comic buffs alike, due to a poor interpretation of the character and being an overall bad film.
In 2012 Catwoman was portrayed by Anne Hathaway in "The Dark Knight Rises". This version depicts Selina Kyle as a desperate jewel thief attempting to erase her criminal history. While never directly referred to as "Catwoman", merchandise related to the character is titled "Catwoman", and the physical costume is reminiscent of typical Catwoman attire. The Batman/Catwoman romantic link is present in this film, with the theft of Bruce Wayne's mother's pearls being a subtle nod to their relationship at the beginning and end of the film. In the film, Selina poses as a waitress at a memorial party held for Harvey Dent at the Wayne Mannor. Bruce catches her stealing his mothers' pearls and after easily disarming him, runs away. It is revealed she was hired by businessman John Daggett to steal Wayne's fingerprints in exchange for all records of her to be erased. Daggett and his men betray her and she is forced to go on the run. She shows resentment to the wealthy and sees her thievery as 'justice', in a Robin-sque manner. Selena is also shown to live with her roommate Jen (an adaptation of Holly Robinson) and the two are often involve in schemes together. Catwoman betrays the Batman, leading him right in to a trap with Bane. She flees, hoping to escape Gotham to hide from Bane, but John Blake sends her to jail.
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