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Anne Hathaway as Catwoman; can she match Pfeiffer or Kitt?

Christopher Nolan has chosen Anne Hathaway (left) to be his Catwoman for "The Dark Knight Rises." I say it's a smart move -- at least for Hathaway. If Hathaway is not going to hold out for great scripts like "Rachel Getting Married," she should do what she's doing here: test herself in  the rare character that really is a Pop icon.

Some Batman fans may be loyal to Eartha Kitt's purring, playfully seductive rendition of Catwoman in the 1960s TV show (right).

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But I think Michelle Pfeiffer ran away with the role in 1992's otherwise wildly erratic "Batman Returns" (that's her in the center of the middle shot). She was electrifyingly stylized. Her simple "Meowww" contained multitudes -- it was a taunt, a come-on and a complaint, all at once. Adam Shankman, who directed the 2007 "Hairspray," told me he picked Pfeiffer to play Velma in his film because of her Catwoman: "When she commits to playing a villain, there's some kind of fantastic relish and deliciousness," he said. Let's hope Hathaway commits totally, too.

Photo of Anne Hathaway by Evan Agostini

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