FIRST LOOK: Anne Hathaway Suits Up as Catwoman in 'The Dark Knight Rises'

The first official photo of the actress from the new Batman film has arrived -- and she looks purr-fectly ready to kick butt

The first photo of Anne Hathaway from the upcoming Batman film The Dark Knight Rises has arrived online -- and it's pretty safe to say that her Catwoman won't so much meow or purr affectionately as she will roar.

Unlike Michelle Pfeiffer's slinky Catwoman, who wore head-to-toe shiny leather and sure enjoyed licking herself, or Halle Berry's scantily clad version, who probably would have been more at home at an S&M club than fighting crime on the streets of Gotham, Hathaway's feline femme fatale looks like she means 100-percent, no-B.S. business.

Gone are the pointy ears and cartoonish costumes of Catwomen past, here replaced with a utilitarian black Spandex outfit and some sleek identity-concealing shades (her alter-ego is the mild-mannered Selina Kyle). In truth, wearing that outfit and straddling two tons of Bat-bike (the Caped Crusader's version of a Harley), Hathaway looks more like Batgirl than Catwoman. In other words, she seems considerably more realistic than previous iterations of the character -- and way more badass.

We'd expect nothing less from director Christopher Nolan, who transformed the superhero movie into something dark, edgy and real-world-based with 2005's Batman Begins and raised the genre's bar to an all-time high with 2008's The Dark Knight.

While plot details for The Dark Knight Rises are being kept under tight wraps, the teaser trailer and various casting announcements have revealed a bit about the story. In Nolan's third -- and perhaps final -- Batman film, Christian Bale's Dark Knight comes out of retirement to face the hulking villain Bane (Tom Hardy), who -- rumor has it -- springs all of Gotham's baddies from Arkham Asylum to unleash their fury on the city. (That'd explain the crumbling buildings in the teaser poster.)

Other than that, we know that Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman return as loyal butler Alfred, gadget-man Lucious Fox and trustworthy Police Commissioner Gordon, respectively. They'll be joined by franchise newcomers (and costars in Nolan's last movie, Inception) Marion Cotillard as Wayne Enterprises board member Miranda Tate and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as beat cop John Blake.

No word yet on how Hathaway's Selina Kyle/Catwoman fits into the picture, but we're betting that she and Cotillard's Tate will be duking it out for Bruce Wayne/Batman's affections. Bring on the catfight!

The next -- and final? -- Batman film takes wing in theaters July 20, 2012.

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