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Takes feline lead in The Dark Knight Rises

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Anne Hathaway has seen off Jessica Biel and Keira Knightley to take the role of Catwoman in the forthcoming The Dark Knight Rises.

The thesp will play the female lead opposite Christian Bale in the next outing of the Batman franchise, directed by Christopher Nolan and slated for release in July 2012.

Hathaway's performance will be measured against Michelle Pfeiffer's interpretation of Catwoman in Tim Burton's Batman Returns.

Reuters describes Pfeiffer's performance as "a mix of repression and sensuality", and it remains to be seen whether Hathaway's "kind of feline allure" (as the Seattle Times puts it) will convince fans.

Studio Warner Bros also confirmed yesterday that Tom Hardy, of Inception fame, will play Batman's adversary Bane.

Nolan enthused: "I am delighted to be working with Tom again and excited to watch him bring to life our new interpretation of one of Batman's most formidable enemies." ®

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