Meow! Say hello to the new Selina Kyle. Anne Hathaway will claw her way up the silver screen as the whip-cracking feline temptress the Catwoman in Christopher Nolan’s 2012 action-blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises, Warner Bros. announced on Wednesday.

Anne will play a role previously inhabited by Eartha Kitt, Julie Newmar, Lee Merriweather, and Halle Berry, who won a Worst Actress Razzie for her turn in the 2003 stinker Catwoman. Michelle Pfeiffer even slid into the catsuit for the role in 1992′s sequel Batman Returns.

The Love and Other Drugs star — whose film credits include The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada – reportedly battled it out against Keira Knightley, Jessica Biel, Brokeback Mountain star Kate Mara, and Easy Virtue’s Charlotte Riley – to land a role in Rises.

Selina Kyle (Catwoman) made her first appearance in the Batman series in the comic book Batman #1, first released 70 years ago. She has played a villain, an ally, and even a love interest to Batman over the years.

In other Batman casting news: Sir Michael Cane has signed on to reprise his role as butler Alfred Pennyworth and Inception star Tom Hardy has been cast as the villain Bane opposite his nemesis The Caped Crusader. Bane is an escaped prisoner who became abnormally strong after being pumped full of drugs, He’s also known as “the man who broke the Bat” after he cracking Batman’s spinal cord in the DC comic book stories.

The Dark Knight Rises — the follow-up to 2008′s wildly-popular Dark Knight — is slated for release on July 20, 2012.

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