The Internet was blitzed early Friday morning with a new series of spy photographs taken at or perhaps just across the street from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania set of The Dark Knight Rises. While an earlier leak featured pics of a fully costumed Bane, Batman and whoever Marion Cotillard might be playing, the latest batch reveals Anne Hathaway in full Catwoman regalia. More or less concurrently, Warner Bros. released to the press the first official photo of the character as she appears in The Dark Knight Rises. You can see a high-resolution version after the jump.

Designed by Lindy Hemming, the Catwoman costume appears to be strongly inspired by the work of comic book artist Darwyn Cooke, who innovated the enduring black catsuit-and-goggles look for Selina Kyle in the graphic novel Selina's Big Score and later the ongoing Catwoman series around 2002. Cooke's version included a cat-eared helmet that covered Selina's short hair, a detail that has obviously been left out of the new film (pending new images).

Perhaps most cleverly, Cooke's design included a front zipper that allowed other artists, notably the brilliant Adam Hughes, to experiment very liberally with Selina's cleavage for the purposes of tantalizing pin-up-style cover art or plain and simple "cheesecake" art. In keeping with the serious and largely asexual tone of director Christopher Nolan's Batman films, Hathaway's zipper is in the most extreme "up" position.

The goggles seen in these photographs appear to be of the high-tech variety, perhaps night-vision for Catwoman's activities as a thief (and lending credence to the suggestion that the Dark Knight Rises crew is shooting this heavily leaked scene "day-for-night", because why would she be wearing night-vision goggles during the day?). Assuming the character is indeed the daring Catwoman of DC Comics, that she may actually be stealing what looks to be Batman's Bat-pod motorcycle is very cool indeed.

Finally, a detail that we know will come as a great controversy or a great relief to many superhero costume obsessives, including some on the ComicsAlliance staff, the Catwoman we see in these photos is wearing wedge-heeled boots. REPEAT: We do not have stilettos.


[Via The Los Angeles Times, The Superficial]