The 28-year-old actress joins veterans Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine in the Christopher Nolan-directed action flick.
Though Hathaway hasn't revealed much about her role ("I signed a blood oath," she says), the actress is looking forward to portraying the iconic D.C. Comics character.
"I want to be the best actress I can be and that means working with the best people and taking the most challenging roles," Hathaway tells Total Film. "That's the plan and so far it's led to some really exciting places."
Catwoman was first played by actress Julie Newmar (now 77) in the 1966 Batman TV series; Eartha Kitt took over the role in the show's third season. The feline vixen was last played by Michelle Pfeiffer in 1992's Batman Returns. Halle Berry starred in the 2004 flop Catwoman, though the heroine's alter-ego was renamed Patience Phillips.
Arriving in theaters July 20, 2012, The Dark Knight Rises also features three new characters: John Blake (played by Joseph Gordon Levitt), Miranda Tate (played by Marion Cotillard) and Bane (played by Tom Hardy).
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!