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With the filming on The Dark Knight Rises underway in London, get ready for an onslaught of viral marketing akin to the campaign (successfully) orchestrated for The Dark Knight. Clearly, Nolan and co. know what the fans really want: villains. Don’t lie to yourself. You absolutely want to know how they are going to swing Bane (Tom Hardy) in a Nolan Batman film.
Well, now we’re starting to get an idea what Nolan has in store. After a recent viral ploy in which fans built a mosaic of their own Twitter pictures (much like the reveal of Heath Ledger’s Joker), Warner Bros. has now officially released the first image of Hardy as Bane.
For those who may not know, Bane is a relatively new addition to Batman’s gallery of rogues, having made his comic debut in the '90s. Having grown up in the South American (location changes depending on what story you’re reading) prison system—serving a sentence earned by his father—Bane spent a great deal of time in the prison library and the prison gym. He volunteers to serve as a guinea pig for a drug called Venom, enhancing his strength to superhuman levels. After orchestrating his escape and making his way to Gotham City, he targets Batman as his challenge/prey and hatches a plan that ultimately results in Bane snapping Batman’s spine in two, forever earning him the moniker “The Man who Broke the Bat.” Not a bad backstory, but given Bane’s size and abilities, slightly tricky to transition to the heightened realism of Nolan’s Batman films.
While not the excessively/grotesquely bulked up version of Bane most are used to seeing, nobody expected that from a Nolan Batman film. Not much can be taken from a single picture though. We’ll have to see Bane in motion to gather how he will transition back to the big screen after his disastrous film debut in Batman & Robin. From the look of things, it’s headed down a very good path.
The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters July 20, 2012.