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Pictures: Tom Hardy as Bane in 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Well, when I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong. I was wrong about the two covers for Empire magazine and their pics of Batman and Bane. It seems that there is an even more exclusive cover, of Tom Hardy as Bane, being dropped into the mailboxes of subscribers as we speak. I like this one better, don’t  you? Rather than just showcasing the mask, it gives us a little taste of the intensity that Hardy is probably bringing to the character. You don’t hire an actor like Hardy if all you need is a muscle-bound behemouth.

Along with this new cover, we’ve also got a glimpse of what’s inside the mag, including some new images, but most importantly, the information provided. We’re finally getting some hints at the actual plot. First and foremost, The Dark Knight Rises takes place eight years after The Dark Knight. Certainly both Bruce Wayne and Batman will be older, but will they be wiser? What does it mean in terms of their maturity? Has anything changed in terms of lifestyle?

As we reported yesterday, a six minute prologue, basically the first six minutes of the film, will be attached to Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (as well as the trailer in front of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows). Per Christopher Nolan, what we’ll get is “…basically the first six, seven minutes of the film. It’s the introduction to Bane and a taste of the rest of the film. With Bane we are looking to give Batman a physical challenge that he hasn’t had before.”

The film’s costume designer, Lindy Hemming (who also performed those duties for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight), revealed some details of Bane’s mask, “He was injured early in his story. He’s suffering from pain and he needs gas to survive. He cannot survive the pain without the mask. The pipes from the mask go back along his jawline and feed into the thing at the back where there are two canisters of what ever it is… the anesthetic.”  

I guess that’s not quite the snake venom of the comic books, but close enough. I don’t know a lot about the Dark Knight mythology and its inhabitants, just what I’ve seen in the films. As intense and complex as Heath Ledger’s Joker was, it seems to me that Tom Hardy’s Bane is going to up the ante. If Bane can’t survive without breathing an “anesthetic”, wouldn’t it stand to reason he’s in constant and horrendous pain? What would someone like that be willing to do to someone else? I’m getting chills already, imagining the Bat on Bane action.

Filming on The Dark Knight Rises has just been completed so it’s now in post-production. We won’t be getting the guerilla pics from the streets anymore so we’ll have to rely on whatever Warner Bros. doles out. So far they’re being generous. The Dark Knight Rises opens everywhere July 1, 2012.


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