In 2008, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight reinvigorated Batman’s character for an entire generation of DC fans. Following the film’s monumental success, it was clear that a sequel would have to be released as soon as possible. However, as we all know, these plans had to be put on hold after Heath Ledger’s unexpected passing. Instead of focusing on the Joker again for his trilogy’s finale, Christopher Nolan drew inspiration from one of Batman’s most formidable adversaries: Bane (played by Tom Hardy).
Anyone who has read KnightFall and seen the saga of Bane breaking Batman’s back knows just how much of a threat the luchador really is. To make matters worse, Bane is also an exceptionally brilliant tactician and an evil mastermind, being one of the select few villains to guess the Bat’s real identity correctly.
The Joker might be Batman’s most iconic villain bar none, but Bane is the guy you look for when you need a villain to really put the Dark Knight against the ropes.
That’s why it was so baffling to see the character be turned into a satire of himself in 1997’s Batman & Robin — although, to be fair, that entire movie could be seen as a satire of everything Batman.
Finally, in 2012, Bane would return to the big screen in The Dark Knight Rises. This time, a pre-Mad Max Tom Hardy would be the actor behind Bane’s mask — and fans weren’t sure how to feel. While the movie itself wasn’t as well-received as its prequel, a surprising amount of criticisms befell Bane’s character. Perhaps one of the most common complaints fans had about Tom Hardy’s portrayal of Bane had to do with his voice.
The first trailers showed Tom Hardy’s Bane with a much more stereotypical “bad guy” voice, which was replaced with a much less threatening one in the final release. However, that’s also one of the reasons why he might be one of the most effective villains in Nolan’s trilogy. Like the Joker, this Bane is an unpredictable killing machine, and his somewhat calm façade conceals the assassin he really is.
Most iterations of Bane – live-action or otherwise – usually lean a bit too much on his luchador persona. Even the fan-favourite Arkham games don’t feature a Bane that’s too much of an intellectual threat for the Dark Knight, which makes us appreciate Tom Hardy’s version of the character even more, in retrospect.
Let’s not that The Dark Knight Rises‘ Bane also serves as the perfect final antagonist for Nolan’s trilogy. While Talia might have had a more personal connection with Bruce Wayne, it was Bane who made him see just how much Batman meant to Gotham – and how he had become a symbol of hope for its citizens, leaving behind the idea of delivering mere vigilante justice.
Sure, The Dark Knight will live on to become a true masterpiece of cinema, but The Dark Knight Rises should also be praised as a landmark point for comic book movies – with Tom Hardy joining the ranks of Christian Bale and Heath Ledger as some of the finest actors to breathe life into the universe Bob Kane and Bill Finger envisioned almost a century ago.
Bane: Things You Didn’t Know About The Batman Villain
Bane and Batman have had a long history together. Here is our list of 10 things you didn’t know about Bane and his history in the Gotham universe.
With the Dark Knight Rises now 10 years old, it seems like a good idea to catch up on some interesting facts on the lead villain, Bane. Director Christopher Nolan himself confessed to knowing very little about the character before starting on the project. But who is Bane, where is he from and what exactly is his comic book history?
Bane’s father, Edmund, also known by the names Black Lantern and King Snake, a revolutionary within Santa Prisca, managed to escape imprisonment and have the corrupt government charge his crimes on his unborn child.
The child was raised in Pena Duro’s “Hard Rock” prison. Protected by two inmates, Zombie, and Trogg, he forged himself into the pinnacle of physical and mental potential, naming himself Bane. Self-taught within the fields of strategy, philosophy, languages, math, grammar, and more, Bane developed into the ultimate killing machine that even the prison guards feared.
Plagued by dreams of a demonic bat and hearing stories from a fellow inmate about a monster within Gotham City, Bane sets out to end the reign of Batman as protector of the city. He is chosen to participate in an experiment to create a super-powered soldier with a steroid-like drug, known as venom.
After complications during the experiment, he is believed to be dead and tossed in the sea. He shortly recovered, returning to the prison and freeing some of his inmates. Making his escape to Gotham, he pitted himself against Batman and became known as “The Man Who Broke The Bat.”
TRIVIA: Christian Bale has stated that he would not play Batman if Robin appeared anywhere in the trilogy. Christopher Nolan agreed not to include Robin as it would undermine the dark tone of his series.
Bane’s strategy is to first study his opponent and analyse his personality. When he discovers Batman saving the life of a criminal, he realises that The Bat isn’t a monster after all.
After Bane destroys the walls of Arkham Asylum, freeing inmates like the Joker, Scarecrow, and many others, Batman is forced to hunt them down individually. After a full three months, running himself into exhaustion, The Dark Knight returns to Wayne Manor, unaware that Bane is waiting for him. He fights and defeats Batman, the final blow, breaking his back, and putting him into a paraplegic state.
While Bane established himself as ruler of Gotham’s criminal underworld, Bruce Wayne is forced to pass the mantle of Batman onto a new hero, Jean-Paul Valley, also known as Azrael.
Azrael is relentless and more violent than Batman ever was, even killing some of his enemies. When he finally encounters Bane he defeats him but allows him to live.
TRIVIA: Christopher Nolan is the first director to complete a full trilogy of Batman films, but the second to direct a full trilogy of films on one superhero (after Sam Raimi completed his Spider-Man films).
1. Bane nearly broke Captain America’s back too in DC vs. Marvel. Bane attempted to break Captain America’s back in a fight but was caught off-guard when Captain America’s shield returned to its owner to strike Bane in the back of the head and knock him out.
2. Bane is 6”2 in height (6”8 with venom). His weight is 225lbs (350lbs with venom). His eyes are brown, but change green when he is on venom.
3. Unlike the comic book, The Dark Knight Rises might feature a Bane that, much like Batman, was trained by Ra’s al Ghul. There are also rumours that he has to wear a mask to breathe and has pipes of anaesthetic (instead of venom).
TRIVIA: One of the reasons why Christopher Nolan cast Tom Hardy as Bane was because of his performance in the film RocknRolla. Hardy stated that he thought he was cast because of his role in Bronson. He arrived on set only to learn that Nolan has never even seen Bronson.
4. Bane escaped prison with a few inmates, including Bird who does recon work, Zombie who is an expert at throwing knives and Trogg who also has physical strength. Bane uses the three to slow down Batman while he prepares his attack.
5. Bane is from South America and speaks Spanish. His real name is unknown, but some refer to him as Dorrance (or Antonio Diego in the Batman and Robin movie).
6. Some of his abilities include being highly intelligent, super strength, having enhanced speed/reflexes, superhuman endurance, super healing, being an escapologist, hand-to-hand combat, having a photographic memory, being polylingual (speaking Spanish, German, French, Russian, Mandarin, English, Urdu, Farsi, and Latin) and being an expert strategist.
TRIVIA: Anne Hathaway, who plays Catwoman, had been cast as Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) in The Amazing Spider-Man in 2010, which at that time was under Sam Raimi’s direction as Spider-Man 4.
7. Bane’s character history is similar to Alexandre Dumas’ Edmond Dantes (The Count of Monte Cristo). Nolan mentions that he based a lot of the new script on Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities.
8. He first appeared in Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (January 1993).
9. Bane stopped using Venom after being defeated by Azrael. But returns to the drug when he joined Secret Six, a group of villains, which includes Rag Doll, Catman, Deadshot, Scandal Savage, and Jeannette.
10. Because he lacked a father as a child, Bane tends to look up to men he finds a strong parental connection. Both Lex Luthor and Ra’s al Ghul use this to manipulate Bane to their will.
TRIVIA: Christopher Nolan picked Bane as the main villain. Coincidentally, with no known relation, the name of one of the creators of Bane for the comic books is Graham Nolan.