Of course the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” marked the return of Batman to the big screen, but it also marked the return of a respectable version of Bane, his nemesis in the film. First written as a super-strong, evil genius, Bane suffered through one tragic cinematic adaptation with “Batman and Robin,” but the current take on the character brings back the smarts and loses the luchador mask.
Tom Hardy, the man behind Bane’s respirator in the film, did not know of other versions of the character when he heard about the part, but he quickly did some research, and then became a bit intimidated.
“When I first heard of Bane, I think, like a lot of people who aren’t Batman-centric in a way, I didn’t know who he was,” Hardy said. “So it had to be explained who he was, and then I looked at him and I saw his luchador mask and his way-tight wrestling pants and his huge muscles. I thought, ‘He must have got the wrong man, because I can’t play … I don’t play that.’ ”
Eventually, it was Christopher Nolan‘s interpretation of Bane that made Hardy see through the history and look forward to the reinvention. “Chris Nolan’s take on [Bane] was intrinsically lateral because he has a way of wanting and desiring to breathe a realism and a lateral thought into that which has already come through the comic book world,” Hardy said. “I think largely that’s going to upset some people, and there’s some people that are going to really hang on to that. And I’m one of those people that really enjoys that actually, to be quite honest — carving a new way through something that’s already a set piece on the planet.”
Hardy’s version of Bane changes a few major details about the character’s background, but he hopes defenders of the original are able to see past the differences. “There’s the history of him being Latino and speaking Spanish and all the stuff like that, so I went for Romani Gypsy instead of Latin, but I went lateral myself,” he said. “If that upsets people … I hope it doesn’t. There were a lot of conscious choices made around him to benefit both the fans and new people.”
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