The Riddler. Hugo Strange. Deadshot. Killer Croc. What do these iconic Batman villains all have in common? None of them are going to be played by Tom Hardy in "The Dark Knight Rises," contrary to persistent rumors.
Instead, Hardy, who was Christopher Nolan's first new hire for his last Batman movie's cast, is on board for Bane — and to say that we're pumped about this casting is nothing short of an understatement, if you'll forgive the pun.
For those of you who aren't terribly familiar with Bane, the gist of what you need to know about the character is after the jump!
First appearing in the pages of "Batman: Vengeance of Bane" in the early 1990s, the Caped Crusader's heavily muscled rival is also one of his fiercest foes: as a prisoner, he was forced to become a test subject for Venom, a drug that enhanced his physical strength to superhuman levels. The catch is that Bane has to constantly inject himself with Venom or else risk some severe side-effects. Making matters worse, Bane isn't just an unstoppable physical force; he's also a serious mental threat, with wits that are as formidable as his muscles.
In the DC Universe, Bane remains best known for deciphering Batman's secret identity and subsequently breaking the costumed vigilante's back, rendering Gotham's greatest hero a paraplegic. Naturally, not even paralysis can keep Bats off his feet for long, and he eventually provided Bane with the proper dose of justice he deserved.
Exactly how Nolan and Hardy deal with Bane remains to be seen, though it's a safe bet that the character's intelligence will be featured much more prominently than it was in "Batman & Robin," his laughable first appearance on the silver screen. It'll be interesting to see how Nolan deals with Bane's Venom-infused strength, too. Will it physically alter his body as is the case in the comics? Will it simply yield a psychological effect? Nolan's sensibilities lead us to think it's the latter, but the man does love his curveballs: perhaps he'll find a way to ground Bane's power in reality.
Tell us what you think of Hardy's casting as Bane in the comments section and on Twitter!