First Image Of Tom Hardy On 'The Dark Knight Rises' Set

Tom HardyIt's not an official photo of Tom Hardy as Bane, but the first shot of the "Inception" actor on the set of "The Dark Knight Rises" appears to have found its way online, courtesy of a fan.

Earlier this morning, Twitter user Ash Harper posted a photo of himself with Hardy, captioned, "Me and Tom Hardy (Bane) on set on the new Batman film!" And while a fan photo generally doesn't qualify as headline-grabbing material, the photo is worth a peek for anyone wondering about the visual element of Christopher Nolan's take on Bane.

The photo shows a clearly bulked-up Hardy with a shaved head — eerily reminiscent of his turn as the terrifying, real-life criminal Charles Bronson in "Bronson" (minus the mustache).

Tom Hardy - The Dark Knight Rises

Ever since Hardy was first confirmed for the role of Bane, there's been no shortage of speculation regarding the character's portrayal in the Nolan-verse Batman films.

No one expected the character to resemble the oafish, campy brute that appeared in 1997's "Batman & Robin," but whether he'll look anything like his comics counterpart remains the big question. Given this shot of Hardy, it looks like fans can rest a little easier, as it appears that he's certainly getting in shape — and shaved — for a comics-faithful take on the role.

Keep it locked to MTV Splash Page for "The Dark Knight Rises" news as it develops.

Let us know what you think of the pic in the comment section or on Twitter! You can also follow me, Splash Page editor Rick Marshall, on Twitter!