Bane – The Dark Knight Rises
Christopher Nolan’s approach to the Batman saga was fiendishly simple – nudge the Dark Knight as close to plausibility as possible, with adversaries to match. The tortured title character had already despatched Heath Ledger’s eerie Joker. For his epic send-off however, he had bigger fish to fry… or rather for Alfred to fry once he’d caught them.
The hulking presence of Bane had appeared onscreen before. For camp craptacular Batman and Robin his portrayal was like a kids’ TV slant on Leatherface. Naturally Nolan had other ideas, keeping the basic outline of a caged powerhouse reliant on a faceful of drugs, before inserting British bulldog Tom Hardy into the mix with a payload of thespian muscle.
Bane’s facial arrangements were retooled in order to make them more realistic, producing terrifying results. He was also sent back to the wardrobe department, emerging as a sheepskin-clad terrorist in chief. Though it was ultimately Hardy’s vocal performance that stuck in the mind. His cultured yet distorted tones gave the character both gravitas and a chilling quality. Whether TDKR was a fitting conclusion to Nolan’s vision is hotly debated, but the response from DC fans to Hardy’s Bane was one of awe and respect. Well you wouldn’t want to make him upset would you…?