It's no easy task to follow in the footsteps of Heath Ledger's iconic Joker in the Batman villain stakes. Most actors would run a mile - but happily for us, Tom Hardy is made of sterner stuff.Once he'd signed on, however, Christopher Nolan and costume designer Lindy Hemming faced the difficult task of transforming Hardy into the unstoppable Bane - and here's how they did it...
"Bane's mask in the comics is a sort of black wrestling-mask thing. You can't see any of his face. In this film we have two people wearing masks, and when they're fighting we didn't want Batman and Bane to look the same. So I wanted it to be like an animal. I looked at things like silverback gorillas and snarling teeth and fangs coming up and fangs coming down. We didn't mind that it would limit his vocal abilities. It seemed to somehow make him more menacing."
THE BREATHING MECHANISM
"He was injured early in his story. He's suffering from pain and he needs gas to survive. He can't survive the pain without the mask, which is exactly the same as the comic-book Bane. The pipes from the mask go back along his jawline and feedback into the thing at the back, where there are two cannisters of whatever it is — the anasthetic."
"He doesn't come from the same technology as Batman. He doesn't have [Lucius] Fox making all these things for him. His stuff has been made on the move over the mountains of the world, maybe in training camps. He's had his stuff made by different people along the way, so there is a slightly clunky element to him, and that's part of his story. But at the same time, the way he's directed in the film, the menace is within him. It isn't because he's a wrestler. And he's also an older character. He's not a young kid. He's an older man who, as you see in the film, you'll know he's been around for a long time. That's as much as I can tell you."
"When you look at the comic version of Bane, he's this massive man and he's wearing this wrestling suit, and it's a bit difficult to imagine how you can translate that into a Chris Nolan film, because everyone's meant to have a real background. Here he has nods to the straps of the wrestling suit he started with [in the comic], but he's much more of a warrior/mercenary than a wrestler. " Interview by Owen Williams