First Image of Tom Hardy as Bane in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES; Viral Campaign Launches

by     Posted 3 years, 212 days ago


On the heels of yesterday’s announcement that filming had commenced on The Dark Knight Rises, we now have learned that the film’s viral campaign has begun.  You may recall that the alternate-reality game (ARG) for The Dark Knight was fairly epic and resulted in fun treasure hunts, deciphering, and ultimately tickets to see the film early.  TDKR is over a year away, but viral marketing waits for no one!  Today, the official website ( launched and had two interesting aspects.  First up, the audio on the website is some weird chanting (The League of Shadows? A poor recording of the 1994 album “Chant”?).  Secondly, every time someone tweets the hashtag #thefirerises, a new image appears on this site. The tiny image is your Twitter profile pic, but they’re being arranged and contrasted in such a way as to show a larger image.  Some smart folks went digging through the source code and uncovered the image being built was the first image of Tom Hardy as Bane.  I suppose a more appropriate hashtag is now “#viralthwarted”.

Hit the jump to check out the image. The Dark Knight Rises also stars Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, and Michael Caine.  It opens July 20, 2012. [We have now updated the image with a high-resolution version]

Thanks to Batman-News for providing a hi-res version of the image.


here’s a better look at the mask


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  • ti


  • Boy

    time to roll the DICE!

  • Hairyman

    What? I don’t know about this. But, IN NOLAN I TRUST!

  • skivington

    Shaved head, psychotic look. Looks like Hardy is getting his Bronson is getting his Bronson sequel. And that is an amazing thing.

  • mizzblitz

    that is some seriously b*tchin’ viral there… squee

  • skivington

    Wow. Shaved head, psychotic look. Looks like Hardy is getting his Bronson sequel. And that is an amazing thing.

  • Breckinridge

    I hope the climactic fight between Christian Bale and Tom Hardy will knock everyone on their ass and be so amazing and action-packed, audiences all over the world will be left breathless.

    • Me

      haha, busted. you said the same exact quote on deadline. hiw much they paying you? They hiring? Seriously.

      • Miles Bennett Dyson

        I just googled his sentence, its all over the web… on like thirty sites that I could see…

        why do you need to hype up a movie in such a pathetic way? and of all movies, this one.

  • Nick

    Holy crap this is amazing… I don’t want to wait!!!

  • Silver

    The cast still feels incomplete and like it’s missing key characters.

    • DarthDan

      I agree Silver. Nolan has buildt both of the previous 2 Bat installments off of a firm foundation of “protagonist vs antagonist”…There is obviously more that we (the rabid fans) aren’t privy to yet which undoubtedly is by Nolan’s design… I expect that the MAIN antagonist is yet to be revealed .

      • Jesse

        Bane is plenty. So many comic movies are ruined by having too many characters.

      • Berlin

        for this film to work, bane should be the main and only antagonist. This is where Spiderman 3 failed, too many bad guys with no time to develop their character.

      • Josh in Parra


        Spiderman 3 failed for a lot more reasons than poor character establishment (like WAY too much dancing), the two villain scenario worked extremely in Batman Returns and we already know that Catwoman is a definite. My only concern now is if Hathaway can (for once) pull off sexy, though I had similar concerns about Ledger pulling off crazy and how quickly were those concerns put to rest!?

  • Saydave

    oh my god…..this is gonna insane

  • whoa

    Holy jizz pants , Batman! IT IS F*CKIN AWESOME!

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  • Lame Duck

    Okay…I’m feeling the new Nolanized Bane look alot! Can’t wait to see if Anne actually wears a cat suit or not and have it not look ridiculous…

  • zootcatchy

    I may watch this movie just for Hardy’s Bane!
    ahaha xD

  • Edward Lee

    I can only hope that Nolan doesn’t screw up Bane like he has the rest of the Bat-franchise.

    • que

      Nolan own the bat Franchise WHAT!!!!

    • fabrice

      bad joke man

    • The.Watcher

      Right, cos we all know Batman & Robin was the pinnacle of that franchise /supersarcasm

      • Steve Rudzinski

        Hey, Batman & Robin was still better than Returns. All the same type of character ruination, but at least it wasn’t meant to be taken seriously.

        Also don’t knock Schumacher, Batman Forever was seriously the all around most solid Batman film until Nolan’s turns (and I still like Forever more than Batman Begins.)

      • Movie Bug

        @Steve, I completely disagree! The worst Batman films were those that didn’t focus too much on the dark & brooding cinematography like Burton’s and Nolan’s. Batman Forever was saved only by Jim Carrey’s Riddler, and the Batman & Robin film is just pure and utter kiddie fare.

      • Josh in Parra

        @Steve Rudzinski

        I just want you to read a couple of your key points here,
        “Batman & Robin was….better than Returns” “I still like Forever more than Batman Begins”, what a joke! Just FYI, everyone involved in B&R are STILL apologising for it!

        Quick question, do your crazy pills come in cherry flavor?

    • Aaron

      @Edward Lee: O.k. and what did Joel Schumacher do to the bat franchise huh? as far as I and the majority are concerned he saved it, just because it’s not to your liking doesn’t mean he screwed it up.

    • Josh in Parra

      @Edward Lee

      It is people like you who are responsible for the ‘god awful’ generic cr*p that is constantly recycled into our cinemas! Do us a favor, STOP watching movies, or at least stick to romantic comedies, & definitely stop blogging!


  • ringbearer1420

    I will miss these films like no other films in recent memory.

  • Wladi


  • Migz13

    whoa… just a day after and this thing kick starts into action?!
    damn.. just like the Joker said:
    ‘Its all… part of the plan”

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  • Clayton

    Christopher Nolan is a sadist. Only a sadist could happily inflict this much anticipatory pain on his fan-base. Damn it, is it really over a year still?

  • Sean

    I love pics like this cause I wonder what Tom Hardy is thinking while taking that picture lol

    • MrRich

      He’s probably wondering if that’s the sound of fan-boys jerking it onto his back.

  • The.Watcher

    So Hardy’s getting his Bronson on? I can dig it.

  • rocky

    This is gonna suck

    • TheTrickster

      Oh, the internet…

      • Josh in Parra

        ….Where would stoopid (intentional) people be without it!?

  • Jake

    I am excited for this, and i will probably be dying of excitement once the trailer appears BUT, i just know this won’t be as good as The Dark Knight. Why? because Heath Ledger is dead. The Joker was the main reason why The Dark Knight was so amazing, one of the greatest if not THE greatest villain in cinema history. I will miss him when i watch the movie, such a shame he died. Like i said though, still excited.

    • LEM

      What if they murder Tom Hardy les grossman style? will it be better then?

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  • Liam

    I would lick that back. Just sayin.

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  • Jerkreel

    I cant complain. So there will be no Venom to keep him jacked when need be? I don’t see a system of tubes of course but looking at the back of his mask it almost looks like its some kind of insertion point? Hmmm, possibly later in the film we might see that happen.

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  • swans183

    I got shivers when I saw the pic for the first time. That’s definitely a good thing! He certainly looks like a man who could break Batman’s back.

  • Migz13

    If their interpretation of Bane is an Uber-muscular Hanibal Lecter.. then Bats really has to watch his back. haha:D

  • Banekilla

    Totally sold on how Bane looks. The mask looks awesome, has the same realistic look as the rest of the gadgets in Nolans Batman. Can´t wait to see what they do with Catwoman´s suit. Bane looks like some psycho on steroids. Migz13 made a good description. A muscular Hannibal Lecter. I´m loving it already.

  • smoke up johnny

    he looks like reptial from mortal kombat in a way, i would prefer banes original mask with the red eyes, but this is good.

  • Banekilla

    Now if only Nolan can direct better fight scenes than those he has done so far. Until now Batman has never faced an enemy as physically powerful as Bane, not even Rhas al Ghul, so we really need some amazing fights between those two. Considering that Catwoman is a very physical character too I think Nolan has been preparing for a much more action filled spectacle than the first two movies.

  • Troy

    It looks like there is a huge scar up his back. Nolan is an expert at teasing fans, so who knows if this is just part of the mask or just some medical headgear for his venom or what. I am excited and will be there at midnight!

  • Banekilla

    I visited the official site and that chanting noise, i don´t no why, but it sounds like an indian crowd. Could it be that there is some sort of martial arts contest and Bane is one of the combatants and the people are cheering him??

    • Desert Rat

      Maybe thats how Batman’s back is broken? Maybe Bane is placed there to harm Batman and take him out of the crime fighting world, opening the door for the League of Shadows to take over?

      Hell, ive had this feeling that Gordan-Levitt’s character is a new version of Azreal, the man who became Batman after Bane broke his back. Maybe thats where Gordon-Levitt comes in, eh?


    Desert Rat, i think its too much for one two or three hour film, the whole azreal thing… and i bet he wont be involved ;P

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  • salfie

    I enjoyed the first 2 Nolan films and am sure I’ll enjoy the third, but the inclusion of Bane has me slightly worried. I have the feeling that Batman is going to get his back broken (like in the comics) and be sidelined for a large chunk of the movie with other characters filing in (catwoman, azrael, league of shadows). I think that one of the strongest parts of the new batman series has been the casting of christian bale and to diminish his role in favor of the supporting cast (which up until now has admittedly been pretty good) might end up hurting the third chapter. So here’s hoping my fears are unwarranted and we get a good send off for Bats!

    • JR209

      I read in an article after the Dark Knight that Christopher Nolan wanted to try to make a deep character study on Bruce Wayne and was wondering what would that look like. Especially with how TDK ended I think if Batman was taken out of the picture it would make for a much more epic climax when The Dark Knight Rises to save Gotham.

      The movies have always had villans but for me something I’ve found interesting is that the city of Gotham is like its own character, Before it can ever be the safe city they want it to be, the citizens of Gotham need to rise up and take their own stand.

      Taking Batman out of the picture would make it so there is more character dealing with the police and trying to defend the city, also with Bruce Wayne on weather or not its worth continuing on as Batman. Why save a city if they wont help themselves and if they consider you an outlaw? Thats a fantastic question to ask and I think will play a role in how this new film plays out.

  • esense

    I think JGL is going to become Nightwing. Batman is going to need help fighting off Catwoman, Bane and the League of Shadows.

  • esense

    BTW anyone and I mean anyone who thinks any Joel Shumacker Batman movie is good is fucking stupid. I mean just because you saw some elements that you like from The comics in those movies does not mean anything. Script, Acting, Directing, Casting, Production Design, advertising. You name it, huge failure on every level.

    then you hate on Nolan for doing the right things on nearly every level, I mean do you enjoy bad poorly made films? Are you just hating because it’s trendy? W

  • Necro

    There’s always going to be haters. And there’s always going to be Nolan epics, like this third installment in the first Batman trilogy to utilize the same director, star, supporting cast and crew. TDKR will be incredible!

  • Row Witt

    Can somebody please explain to me something about the mask? :)

  • GMcC

    Anyone else think the front of Banes mask resembles a skeleton hand? Or is it just me?! look closely it looks like a skeleton hand, ie fingers…could be something to look into?

    • your mom

      That’s exactly what I thought at first. High-res though looks more like tubing or something.

  • Skype Translator

    COOL and sexy~~~

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  • j

    Is that a cat eye in the background?

  • Suspicious

    Hmm, Something was bugging me when i saw this pic the other day. I like it, but there was something familiar.

    After pondering on it, i remembered that I saw this image before, maybe a year or 2 ago. So either this news is fake, or that is a concept design from before TDK came out. But I have definately seen this image before. Maybe even for a different film??

  • Alex H

    I heard the teaser trailer for this is gonna play before Deathly Hallows – Part 2.

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  • spongefist

    looks like he’s wearing a very close fitting turtle neck jumper and has a bmx helmet on….that a little kid has stuck his GI Joe action kit on with superglue.

  • Yrra

    Heath this, Heath that. The fact of the matter is if Heath Ledger didn’t die, NOBODY would give a damn about his performance as Joker.

    I’m so sick of this crap, it was not awe staggering and brilliant..his performance was okay and nothing more. If anything Two Face stole the goddamn show in Dark Knight.

    And if you don’t agree, well too bad…his hair was barely even green too, WTF.

  • The Jabberwock

    I noticed that throughout the chanting audio there are a bunch of barely audible robotic-sounding tones. I had to press my ear up against the speaker to hear them during the chant, but the tones keep playing slightly after the chanting stops. So if you turn your volume up right after the chant ends you can hear them. It’s definitely a coded message of some kind.

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