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

     May 20, 2011

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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 (thedarkknightrises.com) 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.

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here’s a better look at the mask

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