Diehard Batman fans will tell you that Bane‘s creepy mask was pure Christopher Nolan: Instead of the black-white-and-red luchador mask that covers all of the villain’s face in the comics, The Dark Knight Rises gave us a strange contraption of metal and valves that distorted Tom Hardy‘s voice into something that at points seemed like parody. Obviously it fit perfectly into Nolan’s Batman characters, who owe their abilities not to supernatural means but to their own strength and cunning. But it also made Bane’s face resemble a bug, and left the glimpses of Tom Hardy’s usually pretty visage looking rather odd and intimidating.
Ultimately, however, I’d say it worked. But if you were not a fan of the mask, you’ll be interested to see that the final product took at least nine rough drafts. Blastr uncovered this sketch from the forthcoming companion guide The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Rises, which reveals that the costume designers definitely took inspiration from the comics, if only at first.
As you can see, they seemed to always be committed to Bane having that creepy mouthpiece. (Though it then seemed too easy that — spoiler – all Batman has to do to incapacitate him is unplug a few of those valves.)
The Mary Sue thinks that Hardy/Bane would have been “infinitely more terrifying” with his eyes covered up, but I have to disagree. Hardy does so much expressive acting with his eyes — calculating, surprised, impressed, hateful, that scene in the prison flashback before the riot – that to shroud them behind the luchador look would have done him a disservice.
Photos: Warner Bros and The Art and Making of the Dark Knight Trilogy