Batman has faced Scarecrow, The Joker and in Christopher Nolan's third "Dark Knight" installment, the caped crusader will take on possibly his toughest foe.
When Nolan decided that Bane - an almost unstoppable juggernaut known in the comic books for breaking Batman's back - would be the movie's villain, the director looked to actor Tom Hardy, who he previously worked with on "Inception."
"When we chose Bane as the antagonist and I thought about asking a great actor to cover his face up for the whole [movie] -- you could just see his eyes and just hear his voice -- I knew immediately that Tom would be up for that," the director told Access Hollywood at the press junket for "The Dark Knight Rises."
Nolan said there is a touch of one of cinema's best villains (from a galaxy far, far away) in Hardy's Bane.
"[He's] something you've never seen before. It's a little bit of Darth Vader, a little bit of this, little bit of that... It's very unique and that's what you get with great actors like Tom Hardy, he's not just going to go through the motions, he's going to try and craft a character that really makes sense for him. He has really gone in through the roots of the character and approached the evil," the director explained.
Hardy's unique take on the fanboy bad guy favorite also required a massive physical transformation for the 34-year-old British actor.
"He had to make himself huge for the role. He learned how to do all of this fighting with Christian Bale, both of them wearing these crazy outfits where they could barely breathe. In Tom's case, with this mask over his face, very tough to breathe, very hot, working in some very challenging environments," Nolan told Access. "There was a lot of preparation that went into it, and it really shows on screen."
"The Dark Knight Rises" hits theaters on July 20.
-- Jesse Spero
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