The Dark Knight Rises
High-ranking member of the League of Shadows, mercenary, terrorist
Powers / Skills
League of Shadows training, theatricality, genius-level intellect, expertise in military tactics, high strength and durability, immunity to pain
Fulfill Ra's al Ghul's destiny by completing the League's mission to destroy Gotham; Defeat and break Bruce Wayne physically and spiritually.
Type of Villain
From Nobody to Nightmare
Note: This page is for the incarnation of Bane from Christopher Nolan's movie. The mainstream version can be found here: Bane (DC) or if you want the incarnation of Bane from Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin, it's right here: Bane (Batman & Robin)
|“||When Gotham is ashes...you have my permission to die.||„|
|~ Bane to a defeated Batman in the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises.|
|“||Oh, you think the darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark; I was born in it, molded by it, I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but BLINDING!||„|
|~ Bane to Batman during their first bout|
|“||It doesn't matter who we are. What matters is our plan. No one cared who I was 'til I put on the mask.||„|
|~ Bane while captured on the plane at the start of the film.|
Bane is one of the two main antagonists in the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises. He is a strong, brutal terrorist determined to annihilate Gotham City as the supreme commander of the League of Shadows, and the protector-turned-accomplice of Talia al Ghul. He is portrayed by English actor Tom Hardy.
Bane is said to have been born and raised in a hellhole of a prison located in Morroco called the Pit, where Talia al Ghul, daughter of Ra's al Ghul, and her mother were imprisoned. After their cell was left unlocked, the prisoners attacked and murdered Talia's mother and they would have also killed Talia if Bane had not intervened. He protected her, determined to ensure that the one form of innocence to exist in the Pit was kept alive as the prisoners' redemption.
Bane brought Talia to the wall that one could climb up to escape, though no one had ever succeeded. As the other prisoners attacked Bane, he watched as Talia managed to climb to freedom. She went to her father and the League of Shadows, who returned to the Pit to rescue Talia’s savior. But by that time, Bane’s face had already been badly mutilated by his fellow prisoners and though the prison doctor saved his life, he was left in constant agony. He was brought into the League of Shadows’ fold and given a mask created by the League that pumped a constant stream of gas into his system which kept the pain at bay.
Bane and Talia were trained by the league, but to Ra’s, Bane was a monstrosity and a constant reminder of the nightmare he had left his wife to die in. Finally Bane was excommunicated from the organization and he became a mercenary.
After Ra’s al Ghul's death, Talia inherited his mantle and brought Bane back to the fold to launch a multifaceted attack to destroy Gotham City and fulfill what Ra’s had failed to finish. Bane was also responsible for a coup in West Africa which brought John Dagget, Bruce Wayne's business rival, exclusive access to the resources there, bringing his company into prominence and leading to Bane attracting the attention of the Central Intelligence Agency. Their working relationship was later used to bring Bane and other League mercenaries to Gotham City.
Preparing to Crush Gotham
|“||So, as I terrorize Gotham, I will feed it's people hope to poison their souls. I will let you believe they can survive so that you can watch them clamoring over each other to "stay in the sun". You could watch me torture an entire city and then when you truly understand the depth of your failure, we will fulfill Ra's Al Ghul's destiny. We will destroy Gotham. And then when it is done and Gotham is ashes, then you have my permission to die.||„|
|~ Bane to Bruce about his plans after injuring him and taking him to the pit.|
Talia took on the identity of Miranda Tate, who funded Wayne Enterprises construction of a fusion core, which she and Bane planned to use to destroy Gotham. Bane went after a nuclear scientist named Leonid Pavel, who tried to escape him by turning himself over to government agents. However Bane got himself captured, then had his men attack the plane he and Pavel were in. He faked the death of the nuclear scientist and made it look as if the plane had crashed, successfully escaping with Pavel. Bane then moved his army into Gotham and began working for Daggett under the pretense of helping him absorb Wayne Enterprises. However Bane was just using this and Daggett’s resources as part of his own plans. He attacked the stock exchange and, using fingerprints obtained by Selina Kyle, Bane bankrupted Wayne. But instead of Daggett taking over, Bruce gave command of Wayne Enterprises to Talia. Bane then killed his “employer”, before continuing with his plans.
Bane had Selina lead Batman to him in exchange for his forces not pursuing her anymore. He revealed he knew the Dark Knight's secret identity, before he fought and easily beat him, saying his trickery and deception were effective only against those uninitiated into the League of Shadows, unlike himself and Batman. He told the Dark Knight that he’d taken over the League and he was continuing with Ra’s goal of destroying Gotham. Bane then revealed that he’d found the armory Lucius Fox had been storing equipment meant for Batman and his men took it for themselves, before he broke Batman's back.
Bane delivered a crippled Bruce Wayne to the Pit and stated that he wouldn't kill a man that did not fear death, as he intended to psychologically torture him by showing him the slow demise of Gotham City while Bruce being unable to do anything. Bane said that he would feed the people the hope that they could survive, before he destroyed the city and only when Gotham was ashes, did Bruce have his permission to die.
Bane returned to Gotham to begin his plans, taking Wayne Enterprise’s Board of Directors hostage so as to get the fusion core. He then made Pavel turn the core into a bomb and lured almost the entire Gotham police force underground in search of him. Bane went to the occurring football game and set off a series of explosions throughout the city, using concrete that he had laced with explosives, trapping the police and destroying most of the bridges connecting Gotham to the outside world. Bane proceeded to address the people of the city, declaring martial law and telling them they would claim what was rightfully theirs and take down their oppressors, the rich and powerful. Bane made Pavel reveal himself to the people of Gotham to let them know that Bane fabricated his supposed death and that the reactor was now an armed thermonuclear bomb. He asked Pavel if he was the only one who could disarm it and when the scientist confirmed this, Bane killed him by breaking his neck to ensure the bomb couldn't be disarmed. Bane also told them that a citizen in the city (Talia) had been given the detonator to the bomb and any attempt to leave would result in it being detonated. However the bomb was going to go off anyway in a few months; Bane simply wanted to torture the people with hope that they could survive, as he had in the Pit, so that they would struggle against one another to "stay in the sun," before he killed them all. He first headed to Blackgate Prison, where he read a speech written by Commissioner Gordon to the press and the prisoners of Blackgate, revealing the monster Harvey Dent had become. Bane declared that Gotham would be taken from the corrupt who kept the people down with their lies of opportunity, then blew open the prison and released all the convicts, before letting the city descend into anarchy.
But as the time of the bomb’s detonation drew close, Batman returned, having escaped the Pit as Talia had. He coordinated with Selina, the police, and Lucius to free all the police officers trapped underground, who he led against Bane’s army while some other members of the police worked on stopping the bomb. Bane fought Batman personally, but this time, the Dark Knight was able to match him, damaging his mask and weakening him. Bane was beaten and Batman demanded to know where the detonator was, but Talia then revealed herself, stabbing the Dark Knight in the side. After explaining her and Bane’s stories to Batman, since he’d believed that Bane had been the child of Ra’s al Ghul, Talia then left to ensure the bomb’s detonation, leaving Batman with Bane so that he would be killed in the nuclear blast along with the citizens of Gotham. However, Bane tried to kill Batman right away, but Selina arrived, blasting him with the Batcycle from point-blank range, killing him.
Bane is ruthless and cold, perfectly willing to slaughter millions of people as Ra’s al Ghul sought to and killing people with his bare hands without a care. Despite being cast out of the League of Shadows, he is fully immersed in the organization's beliefs and ideals, willing to rejoin the League and be given the chance to lead the raid against Gotham. Bane’s time in prison has affected him greatly, to the point that he seeks to make Gotham experience the same situation the inmates did. He commands absolute loyalty from his men and he is perfectly willing to kill them in pursuit of his goals.
As a contrast to his brutality, Bane generally behaves like a stereotypical aristocratic gentleman, acting jovial and polite towards both ally and enemy. His habit of casually talking to people he plans to hurt lends him an disarming presence, allowing him to maintain dominance in any situation. The only person Bane seemed to truly care for was Talia.
Bane has extremely high strength, durability, and reflexes and when combined with his League of Shadows training, he is a very strong opponent. He was able to take repeated punches from Batman with little to no effect and even outfight him. Bane is also extremely cunning and very intelligent, frequently misdirecting and tricking his enemies, and his combination of brains and brawn make him very dangerous.
His mask also functions as a breather that dispenses a type of anesthetic that keeps his facial pain at bay. However, it's also his weak point, as without the mask he suffers crippling pain from injuries he has sustained inside The Pit.
Calm down, doctor. Now's not the time for fear. That comes later. - To Dr. Pavel before launching him out of the aircraft.
Speak of the Devil, and he shall appear. - To his "employer" before killing him.
Not as serious as yours, I fear. - Bane to Batman on their first bout.
Let's not stand on ceremony here, Mr Wayne. - Bane to Batman on their first fight, revealing that he knows Batman's true identity.
I am the League of Shadows. I am here to fulfill Ra's Al Ghul's destiny! - Bane to Batman during their first fight.
As yes, I was wondering what would break first. Your spirit...or your body. - Bane breaking Batman's back.
Do you feel in charge? - Bane to his "employer".
Let the games begin! - Bane before blowing up the football field.
We take Gotham from the corrupt! The rich! The oppressors of generations who have kept you down with myths of opportunity and we give it back to you...the people. - Bane during his speech.
We both know that I have to kill you now. You'll just have to imagine the fire! - Bane's last words as he's about to kill Batman, before his presumed death.
- This incarnation of Bane does not use Venom, the steroidal compound Bane used in the comics to gain superhuman strength, most likely because the Christopher Nolan movies tried to be more realistic.
- This version of Bane resembles Ubu, the al Ghul family's loyal body guard. The comic book version of Bane once took up the mantle of Ubu after killing him in battle.
- Bane's costume for the film is markedly different from his comic book counterpart who wears a Mexican wrestler's mask. In the film, his mask does not cover his full face, but rather his mouth, jaw, and his back head, with his eyes and brows clearly exposed. Bane also wears a military grade armored vest, with a matching pair of black combat pants complete with knee pads and periodically dons a brown trench coat.
- In the comics Bane was born in a prison located in the fictional Caribbean country Santa Prisca, while the prison featured in the movie presumably takes place in the Middle East. While other media appearances portray him with a Latin American accent, Tom Hardy chose an accent closer to original Latin, describing it as that of a gypsy or "Romani Latin" as opposed to Latino.
- Tom Hardy stands around 5 feet, 9 inches where Christian Bale is over 6 feet. Since Bane towers over Batman in height in the comics, special film techniques were used to make Hardy's stature and figure appear larger and imposing. In particular, three-inch lifts were added to Hardy's boots to make him equal in height to other tall characters.
- A controversy regarding the character ensued nearing the release of the film where several political pundits, including Conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh, believed that Bane was intended to reference Bain Capital, the name of the company 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney formerly ran. It resulted in Christopher Nolan denying Bain as the inspiration, as well as Bane co-creator Charles Dixon confirming Nolan's denials, stating that Bane's overall character was in fact closer to Occupy Wall Street.
- There were some criticisms about Bane being hard to understand after the The Dark Knight Rises prologue debuted in December 2011. The prologue voice was mostly changed in the later theatrical cut of the full film.
- Tom Hardy has described Bane as "brutal. He's a big dude who's incredibly clinical, in the fact that he has a result-based and oriented fighting style. It's not about fighting. It's about carnage. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed, it's nasty. Anything from small-joint manipulation to crushing skulls, crushing rib cages, stamping on shins and knees and necks and collarbones and snapping heads off and tearing his fists through chests, ripping out spinal columns. He is a terrorist in mentality as well as brutal action."
- Christopher Nolan said Bane is what Bruce Wayne could have become if he had stayed in the League of Shadows in Batman Begins.
- Bane has some similarities to Son Hyuk from Korean action series Athena who saved Yoon Hye-in just like Bane did with Talia and they both become their guardians as well as having a brother-sister relationship to them.
- Bane's platonic relationship with Talia closely mirrors Bane's relationship with fellow Secret Six member, Scandal Savage, the daughter of another immortal super villain, Vandal Savage.