‘The Dark Knight Rises’: Theories on Bane’s Mask & Venom Serum

Published 4 years ago by , Updated July 16th, 2011 at 5:21 am,

Dark Knight Rises Batman vs. Bane Header The Dark Knight Rises: Theories on Banes Mask & Venom Serum

Today we got an unexpected (but very welcome) surprise as the first official image from The Dark Knight Rises appeared online in conjunction with the film’s official website and viral campaign. That image was, of course, Tom Hardy as Batman nemesis, Bane.

Now that we have a look at Hardy’s Bane and how the character is being imagined for the Nolan Bat universe, the time has come to dissect the image in all it’s detail, while discussing some theories about why Nolan is going with this particular costume design, as well as what it means for the character of Bane, and subsequently, the overall story of the film.

But first things first: If you haven’t seen it already, take a look at the first image of Bane below:


Tom Hardy Bane Dark Knight Rises Header The Dark Knight Rises: Theories on Banes Mask & Venom Serum

So, a couple of things to discuss about this image. First of all, it looks as though Hardy has definitely bulked up the right way to play the physically imposing Bane. Many know Hardy best from his charismatic role in Inception, but true cinephiles know that he first made a big splash playing another bulky bruiser – infamous UK criminal Michael Gordon Peterson – in Nicholas Winding Refn’s stylish biopic Bronson. It was that role that made Bat-fans confident that Hardy could inhabit the role of Bane properly, and judging by this image, he certainly looks the part.

The bigger topic of discussion, however, is the headpiece that Bane is wearing in this picture – which looks somewhat reminiscent of Shredder in the live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies from the early ’90s. In the comics, Bane is known for wearing a trademark mask – one that is part function in addition to fashion, providing conduits which Bane uses to pump an enhanced steroid known as “venom” into his body. The venom serum gives Bane wildly augmented strength and stamina, but as a side effect it also makes him dangerously psychotic. There’s been a lot speculation about whether Nolan would include venom in his “grittier and more realistic” version of Bane, but this headpiece, when examined up close, certainly lends credit to that theory:

Tom Hardy Bane Mask Venom The Dark Knight Rises: Theories on Banes Mask & Venom Serum

The inclusion of venom makes a certain amount of sense when you think about it. We know that Ra’s al Ghul’s League of Shadows uses psychotropic materials in their rituals and practices, as seen in Batman Begins with the blue flower that Bruce Wayne was tasked to carry to the League of Shadows stronghold, and the hallucinatory vapor that was derived from that flower and used by Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) for his fear gas. It’s speculated that Bane will be aligned with the League of Shadows in Dark Knight Rises, so venom being another chemical derivative utilized by The League is not really a stretch of imagination to envision. Those “skeleton fingers” tubes on the front of the mask could certainly play a part in this theory – say, if in the movie Bane’s venom was ingested through inhalation, rather than injection like in the comics. In that sense, the skeleton finger tubes would function sort of like inhalers, would provide this mask with specific functional purpose for its macabre design.

Furthermore, recent rumors have pointed to the possible inclusion of The Lazarus Pits in The Dark Knight Rises. In the comics the pits were used as “Fountain of Youth” sources for League of Shadows master Ra’s al Ghul to rejuvenate himself at key intervals. Photos of the The Dark Knight Rises‘ India set have revealed structures that could be Lazarus Pits, though the rumor mill is leaning toward the explanation that in Nolan’s universe the pits would be used as a source of Bane’s venom, rather than the supernatural function they serve in the comics. Does Bane’s intricate headpiece lend credit to this idea? It’s certainly becoming a strong possibility…

Right now, all we can say for sure is that it’s exciting to see some official materials from this film appearing on the Internet, as fans are almost certainly eager to participate in yet another great viral marketing campaign launched by Warner Bros. We all know that when it comes to films like this, most of the fun is in the anticipation and analysis of every picture and poster and trailer. We’re looking forward to it!

Bane will attack when The Dark Knight Rises in theaters on July 20, 2012.

BONUS – For a quick read on everything we know so far about The Dark Knight Rises, go HERE.

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  1. Damn, you guys beat me to it on the call about the inhalers. Maybe this version of Bane doesn’t have venom injected into him. Seeing how he’s (In theory/reasonable rumor, anyway) been dosed and been exposed to venom since he was a child, so instead of injecting it he rather takes some kind of inhaler to ‘activate’ it or have it kick in, or something along those lines?

    • ^ I agree! I think his mask is more for breathing purposes! After all, remember when Batman kicked him in the face and knocked some of his tubes loose? He acted like he was having a hard time breathing! That is just my theory and how I perceived it!

  2. 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.

    • do you just go around to as many sites as possible and post the same comment?

      • It won’t. All it’ll be is the camera shaking around wildly while Bane and Batman grunt.

  3. i dont know…nolan has changed virtually every character’s backround story in these movies….maybe it is something different entirely…i would not care if it was venom but a super steriod that gives bane super streghth while at the same time driving him insane?? It doesnt fit with the other two movies imo

    • Did you not see BB? so a weaponized hallucinogen that a man in a scarecrow mask shoots out in a mist at you is waay more realistic. Venom is perfect for the nolan verse mabe venom doesnt bulk him up like in the comics mabe it just makes him feel stronger or push the boundries of his body like pcp.

      • My thoughts exactly. A super PCP of sorts which is not outside the realm of reality in anyway.

  4. So are we just ignoring that HUGE circular port on the back of his head?

    • You’ll notice that the circular port in the back of the head have a tube running his jawline to the mask.

      I think the port in the back is for a Venom Tank backpack, very a-la comics.

    • Nope. I figure that even if he inhales venom vapor you still need liquid to make the vapor. Liquid goes in circular port. (That’s what SHE SAID!)

      • That’s what I meant, a source of venom liquid, an as yet unseen backpack to the port, port to the mask, and voila Venom mist.

    • That doesn’t look like a port, it doesn’t have any openings, probably some type of bolting mechanism for the headpeice.

      • I doubt very much that the port would be left open on the mask. This would be a working mask not an action figure.

        • Not a permanent opening, an opening or perforations for something to be attached to fill it with venom. Excited to see how it works in the movie either way though.

          • For real I love to speculate on this, I am excited to see a better Bane than was done before.


  6. So judging from the audio on the site is his background being changed to Indian? The audio sounded like Hindi to me.

    • its “the fire rises” backwards

      • no it’s not, i listened to it backwards, and it still sounds like gibberish

  7. I posted this on the Bane image but im curious as to what discussion it might bring

    “On a closer look on Bane’s spine I think im noticing little bumps. These are the sort of bumps u aquire from steroid use. Is this a possible venom inkection ala Super Solider formula Abomination.

    Also im sorting of thinkin they may follow the The Dark Knight Returns storylne where the Bane may have a similiar role to the Mutant Leader. As Batman is defeated once and saved by the new Robin (aka the street wise girl who was cast) but then must fight The Mutant Leader (Bane this time) again instead of arresting him to humiliate him and destroy his cult following. Hence the chanting wld be that of his followers. Am i stretching this a little bit or does anyone see a possible similarites?”

    • I doubt very much there is any type of Robin character in this film, the street wise little girl saving Batman from Bane? Umm, no thanks.

      Now the bumps I did notice, like his spine was sticking out way more than it should on a guy with that amount of muscle.

      • or it just be ya know back acne? or bumps on his skin? waay to out there dude

        • Yeah but bacne would have been photoshopped away, I think everything in that pic is in it on purpose.

          They didn’t accidentally forget to photoshop the bacne or bumps on his skin, especially when they are so noticeable.

          • hmm mabe time will tell. that would be a nice little detail for his character show the side effects of the venom

            • It’s all in the details, love it. Give me more, it doesn’t ruin the movie for me…I will still be there.

  8. It could be a Arkham Asylum version of the Hannibal Lecter mask??

  9. Looks good to me, what I’d expect of a real-life Bane to look like, so well done on that part.

    • Why did you subject us to that? Vic, I need a ruling here.


      • LOL. :-)


    • I know people are gonna hate me for this but… I REALLY didn’t like the old Batman franchise… I love what Nolan has done with the “reboot” and how he managed to show what the true batman would be like. The old franchise (Tim Burton’s one) was s…! It sucked and made no sense to me.

      • Yah, we hate you.

        • Lol!

      • Hehehe, I’m Batman, I won’t kill anyone but I will put gattling guns on my Batmobile and missiles & guns on my Batwing…LOL

        Well as long as they are configured to ALWAYS miss like the Batwing.

  10. I wonder if they’re going to follow the story line where Bane breaks Batman’s back making it so that someone else takes over for him while he’s out of comission. I think since Nolan & Bale are planning on moving on after this movie, this would be a pretty good set up for when they switch actors for Batman (as we all know they will). Then they can find someone else who looks pretty close to Bale’s appearence & continue onward with Bruce Wayne.

  11. If you think Nolan is going to leave us with a Broken Batman your on something, Nolan I’m sure will suprise everyone and cont making these movies for WB at least one every 2 years alot of dorectors have come out saying they like going back to established stuff that they have done before even Nolan.

    • Yes but remember that he made it very clear that after he finishes this Batman he was going to produce the new Superman & then be donewith DC at least for the time being. On top of that WB also has their own ideas & may not want him to come back so that they can take a different approach/reboot (again) as Hollywood seems to be doing with everything.

      • @ IcyOne

        I too thought Nolan would be leaving DC film-making after the 3rd Batman film & producing i hate to say Superman reboot. But i recently seen his name over the Justice League film aswell. I guess WB/DC is paying Nolan enough money not to refuse leaving & pursue other projects as he wanted move on doin.

  12. I could only speculate but I’m super excited. lol

  13. I do not usually partake in the comments section, but for this particular subject I am most intrigued. I am not a comic book reader and so, I am not familiar with the background behind the character of ‘Bane’. I have only ever been exposed to the character twice: The first time was in Joel Schumacher’s ‘Batman and Robin’ (1997) and although I was unfamiliar with the character, I knew something was not quite right. The second time was an episode from the animated cartoon ‘The Batman’ in which ‘Bane’ is portrayed as some sort of parasite as supposed to a highly intelligent “super soldier”.
    In regards to his costume based solely on this one picture, I am not convinced. I think the mask bears to much similarity to that of ‘Scorpion’ from the ‘Mortal Kombat’ series. However, it is possible he will assume another costume throughout the coarse of the film.
    @Vic Holtreman
    Can I please have your personal opinion on ‘Bane’, both in terms of the character from the comic books and in terms of Nolan’s version of the character? Do you think he will indeed “break the bat”? And are you happy with what you’ve seen so far (which isn’t much) of ‘Bane’s’ costume?

  14. Not a good view & imo not a good lookin mask. Looks something for Hannibal Lector to wear. I was hoping for a simple rubber mask w/ eye holes perhaps. And Maybe a mask aseen that Bane wore in Batman:TAS which imo would be more to Nolan’s take. I’ll probly get blasted for this comment but again so far, he just looks like a generic goon again w/ a total different look.

  15. I’m not sure about the inhalation because the back of the mask looks like an injection port to me

  16. It’s VADER TIME!!!

    • It’s interesting that you bring up Vader (if you meant the wresteler) because originally Bane was a hispanic masked wrestler who eventually got the venom serum & became a hired hit-man. Eventually this leads him to the Bats where they duke it out Bats eventually defeats him & Bane forever holds a grudge.

      • sounds like you know a real lot about bane- a wrestler?!?!? have you not read his origin story look it up before posting another stupid comment

  17. Think Bane is strong enough to bite through Batman’s armor? lol. I had to ask because it looks his so-called mask is on so he won’t bite anyone.

  18. This is the early stage of the masks creation by the ingenious Hugo, who collaborates with Bane on crafting a sort of multipurpose bulletproof helmet and inhaler for his wonder drug. In hopes that Bane will do him a favor.

    Hugo’s plan involves Bane being the tool of Batman’s destruction. So that Hugo may replace Batman somehow. This is no good as Bane believes, he is being used. Something he will not allow.

    Killing Batman and then having him reappear will not make Bane the ultimate champion of Gotham. But Batman a survivor. Whereas Bane remains what he has always been… An outlaw. Bane wants glory.

    Once Hugo completes the final covering for the helmet. Bane’s repays him Pummeling him to death.

    Before setting out to kill Wayne in the city. Bane puts the two stainless steel diamond plated pieces with eyes sockets onto the helmet effectively covering the opening space.

    He turns the nozzle on the back of the helmet and breathes in.

    Win or die a champion. Tonight, the bat falls…

    • @ Dan

      So far it’s only rumored Hugo Strange is in the film, nothin comfirmed of him appearing.

  19. No matter what any fanboy says on here you will all go see this movie! You know it; don’t deny it; embrace it! And you will say at the end of the movie, “This is the most fxxxing awesome Batman movie I have ever seen!

    • @ Wes

      Well after TDK was released, i was one of those who’d wouldn’t say it was the most fxxxing awesome Batman movie i have ever seen.

    • agreed!

      • @ Matt

        Thank You.

  20. wouldnt it be cool if the mask made him talk differently too? like darth vader and then he’d be like “bruce, i am your father” haha

  21. But BANE is supposed to be Spanish, and his mask–because of “the fashion” is partly because he’s a luchador or poses as one, or more likely because he’s Spanish he follows the luchador look. Nothing against Tom Hardy, I liked his swaggered style in Inception, and this role should is sure to boost his acting career. But, I’m a true fan of comics, that you should “stick with the script,” STAY TRUE TO THE COMICS.

    • Bane isn’t Spanish, his father is British.

      • Maybe but he’s Spanish, read a comic, it’s in there. He even has an accent and talks in Spanglish.

    • If your a true fan of the comics, you can’t think much of Nolan’s
      take on the other 2 batman films

      • Id like to hear your opinions on the other two films. Imo, aswell im sure everyone knows that no studio or director would follow the comics as close as possible.

    • The chant in the viral audio clip is “Bane Bane Matalo Matalo” which translates from SPANISH to “Bane Bane Kill Him Kill Him.” I think Nolan is sticking pretty well to the source material. Tom Hardy may in fact uses a spanish accent.

  22. Getting rid of his luchador mask as a stupid idea imo.. definitely am no longer as excited as i was

  23. @ Disapointed

    That makes two of us then. He looks like a generic goon again w/ different mask only he’ll probly be able to talk,lol. I was hoping Nolan would have Bane’s mask look like that picture art above this page next to the other one. That would of made a great mask. It would look like Bane’s mask from Batman:TAS without the red eyes & nose hole.

  24. Nolan’s Bat-movies overall have been disappointing. Comicbooks are essentially storyboards. So there should be no problem staying true to the source. However, Nolan and many others in the industry tend to take these classics and “make it their own”. Definately unnecessary. I would’ve loved to see Bane portrayed a bit closer to what we’ve seen in the comics. Guess we’ll have to see how things turn out in the end.

    • usually when Comic books are more literally transferred into film it comes across as a bit naff and cheesey. In my opinion, Nolan has done what’s need to be done. He’s drawn specific elements from the comics and fused them with something more real-word. Staying true to the batman comics would surely lead to the involvement of characters such as Robin and Bat girl, and I think you’d agree, that’d be truly awful.

      • @ Peter

        I disagree. Staying true to the comics of Batman would be great, and involving characters like Robin & Batgirl among others should be no problem & including them within a film wouldn’t be awful. It all depends how they’re brought to big screen. People gotta move on & forget about Batman & Robin, its in the past.

        • die hard fans of the comic might think that, but in general fans of film and cinema wouldn’t.

          • @ Peter

            I bet if the general fans had assurance that if characters like Robin & Batgirl were to be done more proper, then they’d be open to another chance seeing them again. Like them, Batman himself done poorly & got rebooted in Nolan’s franchise. So i hopefully,imo i & other fans wouldn’t mind seeing Robin again & Batgirl possibly depending how the franchise goes. I pretty much know what id do if i was gonna use the characters.

    • LMAO! Overall disapointing?? ummmmm nooooo, dark knight made so much freakin money it’s not even funny so WTH are you even talking about?? and yeah i know you nerds want this to be JUST like the other batman movies that came out before Nolan’s but this is exactly why ya’ll are NOT directors! i mean, you certainly don’t have the creativeness to do the job even half decent so why judge? I know your gonna say i dont know you and I don’t know how creative you are or not but based off your statement, you are a stick in the mud when it comes to creativeness.

      • @ Justin

        Hah. Who cares how much TDK made. Batman Begins gross didn’t top Burton’s 89 Batman film. I know people who, like me only thought it was a good film, but wasn’t that great that people hyped it up to be. half, or close to it’s success was due to Heath Ledger’s performance especially when his death soon followed. Some people even talk on the net & assume if Ledger was still alive, the film’s gross would be down from what it is. Keep in mind there’s a chance someone could top Nolan’s work.

        • Yeah I can agree with that theres no doubt in my mind these movie’s could be topped.. I was actually thinkin the other day how awesome it would be if they could do a batman movie the same way the movies 300, sin city, and the spirt were done. Why this wasn’t done yet I’ll never know! Anyways, it’ll probably be 15 years until another batman reboot happens. Also, I know Heath Ledger pretty much made Dark Knight what it was but Tom Hardy is 10 times the actor Heath Ledger ever was and I think Dark Knight Rises will prove that.

          • I was thinkin how awesome if someone made a Batman franchise somewhat like Batman:TAS. Yes im a big fan of that show, but id like to point out for a film franchise, like the show they shouldn’t really have to go thru the hassle of introducing every main character besides Batman. Characters like Robin or Batgirl who don’t have to be in every sequel but be mentioned, not introduce every villain, just have some appear. If it were me, id dig deep into Batman comics & explore what Characters can be used that havn’t been seen on film yet. Anyways, supposely another Batman reboot will follow sometime after Justice League. I havn’t seen any Tom Hardy’s films, atleast i don’t think i have. Im sure he’ll be great as Bane but his appearance as Bane doesn’t appeal to me at the moment in the first picture of him w/ that mask. I liked that mask Bane wore in that fan art-like picture seen on this site. Im hoping TDKR will be better than TDK.

    • Seriously?! I should slap you in the *fricking* face for that comment. Nolans Films are and will always be legendary. he has created something fans and audiences around the world will never forget. The way he has depicted Batman has been outstanding. Hes simply turned a Superhero into a vigilante that the world needs but doesnt want and he displays that with great filmmaking.

      • @ evot05

        Nolan’s films are & will always be legendary? Sayin a bit much wouldn’t say,especially when imo won’t James Cameron’s equal. His Batman reboot is great but theres always a chance that his films could be topped by another Batman reboot.

        • Yes but if a better batman was made, someone like you can just say “theres always a chance that his films could be topped by another Batman reboot”- until the end of time.
          I could pick your favourite film of all time and use that line…

    • hey Romanspy all batman movies from Nolan have been great !!he is great director Bane shown in comics will make Nlon world batman as comical !! rather than dark

  25. complain, complain, complain…that’s all I ever see on these comments regarding TDKR. Anyone remember hearing Heath Ledger cast as the Joker? Thought so…

  26. This movie will top all the rest! Tim Burton’s films don’t even come CLOSE to what Nolan has done! This guy has made ME a Batman fan.. before it was just hilarity!

  27. I don’t know if it’ll top DK, but it’s gonna be awesome regardless. Nolan’s Batman universe is the sickest thing to happen to comic book movies. Period. Superman: cheesy. Spider-man: lame. Daredevil: really? Punisher: huh?

    Nolan has literally rewritten the genre single-handedly.

    I seriously doubt anyone’ll ever top the Nolan Batman movies. Ever.

    • @ MT

      You never know, someone could surprise us by makin a better Batman film in another Batman reboot.

      • Seriously, stop spamming the comments by saying that over and over. We got it the first time you said it. The reason why this franchise is so popular is because it’s so different from the other superhero films out there. It’s not your taste, that’s fine. Now move along.

        • @ gdrockgods

          I don’t spam comments over & over in the same article, word for word. Im voicing my opinions like others here so why don’t you move on.

  28. I feel Tom Hardy will do great realistic juatice to the Bane character. I was a bit skeptical as well but, first he has packed it on – if you want to take a look at what he has done I caught some scenes of him in Warrior – He has completely transformed his body. I am not sure if this was done in order to sell it to Nolan to get the Bane role but let’s be real no guy is going to wear a head gear that would inject a serum to make himself do a “hulkish” like transformation – Nolan I am sure will do something tricky but will keep it in a reality based from. Second he is actually a good actor as opposed to some pro wrestler, WHAT YOU MEAN THAT’S NOT ACTING – lol!!?? I first saw him in a bit role in the movie Layer Cake. Some are calling comic loyalty, being said then those yelling MUST have been really disappointed with Nolan’s Joker, yes? That’s what I thought. Not to fear this will rock and Hardy WILL do that character of Bane much justice.

    • I agree 110%. Tom Hardy is an amazing actor! anyone who isn’t familiar with him needs to watch Bronson or The Take. He’s going to be INSANE as Bane! i can hardly wait!