‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Concept Art: What Bane’s Mask Could’ve Looked Like

2 years ago by  

Bane might not have been the beloved villain that the Joker was in The Dark Knight - some would argue he was little more than a glorified henchman in The Dark Knight Rises - but he was certainly memorable, thanks to his crab-like mask, Tom Hardy’s intimidating presence, and his almost jolly English accent.

However, his mask design almost looked very, very different. With the Dark Knight Rises DVD/Blu-ray being released in just two short weeks, concept art from the accompanying behind-the-scenes documentary is starting to pop up online – and it features preliminary designs for Bane’s mask.

Check out the images below, courtesy of Screen Crush:

These other iterations of the mask look a bit more like Bane’s mask from the comic books, which covered his entire face like a lucha libre mask. One of the images (bottom right) even utilized the same red and blue color scheme.

For reference, here’s Bane from the comic books:

Bane in The Dark Knight Rises The Dark Knight Rises Concept Art: What Banes Mask Couldve Looked Like

And here’s the Bane we saw in The Dark Knight Rises:

Obviously, it was pretty unlikely that we were ever going to see a major actor like Tom Hardy cover his entire face for the majority of a blockbuster film, so it’s no surprise that they went with a mask that just covered his mouth, nose, and jaw. Plus, with regard to some of these mask concepts, it’s hard to imagine ever being able to take Bane seriously on the big screen. The bottom left image almost looks like a Darth Vader-themed lucha libre mask, which is ironic considering some people said Bane sounded like Darth Vader doing a Sean Connery accent.

We reported on the many iterations of Bane’s mask a few months back, though the mask concepts we saw at the time were far less detailed or revealing. Check them out below:

What’re your thoughts, Screen Ranters? Do you prefer the final version of the mask – the one that Tom Hardy wore in the The Dark Knight Rises – or would you have liked to see one of the above designs utilized instead? Let us know in the comments.

The Dark Knight Rises will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 4th, 2012.


Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: Screen Crush

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: batman, the dark knight rises


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  1. The one in the movie was best. It fits into the Nolanverse far better than the other concepts.

    • Thanks goodness they picked the right one for the movie.

      This concept art looks like a super villain version of ‘The Gimp’ from Pulp Fiction!

  2. I kinda like the first one. all black mask with just a few hoses. Fell like that coulda looked a little simpler and just as good as the movie one…but its cool to compare how similar the final movie version and the knightfall mask/outfit actually look almost exactly the same, shape wise. The movie version is much more accurate to the original bane, costume and his size, then any other representation. In that he wasn’t that much bigger then batman. That’s the story I know bane from and don’t know when he got turned in to a giant over muscled freak.

    • I agree with you

  3. The one in the movie is the best one. The openings on either sides of the mask mimic the shape of Bane’s eyes in the comics. It’s a functional take on the mask in the comics and it works perfectly — it’s an actual physical thing that has a purpose at it maintains (very abstractly) the iconography of the Bane mask in the comics.

    The design of the film was flawless. As for the movie itself… (hint: I was disappointed)

  4. The one in the movie is the best one. The openings on either sides of the mask mimic the shape of Bane’s eyes in the comics. It’s a functional take on the mask in the comics and it works perfectly — it’s an actual physical thing that has a purpose and it maintains (very abstractly) the iconography of the Bane mask in the comics.

    The design of the film was flawless. As for the movie itself… (hint: I was disappointed)

  5. Yeesh, these look like fan drawings. They had to have had better quality drawings than this. :???:

    • Looks like they were drawn by a 5 year old, laughable!!

  6. Agree that what they choose for the movie looks to be the best visually and from the actors’ standpoint of having some of his face notable (able to convey an emotional range even with the appendage).

  7. Looks like my 5 year old son’s drawing. I thought this was concept art from the production company. Not some doodles from a kid.

    • Where do you think the final ideas develop from?

  8. They did a good job with the final design to actually let Hardy showed emotion through his eyes… though I can’t help but wonder, how it would’ve been more challenge for him to emit fear from Bane, if they decided to use the concept art ones.

  9. I look at that first mask and all I can think of is Zoidberg from Futurama.

  10. I his mask from Batman:TAS where his mouth isn’t covered up. That’s the best mask imo despite his mask in the comics. He looked awful in both Batman & Robin and TDKR.

  11. The film version was pretty ridiculous. It looked like a tarantula was permanently attached to his mouth. And the Scottish accent was almost too much to bear. Who in God’s name came up with that? But a full mask wouldn’t make much sense either. Ultimately, the character is so ridiculous that an equally absurd facial apparatus seems suitable.

    • Scottish? Where did you get that from?

      You’re American aren’t you?

      His mask and accent in the movie were perfect in my opinion. I honestly can’t see what people think are so wrong, not only about Bane himself but the actual movie.

      I think people are being far too critical these days, especially when they know a movie is gonna be great so that they can go against the majority opinion to look “cool” in front of their peers.

      Kinda sad really.

      I get that people have different opinions and tastes but some people take it way too far.

      • @ Dazz- I first have to agree with Mark -I found the mask to seem somewhat ..silly looking. Exactly what was the purpose of its design other to hide Bane’s disfigurement? In the comics Bane’s full head mask was connected in some way to the container of the “Venom” drug he used to enhance his size and strength. Since that aspect was basically non-existence in TDKR what did the mask do? A fellow audience member described it as looking like the anus of Ridley Scott’s Alien! Otherwise it was okay: I’m not an fanatic in that the movie must mirror the source material. Next I’m no linguist but I have NO idea what the hell the accent they had Tom Hardy use was! It seemed to change as the movie progressed and become somewhat overly dramatic as well. Maybe since the prison hosted various international persons his accent is some sort of odd mix of whatever native tongue he spoke and inflections from learning others languages. Finally while you found no problem with TDKR , myself and others have and in doing so its our right and most importantly our OPINION .If you really “got” that perhaps your post would’ve seemed less like an attack.My issues with TDKR have nothing to do with being “cool” standing against the flow”-it comes an deep love and respect for Nolan’s body of work, the source materials and its creators and my personal views of what makes an good film. I viewed TDKR with 9 people : an group comprised of Fanboys , indie filmmakers and movie fans and while we all enjoyed the film we agreed it had “glitches “.

        • All movies have glitches though.

          But I agree with most of what you said. I did not hear the accent change, I guess I have to watch it again?

          • @Brandon-Very true and honestly that’s okay , No one’s ever made an absolute perfect film in any genre. But what is somewhat annoying are folks that allow/excuse huge glaring , glitches that actually erase previous scenes/plot lines without telling the audience any one of the Five “W”s-Who, What ,When, Where and How. Glitches in the context of especially fantasy/sci-fi/action adventure film have to be forgiven as the film as an whole is more often larger than life and the audience has to suspend belief for the to work as an whole. Honestly of the entire trilogy this one is my least favorite , but it did wrap things up nicely.

        • @Sloane & Mark, you guys haven’t looked into this very much, have you? A few things to get you up to date:

          1. Most important and pretty obvious even to the standard movie-goer, and excruciatingly so to anyone who reads Screenrant: Bane’s mask pumps an anaesthetic that he breathes to numb his pain from the damage he’s sustained. He got screwed up in the prison. Do you really think they would put all that crap on his face just to “cover something up”? You obviously do not know Nolan’s style. Look up the article about TDKR being a “War movie” – everything is functional and is designed to *work*, not to look pretty or whatever.

          2. For the record, his original accent was dubbed over. It was rougher and more muffled earlier. They brought in all the intonations and inflections to make it more “understandable” because people were complaining in the previews. For your convenience, I looked up a few interviews to pinpoint some quotes verbatim…

          ~”Hardy said that the voice was supposed to indicate someone prematurely aged from being in constant agony.

          Read more: http://www.digitalspy.com/movies/news/a440292/dark-knight-rises-stars-discuss-banes-voice.html#ixzz2FxXG0Mqt
          Follow us: @digitalspy on Twitter | digitalspyuk on Facebook”


          ~”Hardy knew the character needed to be of Latin descent – and, rightfully so. After all, Bane’s origins are rooted in a South American prison. So the prime of his voice is a nod to that. ‘… Taking that into mind, I looked at original Latin … sort of Romany Gypsy. And there was a character, Bartley Gorman … the bare-knuckle fighter, and that’s where the accent comes from that I use in the film.’ ”

          Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/inspiration-for-banes-voice-the-dark-knight-rises-2012-11#ixzz2FxXg09K5


          So that’s where the voice influence comes from. I wasn’t much of a fan…I probably would have enjoyed the first one better. And now you know that and why the mouth mask was.

  12. Not everything in the comics translates well onto the big screen i.e. Bane’s traditional Mask, Captain America’s Spandex or Hawkeye’s costume. Even his Batman TAS style mask looks a bit ridiculous. They used same one for Bane in Arkham Asylum and he looked silly.

    The mask Hardy wore is a much better choice when you have a talented actor. So much of his well praised performance came from his facial expressions. Yes, I know Hugo Weaving did an excellent job in V for Vendetta but that was a different kind of character. This mask was the best choice for the film.

  13. FYI Screen Rant and Screen Ranters.

    WB is offering special Man of Steel content to those share the TDKR blu ray announcement via twitter or facebook. Click the link for details.


  14. More Gifts. 45 Behind the scene snapshots of the infamous Batman vs Bane fight. Cool Stuff.


  15. Well Hugo Weaving wore a mask throughout the entirety of V and wore a mask for a majority of his screen time in Captain Amerca.

    • Not a major actor in the same sense as Tom Hardy.

      • It seems to me Hugo Weaving is a bigger actor then Tom Hardy, but that could be changing I suppose, with his roles in several big movies recently.

        • He’s not a leading man. That’s the difference.

    • Hugo has the voice, anyone can tell who he is just by that alone.

  16. They got it right in the movie.

  17. I would be fine with the first one if they went and made the eye holes round. Same size, but not a triangle look.

  18. I liked the design that was in the final cut, but this is closed to the sores material which is good IMO, but they probably made the right decision.

  19. man im just disapointed that bane did not use the venom in this. but batman got over his broken back a little to esaly for a man billionare that could barly walk for 12 years from a a bad knee from only a3 story fall

    • The Venom was replaced with a pain-numbing anaesthetic, which is basically a real-world equivalent; if you don’t feel pain, you won’t succumb to pain, and you won’t hold back with your attacks (out of fear of hurting yourself), thus making you a lot stronger – you tap more into your inner primal strength.

      Also, if you look closely you see that Bane has bumps over his back and shoulders; that’s supposed to be side effects from steroids…whether from injections or integrated into the gas he breathes, it kind of completes the original comic-book effects of Venom. So that works, eh?