[Warning: If you’re worried about Dark Knight Rises SPOILERS – STOP READING NOW!]

It’s been long speculated that Christopher Nolan could use the plot of the now-classic Batman comic book storyline “Knightfall” as the (partial) basis for his upcoming third and final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises.  This theory has never gone away, and has only been nurtured by such revelations as the title of the film (what is Batman “rising” from, exactly?) and the fact that Bane (Tom Hardy) would be the prominent villain in the movie.

Today, we have a brief and shoddy video from the Dark Knight Rises set, which nonetheless lends credit to the theory that “Knightfall” is indeed a reference point for Nolan’s film.

For those not up on their Batman comic book history:

In “Knightfall,” criminal mastermind Bane comes to Gotham City looking to become its new crime lord. Of course, there’s the small matter of getting Batman out of the way, so Bane decides to occupy the Dark Knight by staging a brazen prison break that floods the streets of Gotham with all the criminals Batman has put away. As the Caped Crusader sets out on a desperate quest to recapture all the loosed villains, Bane watches and waits. Finally, when Batman is worn down to his lowest ebb, Bane steps in to finish the job by beating Batman senseless and breaking his back. However, Batman eventually recovers from his injuries and returns to save the day.

Now, the set video below is hard to make out, but what it basically depicts is a scene in which Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) arrives at a nightspot in his fancy Lamborghini, and doesn’t so much walk the red carpet as he does hobble, aided by a cane.

See what we mean by watching the video below – if you need some help spotting it, Wayne and his cane appear around the :30 mark:

This video is already sending Batman fans into a frenzy of speculation. There are other tidbits from the film that – when combined with this new set video – certainly tie together to form a pretty secure web of evidence that suggests that Bane will injure Batman/Bruce Wayne at some point in the movie. Check out the following pieces of the puzzle:

  • The Dark Knight Rises teaser trailer contains hints like Bruce Wayne training his body (to recover from an injury?), Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) claiming that Batman “went away” (because he’s injured?) and a brief shot of what looks to be a frightened Batman fighting a losing battle against Bane.
  • Set photos/videos of a big prison break sequence (like in ‘Knightfall’).
  • Speculation that the crowd of supporting characters – like Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s cop character or Anne Hathway’s Catwoman – are actually going to be helping out an injured Batman.
  • Set pics of what look to be “Lazarus Pits,” which are known in Batman lore for their healing waters. Could Bruce Wayne use them to repair his broken body (or is that too ‘out there’ for a Nolan Batman film)?
As with any Nolan project, this is all just speculation for now (until a full Dark Knight Rises trailer reveals more) – but then again, the evidence is certainly piling up to the point that it’s getting hard to refute…

Do you think this video is evidence that Bane will indeed ‘Break the Bat’? Let us know in the comments below.

The Dark Knight Rises in theaters on July 20, 2012.

Source: YouTube via MTV