Gotham has unveiled what Shane West will look like as the villain Bane - and it's a different appearance than many might be expecting. The next season, which is set to be the final season, of Gotham has yet to receive an announced premiere date. Gotham will finally close out its Batman origin story with season 5. With the end, there'll be an arrival of a new villain.
Originally it was rumored that Shane West, famous for his roles in A Walk to Remember and Nikita, would be playing Bane's father. Yet at New York Comic-Con Gotham confirmed that West will be playing Bane as the TV series adapts the No Man's Land story arc from the comics. No Man's Land, where Gotham is condemned by the government and overrun by criminals, has seen several adaptations over the years. One of the most recent examples was The Dark Knight Rises, which introduced Bane into director Christopher Nolan's vision of the Batman universe. Based on the first photo of Bane, Gotham isn't just using Dark Knight Rises as a semi-plot inspiration, but also a visual one.
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The first look at Bane in Gotham comes from one of the FOX series' writers, Tze Chun. On his Twitter account, Chun revealed a picture of West as the villain who has become famous for breaking Batman's back. Later, EW unveiled a better, full look at Bane [see the EW image below]. West's version of the character had been previously glimpsed in a Gotham cast photo posted by series actor Cory Michael Smith. However, this view is completely unobstructed. It makes Gotham's Bane look like a mixture between the Dark Knight Rises version and Star Wars' Darth Vader.
Gotham's Bane does appear to be a rather hulking figure, but that's all he seems to share with his comic book counterpart, at least in a visual sense. While the comic Bane is a man at peak physical condition, it looks like West's interpretation will be much more sickly. West's Bane has a large breathing machine strapped over the bottom half of his face. The device is also connected to machinery on the character's chest that looks like it could be a replacement for his entire upper body. It's possible that, like the actor, Gotham's Bane is wearing something over his chest. Yet it looks more like the TV version of the character will need a whole upper body apparatus in order to survive.
This is very similar to Tom Hardy's version of the character in The Dark Knight Rises. Hardy's Bane was tortured and beaten by his fellow prisoners because he successfully helped a young Talia al Ghul escape from the prison in which she was born. This attack left Bane with lifelong injuries and pain that was regulated by painkillers and a mask he wore over his face. This was a brand new interpretation for the character. In the comics Bane does suffer an addiction to the chemical known as venom which he injects directly into his bloodstream to greatly enhance his strength. Yet here's no other outward physical limitations of Bane in the source material. However, West's pale complexion and large facial mask don't exactly give off the impression as a man in peak health.
It is possible, though, that like many other Gotham rogues, Bane's first look won't be his last. Gotham has a tendency to put their characters in a prototype costume at first. It's a look that only vaguely resembles their comic book counterpart before reaching the final form. This could be the case here. It's equally possible, though, that Gotham will head off in its own direction with the character. After all, Bane's typical luchadore-esque appearance wouldn't make much sense for West as, unlike Bane, the actor isn't from South America.
Gotham season 5 is expected to debut sometime in 2019.