Adaptations of Bane in other media
The Dark Knight Rises (7590755186).jpg
A mannequin of Bane from The Dark Knight Rises
Created byChuck Dixon
Doug Moench
Graham Nolan
Original sourceComics published by DC Comics
First appearanceBatman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (January 1993)
Films and television
Film(s)Batman & Robin (1997)
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
Justice League: Doom (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)
Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants (2016)
The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
Batman Ninja (2018)
Television
show(s)
Batman: The Animated Series (1994)
The New Batman Adventures (1997)
Superman: The Animated Series (1998)
Batman Beyond (1999)
The Batman (2004)
Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008)
Young Justice (2010)
Justice League Action (2016)
Gotham (2019)
Harley Quinn

Bane was originally a comic book character and Batman's adversary, but has appeared in several other forms of media. He has been portrayed by Robert Swenson in Batman & Robin, Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises, and Shane West in Gotham.

Henry Silva, Joaquim de Almeida, Ron Perlman, Clancy Brown, Michael Dorn, Danny Trejo, Héctor Elizondo, Carlos Alazraqui, Fred Tatasciore, Jason Liebrecht, Steve Blum, JB Blanc, Doug Benson, and James Adomian have all provided voice work for the character. Peter Marinker voices Bane in the radio adaption of Batman: Knightfall.

Television

Live-action

Arrowverse

Gotham

Shane West as Bane in Gotham.
Shane West as Bane in Gotham.

Animation

DC Animated Universe

Bane, as he is depicted in Batman: The Animated Series (left) and subsequent appearances (right).
Bane, as he is depicted in Batman: The Animated Series (left) and subsequent appearances (right).

Even though the producers were reluctant to use the character as they felt his comic incarnation was too gimmicky,[2] Bane still appeared in the DC Animated Universe,[2] voiced primarily by Henry Silva.

Other series

Film

Live-action

Batman & Robin (1997)

Robert Swenson as Bane in Batman & Robin (1997).
Robert Swenson as Bane in Batman & Robin (1997).

A different version of Bane appears in Batman & Robin (1997), portrayed by former WCW wrestler Robert "Jeep" Swenson in one of his last film roles before his death. In the film, he is given the name Antonio Diego (portrayed by Michael Reid MacKay), and is an incarcerated serial killer who is transformed, against his own will, into "Bane" with an experimental drug called "Venom" by mad scientist Dr. Jason Woodrue (John Glover). In this interpretation, in stark contrast to his intelligent and cunning comics counterpart, Bane is an inarticulate thug who serves as the bodyguard/henchman of Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) and is barely capable of speech as a result of the experiment, communicating mostly with growls and roars. In the film's climax, Bane fights and very nearly kills Robin (Chris O'Donnell) and Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone), who manage to weaken and kick the Venom tube out of the back of his head, which changes him back to his frail self. Following the defeat of Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy, Bane's fate is left unrevealed. This version of the character was one of many aspects of the film which received negative criticism from fans and critics alike.[7]

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Tom Hardy's portrayal in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) depicts Bane as intelligent and resourceful. The mask he wears provides him with a drug that dulls the pain caused by injuries he suffered in prison.
Tom Hardy's portrayal in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) depicts Bane as intelligent and resourceful. The mask he wears provides him with a drug that dulls the pain caused by injuries he suffered in prison.

Bane appears in The Dark Knight Rises, portrayed by Tom Hardy.[8][9][10] Intending to portray the character as "more menacing" than the Batman & Robin incarnation, Hardy gained 14 kilograms (31 lb) of muscle for the role,[11][12] increasing his weight to 90 kilograms (200 lb).[11] Prior to the film's release, Bane's voice received some criticism for being unintelligible due to his mask. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Christopher Nolan said "I think when people see the film, things will come into focus. Bane is very complex and very interesting and when people see the finished film people will be very entertained by him."[13] "We wanted a very physical monster. We wanted more of the Darth Vader, if you like, and that was very important in the story dynamics."[14] Hardy himself also commented on the voice in another interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying "It’s a risk, because we could be laughed at—or it could be very fresh and exciting," and that "The audience mustn’t be too concerned about the mumbly voice... As the film progresses, I think you’ll be able to tune to its setting." Hardy says the voice he developed had several influences, including Bane's intellect, Caribbean heritage,[15] and in particular, bare-knuckle fighter Bartley Gorman.[16][17]

Bane has been described as having "the physicality of a silverback gorilla"[18][19] and is shown to have superhuman levels of strength in certain instances throughout the film, such as punching holes in limestone pillars, ripping his wrists out of handcuffs, easily breaking a soldier's neck with one hand, lifting Batman's armored body by the throat with a single outstretched arm, and cracking his impact-resistant cowl.[20] Hardy describes Bane's fighting style 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."[21]

Bane is the self-proclaimed leader of a revolution against the rich and the corrupt, who he contends are oppressing "the people", and keeping them subservient with "myths of opportunity". Political theorist and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek sees Bane as fighting "structural injustice", while likening him to a modern-day Che Guevara who is counter-intuitively driven to violence out of a sense of love.[22] Others have compared Bane to a "high-tech Robespierre on steroids", a melded triad of Lenin, bin Laden and Steve Austin set on fomenting "proletarian retribution", and "the one thing that's worse than the second film's raving anarchist: a demagogue."[23][24] For his part, Nolan has said that his draft for the script was inspired by Charles Dickens' 1859 classic novel A Tale of Two Cities, centered around the French Revolution.[25] This homage to Dickens' story is briefly illustrated by having Bane inconspicuously finger knit paracord (incidentally a real-life habit of Hardy's) in one scene of the film, symbolizing his Reign of Terror-based character Madame Defarge from the book.[25]

While little information is given about Bane's backstory, he is said to have been born and raised in a centuries-old foreign penitentiary known as "the Pit",[26][27][28][29] where he spent most of his life incarcerated as a prisoner. Although the viewer is led to believe he had escaped the prison as a child, it is later revealed that he was the friend of Talia al Ghul (Joey King), a young girl whose mother, the daughter of a local warlord, gave birth to in the Pit after being banished there by her father. After the mother was killed by the prison's inmates, Bane protected the girl until the latter finally escaped.[30] However, Bane was attacked by the other inmates, which left him in "perpetual agony" as a result of his injuries and the prison doctor's inept attempts to treat them; in lieu of his addiction to Venom in the comics, he instead wears a mask that provides him with a constant stream of analgesic gas that keeps his pain just below the threshold.[31] Bane was then rescued and recruited by Talia's father, Ra's al Ghul (Liam Neeson), into the League of Shadows, though Ra's eventually excommunicated him for being a reminder of the prison that Talia's mother was left to die in. After Ra's' death during the events of Batman Begins, however, Bane rejoined the League as its new leader alongside Talia.

Six months before the main plot begins, Bane poses as one of his own mercenaries to infiltrate a meeting between a CIA agent named Bill Wilson (Aiden Gillen) and nuclear physicist Dr. Leonid Pavel (Alon Abutbul). After he and his men destroy CIA's plane, Bane kidnaps Dr. Pavel and forces him to convert a stolen Wayne Enterprises fusion reactor into an atomic bomb, which Bane intends to use to destroy Gotham City. In the present day narrative, Bane sets up his base in the city's tunnels, where he captures Gotham Police Commissioner James Gordon (Gary Oldman), who escapes shortly afterwards. Masquerading as an enforcer of John Daggett (Ben Mendelsohn), Bane bankrupts Dagget's business rival Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) by orchestrating a raid at the Gotham Stock Exchange and using Wayne's fingerprints to verify fraudulent futures exchange trades. After killing Daggett, Bane forces cat-burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) to lure Batman to his lair. Bane subsequently breaks Batman's back and condemns him to the Pit where he reveals his plan: to fulfill Ra's al Ghul's destiny, he will psychologically torture Batman and Gotham for several months before detonating the bomb, destroying the city in an atomic blast.

To this effect, Bane lures Gotham's police underground and uses explosives to trap them and destroy the bridges surrounding the city. At a football game, Bane kills Mayor Anthony Garcia (Nestor Carbonell) by detonating his viewing box and then kills Dr. Pavel before reading Gordon's resignation speech, exposing the crimes of district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) and their subsequent cover-up. Broadcasting that he wants to liberate Gotham from the corrupt and wealthy elite after reading the information, Bane releases the prisoners of Blackgate Prison, initiating anarchy while holding the city hostage and isolated with the bomb. Months later, Bane discovers that Batman has escaped from the Pit, returned to Gotham, and freed the trapped GCPD from the sewers. The police then clash with Bane's army in the streets outside the Gotham City Hall. Batman battles Bane in the midst of the chaos and damages his mask, cutting off his supply of painkillers and rendering him helpless. Talia — who was masquerading as Wayne Enterprises CEO Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) — intervenes by stabbing Batman. She fixes Bane's mask and activates the detonator, but Gordon blocks her signal. Talia leaves to detonate the bomb while Bane prepares to execute Batman, but Selina appears and fires the Batpod's cannons at Bane, killing him.

Hardy's portrayal of Bane was very positively received, and the character is considered one of the best villains in comic book films and film history.[32][33][34][35][36][37]

Animation

Video games

Lego Batman

Main article: Lego Batman

Batman: Arkham

Bane appears in the Batman: Arkham series, where he is voiced by Fred Tatasciore in Arkham Asylum & Arkham City, and by JB Blanc in Arkham Origins.

Injustice

Fred Tatasciore reprises his role as Bane in both Injustice: Gods Among Us and its sequel, Injustice 2.

Other games

Toys and collectibles

Music

The album Knightfall by Swedish band Silent Images, is based on the Batman: Knightfall story arc, with Bane cast as a central character. Throughout the course of the album and its lyrics, he is referred to as "The Venomous One", and is depicted as a militaristic Übermensch, with an uncanny and almost homoerotic connection to Batman.[54][55][56]

References

  1. ^ a b Vick, Megan (October 7, 2018). "Shane West's Character Is Finally Confirmed in Gotham Final Season". TV Guide. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Batman: The Animated Series (DVD). Warner Bros. Home Video. 2004.
  3. ^ Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (DVD). Warner Bros. Home Video. 2003.
  4. ^ "DCAUResource.com: DCAU Resource - Villains - Bane". DCAU Resource. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  5. ^ Beechen, Adam (September 25, 2004). "The Batman: Traction Recap". TV.com. Retrieved May 11, 2008.
  6. ^ Kuhr, Joseph (September 30, 2006). "The Batman: Team Penguin Recap". TV.com. Retrieved May 11, 2008.
  7. ^ McNeill, Dustin (May 2, 2020). "Batman & Robin (US - DVD R1) in Reviews". DVD Active. Retrieved May 23, 2008. The only one I can recommend watching is the biography on Bane. Paul Dini of Batman: The Animated Series and Denny O'Neil of DC Comics tell us just how badly Bane was written for the movie making the only thing missing here an apology from screenwriter Akiva Goldsman.
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (December 20, 2011). "'The Dark Knight Rises' Faces Big Problem: Audiences Can't Understand Villain". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California: Valence Media. Retrieved January 3, 2013. Some audience members are grumbling that they can’t understand what Bane, the main villain in the final installment of the Christopher Nolan-helmed trilogy, is saying.
  9. ^ "Anne Hathaway to Play Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises!". Superhero Hype. January 19, 2011. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  10. ^ Boucher, Geoff (January 19, 2011). "'Dark Knight Rises': Anne Hathaway will be Catwoman, Tom Hardy is Bane [Updated]". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  11. ^ a b Filipponi, Pietro (February 21, 2011). "Tom Hardy Wants to Gain 30 Pounds, Says No to Mask for Bane in the Dark Knight Rises". The Daily Blam!. Archived from the original on May 3, 2015. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
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  18. ^ "Bane Costume: Deconstructed | Features | Empire". www.empireonline.com. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012.
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  22. ^ Slavoj Žižek: The Politics of Batman by Slavoj Zizek, New Statesman, August 23, 2012
  23. ^ The Specter of Revolution in "The Dark Knight Rises" by Alex Sayf Cummings and Ryan Reft, Tropics of Meta, July 23, 2012
  24. ^ Anders, Charlie Jane (December 19, 2012). "The Best and Worst Science Fiction/Fantasy Movies of 2012". io9. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
  25. ^ a b One Thing You Didn't Notice About Bane In "The Dark Knight Rises" by Bill Bradley, The Huffington Post, April 11, 2015
  26. ^ "'Dark Knight Rises' Companion Book Spills Some Secrets on Bane". Screencrush.com. June 7, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  27. ^ "TDKR character bios reveal intriguing Bane and Selina Kyle details". Blastr. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  28. ^ The Dark Knight Rises (2012): Quotes. Retrieved 2012-12-19. "Alfred: If you're seriously considering going back out there, you should hear the rumors surrounding Bane."
  29. ^ The Dark Knight Rises. Retrieved 2014-02-20. "There's a reason why this prison is the worst hell on earth... Hope. Every man who has ventured here over the centuries has looked up to the light and imagined climbing to freedom."
  30. ^ McWeeny, Drew (2012-08-27). "Our second look at 'The Dark Knight Rises' digs into the bad and the ugly". Hitfix. Retrieved 2012-12-19. "The Joker tells constant lies about himself and his backstory, and Nolan tells one big lie about the origin of Bane. That lie is designed to hide the film's biggest reveal, and we do eventually learn the truth about Bane. It seems fitting that in the one flashback where Nolan tells the full truth about Bane's identity, we finally catch that single glimpse of Tom Hardy's face."
  31. ^ The Dark Knight Rises Quotes (Page 3) Archived December 31, 2012, at the Wayback Machine "Many years ago, it was a time of plague. Some of the other prisoners attacked Bane and the doctor's fumbling attempts to repair the damage left him in perpetual agony. The mask holds the pain at bay."
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