As the follow-up to arguably the greatest comic book movie ever made, the concluding chapter to what was shaping up as one of cinema’s finest trilogies and the sequel to the most influential blockbuster of the 21st Century, it would be an understatement of epic proportions to say that Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises came burdened with almost impossible expectations when it arrived in the summer of 2012.
The film may have raked in over a billion dollars at the box office to become the highest-grossing DC adaptation ever as well as receiving widespread critical acclaim, but it proved to be somewhat divisive among the fanbase. It wasn’t quite Kingdom of the Crystal Skull levels of unhappiness, but certain sections of the audience found plenty to criticize about the movie.
Admittedly, there are plot holes that you could drive the Batmobile through, the story makes no sense at times and almost everything Marion Cotillard does is completely unnecessary, but perhaps the single most discussed aspect of The Dark Knight Rises is Tom Hardy’s Bane. The actor was as committed to the role as you’d expect, but the accent was another strange choice in a career full of them, while the sound mix often made his dialogue unintelligible.
Nolan recently revealed his surprise at hearing that Hardy’s interpretation was based on the director himself, but he also lavished praise on the performance, and even went so far as to compare his work to that of Marlon Brando.
“The voice, the relationship between just seeing the eyes and the brow. We had all these discussions about the mask and what it would reveal and what it wouldn’t reveal, and one of the things I remember him saying to me, he sort of put his finger up to his temple and his eyebrow and said, ‘Can you give me this to play with? Let people see this’. Sure enough, you see there in the film, this kind of Brando-esque brow, expressing all kinds of just monstrous things. It’s really quite a performance.”
Tom Hardy is no stranger to those early Brando comparisons having built his reputation on going full Method, but it’s certainly a new one to hear them being made in relation to The Dark Knight Rises‘ Bane.