Bane was the friend and protector of Talia al Ghul and the field commander of the League of Shadows. He was potent in both strategy and physical combat. He defeated the Batman in combat and manipulated the citizens of Gotham City with skilled oratory until Batman's recovery and return. He displayed his personality predominantly through expressions in his eyes. Bane's physical appearance was defined by his mask, which inhibited the excruciating pain that agonized his body to bearable levels. He was portrayed by Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises.
- "...The child had a friend, a protector, who showed the others that this innocence was their redemption."
- ―Bane bidding farewell to Talia after aiding her escape from the Pit.[src]
Bane was eventually rescued by Talia's father, the mercenary that became Ra's al Ghul, and the League of Shadows when Talia informed her father of what happened. Bane and Talia were taken in by the League and trained; however, Bane was excommunicated for reminding Ra's of his own failure to protect his wife and for Bane's interest in Talia; Alfred interpreted the rumor of Bane's expulsion from his sources that Bane was expelled for being too extreme for the organization. Bane also wore a mask that pumped gas into his system to alleviate the pain from his injury within the prison. However, he ended up rejoining the League of Shadows after Ra's died and Talia inherited her father's organization and forgave him for ousting Bane.
Bane was also responsible for a coup in West Africa which brought John Daggett exclusive access to the resources there, which brought his company into prominence and led to Bane attracting the attention of the Central Intelligence Agency. Their working relationship was later exploited to bring Bane and other League mercenaries to Gotham City.
The Dark Knight Rises
Kidnapping Dr. Pavel
- "It doesn't matter who we are. What matters is our plan... No one cared who I was 'til I put on the mask..."
- ―Bane to CIA Op[src]
- "Calm down, Doctor. Now is not the time for fear. That comes later."
- ―Bane to Dr. Pavel[src]
Partnership with Daggett
- John Daggett: “I've paid you a small fortune.”
- Bane: “And this gives you power over me?”
- ―Daggett tries to threaten Bane[src]
After the arrival of Bane and the mercenaries in Gotham, he had several henchmen commence "construction projects" that were actually rigging explosives across Gotham via "explosive cement." Daggett worked with Bane to have Bruce Wayne removed from Wayne Enterprises by bankrupting Wayne and weakening the company's (poor) finances even further, under the false impression that he would take over the company. To that end Selina Kyle was recruited and she retrieved Wayne's fingerprints, including his thumbprint, for them to use to accomplish the financial fraud.
However, due to a phone sting regarding the location of a missing congressman, some police officers, including Commissioner James Gordon ended up stumbling upon Bane's group in the sewers, the new League of Shadow's hideout. Bane likewise executed one of the henchmen delivering Gordon to him for drawing him to the place, before having the other shoot Gordon. He also retrieved Gordon's speech that was intended to expose the truth behind the events of Dent's death and give his resignation as Commissioner. When Gordon ended up going down the rapid sewer waters to escape, Bane had a henchman "follow" him by placing a cell phone on him and then sending him down the rapids, anticipating the likelihood that Gordon would survive falling into the rapids after the henchman made the mistake of implying that he died in the rapids.
Attack on the Stock Market
Afterwards, Bane arrived at the Gotham Stock Exchange to complete the plan of putting Bruce Wayne into bankruptcy, and placed a cement truck in the way manned by a henchman. He also took hostages in order to ensure that the police did not try to attack them. Bane on a motorcycle very briefly crossed paths with Batman on the Batpod who was in pursuit. After Selina attempted to find the clean slate drive at Daggett's penthouse only to find the safe empty, Bane and the mercenaries arrived to secure the area. Once Bane's true objective of Miranda Tate (Talia) taking over Wayne Enterprises was accomplished, Daggett furiously confronted Bane. The then expendable Daggett was then killed by him, and his body was put into a dumpster.
Breaking the Batman
- "When it is done and Gotham is ashes...then you have my permission to die."
- ―Bane to Batman.[src]
Taking Control of Gotham
Afterwards, Bane went to the Wayne Enterprises board room where he brought Miranda, Lucius Fox, and Douglas Fredericks from there to the Wayne Enterprises fusion reactor bunker and had Pavel modify the reactor into a nuclear bomb and he had the core removed so that it also became a time bomb. In addition, he also had the police lured to the hideout to be trapped, and eventually detonated the explosives laced around the city, killing hundreds of people, including Mayor Anthony Garcia. Anticipating that Gordon was still recovering at the hospital, he also sent two of his men to kill Gordon, although Gordon managed to kill them before either of them could lay a finger on him. He then brought the bomb out to the entire public, and after having Pavel explain its properties, he killed him in front of everyone. Bane said that he had given the detonator to a citizen who would push the button if they didn't comply to his rules. In addition, in order to further ensure that no one outside of Gotham attempted to interfere, he also had Barsad inform the national guard that if they were to enter the city, or anyone escapes, the bomb would be detonated.
Ruling Over Gotham
- "We come here not as conquerors, but as liberators, to return this city to the people."
- ―Bane's speech to the people of Gotham. [src]
After Bane returned to Gotham, he traveled with his men to Blackgate Prison. There he read Gordon's planned confession, and undermined the validity of the Dent act as well as of Dent's heroic persona in front of the citizens of Gotham. Bane then ordered his men to storm the prison and "liberate" the prisoners, who were incarcerated under the "corrupt" laws of Gotham's elite.
Bane declared martial law and proclaimed that the city now belonged to the people, handing them the power of "justice" over the "corrupt" Gotham elite that had "enslaved" them. Bane's speech subsequently caused a series of riots led by Gotham's criminals and revolutionary working class members, who raided the homes of the wealthy and set-up a court presided by "Judge" Jonathan Crane, where the rich were sentenced to choose between either death or exile through the crossing of a deadly frozen river. Bane himself continued to await the bomb's detonation while he observed Gotham's self-destruction.
A few months into the occupation, Special Forces lead by Captain Jones infiltrated the city to gather intel on fighting back against Bane, even learning of the bombs true nature. However Talia tipped off Bane and his men killed Jones subordinates while Bane himself killed Jones. Bane then ordered their bodies hanged over the bridge for the world to see.
- "I broke you... How have you come back?"
- ―Bane, after being defeated by Batman.[src]
After Batman's return to Gotham City became apparent, he had some mercenaries stay close to Miranda at Gotham City Hall, anticipating that Batman would eventually come to rescue her. Soon after, his mercenaries entered a massive battle with the recently freed Gotham City Police and Bane himself fought Batman once more. However, this time Batman fought more patiently and based on his knowledge of Bane's weakness he struck Bane's mask repeatedly and damaged it and caused Bane agonizing pain. A stunned Bane attempted to futilely repair the mask, but was unable to do so while Batman continued his attacks. An enraged and frustrated Bane was then put into a mindless fury as he attempted to quickly finish off Batman with a brutal barrage of punches. His attacks became stronger and faster, but also desperate and less coordinated. Batman remained focused as ever and managed to defeat him in combat.
During Batman's interrogation of Bane regarding the location of the trigger to the bomb, Bane went unspeaking as Miranda stabbed Batman and revealed herself in the lobby of city hall as Talia. She explained her and Bane's past as Bane shed a couple of tears while she fixed his mask. A recovered Bane held a rope around Batman's neck while Talia taunted Batman. Due to her trigger's signal being blocked by Gordon, she left Bane to guard Batman so that Batman would survive long enough to see the bomb go off while she commanded the truck containing the nuclear time bomb. Alone with Batman, Bane stated that both he and Batman knew what had to happen. Bane ignored Talia's command and decided to kill Batman himself with a shotgun. but was shot at point-blank range in the chest by Selina Kyle with the Batpod's cannon, killing him instantly, before he could execute Batman.
Bane is shown to be a capable close range fighter in the Pit before being trained by the League of Shadows. During his fights with Batman, his abilities honed over the years are shown. He uses his brute strength and ferocity to gain an advantage over his opponents. He can snap necks and crush windpipes with ease. He can think and act quickly in the moment for whatever the situation may require. Bane also has a mask that administers anesthetic gas through tubes into his body which holds the pain from physical injury at bay. However, the mask is also a weakness if it's damaged as the pain is unleashed.
- "Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark, I was born in it. Molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man by then it was nothing to me but blinding!"
- "The shadows betray you, because they belong to me!"
- "I will show you where I have made my home while preparing to bring justice. Then I will break you."
- "Peace has cost you your strength. Victory has defeated you."
- "You don't fear death, you welcome it. Your punishment must be more severe."
- "Ah, yes, I was wondering what would break first. Your spirit, or your body!"
- "Home, where I learned the truth about despair, as will you. 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. So easy… So simple… And like shipwrecked men turning to sea water from uncontrollable thirst, many have died trying. I learned here that there can be no true despair without hope. So, as I terrorize Gotham, I will feed its people hope to poison their souls. I will let them believe they can survive so that you can watch them clamoring over each other to “stay in the sun.” You can watch me torture an entire city and when you have truly understood the depth of your failure, we will fulfill Ra’s al Ghul’s destiny… We will destroy Gotham and then, when it is done and Gotham is ashes, then you have my permission to die."
Behind the scenes
- David Goyer suggested Bane to writer/director Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight Rises. Goyer said, "I first brought up Bane, I think Chris was initially horrified. And I said, 'Hold on, hold on, hold on. This will be the Nolan version of Bane.'" "He's a creepy, very physical character. Somebody who's been physically distorted. I think Chris liked that." Nolan was in search of a physical antagonist for the story.
- Parts of Bane's character was said by Nolan to have been based on Star Wars villain Darth Vader, "It’s a little bit of Darth Vader, a little bit of this, little bit of that…". Nolan also said, "We wanted more of the Darth Vader, if you like, and that was very important in the story dynamics."
- Nolan compared Bane to Bruce Wayne on the wrong path, "...His past very much mirrors Bruce Wayne’s in interesting ways, from his training and with the League of Shadows background. Bane represents the wrong path of Bruce Wayne almost back to 'Batman Begins.' So Bane is the return of that danger. The wrong side for Bruce Wayne."
- Bane is known for the usage of the chemical drug venom for physical enhancement in the comics and other adaptations. In The Dark Knight Rises, a type of anesthetic relieves him of any pain and is directly administered into Bane's airways through his mask.
- Tom Hardy has described Bane 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 and collarbones and snapping heads off and tearing his fists through chests, ripping out spinal columns. He is a terrorist in mentality as well as brutal action."
- There were some criticisms about Bane's being difficult to understand after the The Dark Knight Rises prologue debuted in December 2011. The prologue voice was mostly changed in the later theatrical cut of the full film.
- A controversy regarding the character ensued nearing the release of the film where several political pundits, including conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh, believed that Bane was intended to reference Bain Capital, the name of the company 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney formerly ran. Christopher Nolan called the comments "bizarre", and Bane's conservative co-creator Charles Dixon pointed out that Bane's character in the film was closer to Occupy Wall Street.
- Tom Hardy based Bane's voice on that of an Irish traveler; though many have compared his voice to that of famed actor Sean Connery.
- Bane's costume for the film is markedly different from his comic book counterpart who wears a Mexican wrestler's mask. In the film, his mask does not cover his full face, but rather his mouth, jaw, and his back head, with his eyes and brows clearly exposed. He also wears a military grade armored vest, with a matching pair of black combat pants complete with knee pads. He also periodically dons a brown trenchcoat.
- Tom Hardy stands around 5'9"/5'10" (depending on the source) while Christian Bale is 6'0". Since Bane towers over Batman in height in the comics, special film techniques were used to make Hardy's stature and figure appear larger and imposing. In particular, three-inch lifts were added to Hardy's boots to make him equal in height to other tall characters.
- Bane holds many similarities with the French Revolutionary, Maximilien de Robespierre. This was in part due to the plot of The Dark Knight Rises being inspired by Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, which took place during the aftermath of the French Revolution, during Robespierre's reign of terror.