This is the most head-spinning news about The Dark Knight Rises I think I’ve ever heard, considering that most of us assumed the film picked up immediately after the events of The Dark Knight. In the new issue of Empire, Christopher Nolan serves a curveball that nearly took my head off. The new film is set 8 years after Batman’s defeat of the Joker and subsequent self-imposed murderer status to defend the reputation of Harvey Dent.

Here’s what Nolan had to say:

“With Bane, we’re looking to give Batman a challenge he hasn’t had before. With our choice of villain and with our choice of story we’re testing Batman both physically as well as mentally.”


This explains a couple of things: A while back, images of Bruce Wayne surfaced in which he appeared to have a silver streak of hair above his ears, which I think most of us dismissed. It also gives sufficient time for us to believe that the Joker is no longer in the picture(unless he is). This news really changes the dynamic of the entire saga, as we are left to wonder what has taken place between the two movies, and the dread of Bane’s brutality is enhanced knowing that Batman is pushing 40 and maybe out of practice.

Speaking of Bane’s brutality, let’s hear what actor Tom Hardy has to say about his villain’s methods:

“He’s brutal. 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 collar-bones 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.”


Are you kidding me? Snapping heads off? This sounds so unbelievably awesome that my nerdy fingers struggle to type the words. I had wondered how Nolan planned to top the Joker’s extreme methods, and it seems we now know. Bane is the physical force Batman has not experienced even in his prime, and now he’s middle-aged and dealing with a guy with absolutely no limitations as to achieving his goals.

Of course this calls into question what other things has the Batman spent the past 8 years doing? My silly mind can’t help but wonder if he may have been training a certain Boy Wonder….

What say you? Any guesses as to what Batman’s been up to? Building a Batcave no doubt, but we know he’s been more proactive than that. Sound off below!! And head on over to Empire Online for more details, including some hints at Bane’s backstory.