Part of the entertainment industry’s charm is how imagination translates into reality on film. Many ideas go through dozens of incarnations involving characters, sets, and props on paper until they take the next creative step. Perhaps the most famous film to popularize the behind the scenes process in this manner is “Star Wars.” The late artist/designer Ralph McQuarrie became almost as famous for his images as the final end results onscreen. Following the design process, Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” was presented a challenge to adapt DC’s comic book character Bane to the big screen.
With the original design of Bane resembling a Mexican luchador (wrestler,) the idea looks great in four color, but does not transfer well to film. Look at the horrible adaptation created for director Joel Schumacher’s 1997 “Batman and Robin.” The movie was terrible, but Bane was used as a henchman and his onscreen look and presence were far from threatening and believable. Saving the character’s reputation, actor Tom Hardy’s reincarnation of Bane took a somewhat realistic approach. Bane’s design enhanced the role, which audiences bought into and enjoyed.
Nolan ultimately settled for the mask that focused on covering Hardy’s nose and mouth. Check out the other designs.
“The Dark Knight Rises” will be released on DVD/Blu-ray on December 4th. The film stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Juno Temple, Josh Pence, Josh Stewart, Nestor Carbonell, Alon Abutbul, Liam Neeson, Matthew Modine, Tom Conti, Joey King, Christopher Judge, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Rob Brown, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven, and Emma Thomas are producing. Christopher and Jonathan Nolan wrote the screenplay, from a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. Christopher Nolan directs.