Let's kick things off with a little spoiler warning, shall we? If you haven't seen The Dark Knight Rises, still want to, and haven't had the movie ruined for you by other people already, my best suggestion at this moment is that you completely ignore the idea that you ever clicked on this page and either head somewhere else on our site or go look at pictures of kittens. There is no home for you here.
While there still seems to be a bit of confusion about how Bane gets his mask in The Dark Knight Rises, the film actually explains the circumstances very well. While it does get a bit messy because Bruce Wayne confuses Bane and Talia as the son/daughter of Ra's al Ghul, basically what happened is that after Talia became imprisoned in the pit, Bane made it his responsibility to protect her. One day Bane gives Talia a boost up the wall so that she can try and make her escape, but Bane is savagely beaten by the other prisoners. The doctor living in the pit, who became hooked on his own medications, tried to repair Bane's incredible injuries through surgery, but ended up leaving him in constant, horrible pain. When Talia and her father return for the other prisoners in the pit, Ra's al Ghul gave Bane the mask to help dull the pain, but rejected him from the League of Shadows because he reminded the leader too much of the horrible death he led his love to. This story was well explained to audiences that we paying attention, but apparently there was a scene cut from the movie that went into Bane's origin even more.
Vulture recently discovered an interview with Dark Knight Rises costume director Lindy Hemming in GQ and during the interview she incidentally described a scene that didn't actually make it into the final cut of the movie (she hadn't had the chance to see it before the interview. Below is her description of the deleted scene:
"The thing that you should have seen during that sequence is [Bane] being injured in his youth. So one of the fundamental things about his costume is that he has this scar from the back injury. Even if he hasn't got the bulletproof vest on, he still has to wear the waist belt and the braces. In that scene in the prison, where he's learning to fight the same way Batman learned to fight, he's wearing an early version of his waist belt. It's showing support, but it's not the finished one he eventually wears. He's also wearing an early version of his gas mask, all glued together ... If you look at the film, unless they've cut it—and I'm sure they haven't—there's a whole early section for Tom Hardy where he's fighting and being taunted by people. He's got chains on him, and he's standing on a wooden thing while people are attacking him. And in that scene, he's wearing a much more ragged, primitive version of the mask."
Despite Hemming's assurance that they wouldn't get rid of the scene, when the interviewer told her that the scene wasn't in the movie she said, ""Well that's an awful shame, but I suppose you have to cut things. I won't elaborate on it too much, because it isn't in the film, but there was another section that showed you why he had the mask and where it came from."
We can expect The Dark Knight Rises to be available on Blu-ray and DVD sometime this fall and with any luck this will be a sequence featured in the deleted scenes section (though it's worth noting that neither The Dark Knight nor Batman Begins included them). Here's hoping!