The Dark Knight’s Christopher Nolan Responds To Tom Hardy Claiming Bane Was Based Off The Director

Bane’s first cinematic outing in 1997’s Batman & Robin, much like the movie as a whole, was not received well, as he was simply depicted as a mindless brute jacked up on Venom. Tom Hardy’s Bane in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, on the other hand, was a calculating mastermind who tested the physical and mental limits of Christian Bale’s Batman. Amusingly enough, Hardy has said in the past that his Bane was based on the man who helmed the Dark Knight trilogy, Christopher Nolan.

During his recent visit the Happy Sad Confused podcast to promote the home release of his latest movie, Tenet, Christopher Nolan talked about some of the “Nolan-esque” characters in his movies, with Tom Hardy’s Bane in good company with folks such as Leonardo DiCaprio’s Cobb from Inception and Robert Pattinson’s Neil from Tenet. As Nolan explained:

I’ve been teased about it in the past. Funnily enough I think there are, whether you’re looking at Kyle MacLachlan with David Lynch in Blue Velvet who does his collar up, I think there is a slightly mischievous tendency on the part of actors to see in the filmmakers where as a writer, particularly writer/directors, were able to put a bit of themselves into something and then build on that. Tom Hardy maintains that Bane is somehow based on me, but in Tom’s mind, there’s some very complex interweaving of impulses and influences that somehow I have a voice in. I think it’s certainly not conscious on my part, I think Rob with Neil, we talked about a lot of different influences on that character, none of which were me.

Anyone familiar with traditional depictions of Bane knows that The Dark Knight Rises took some creative liberties with the character, from him wearing that mask to diminish the agonizing pain he constantly dealt with, to how he was an excommunicated member of the League of Shadows. So with such changes, it was bound to happen that Tom Hardy’s Bane would be influenced by some unexpected sources. While Christopher Nolan says he didn’t intentionally infuse this version of the character with some of his own traits, he acknowledged that as with past characters, it could have happened unintentionally on his part and also through some individual choice from the actor.

Clearly the end result paid off considering how memorable The Dark Knight Rises’ Bane was, especially when it comes to that distinctive voice. The Dark Knight Rises marked Tom Hardy’s second collaboration with Christopher Nolan, as the actor previously played Eames in 2010’s Inception. The two joined forces again for 2017’s Dunkirk, where Hardy played the pilot Farrier.

While Bane is still one Tom Hardy’s most recognizable roles, the actor’s comic book adaptation cred is now held down by his gig as Eddie Brock/Venom in the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters. Hardy was also originally cast to play Rick Flag in Suicide Squad, but he had to drop out of the movie due to scheduling conflicts. Joel Kinnaman took over the role, and he’s reprising Flag for next year’s The Suicide Squad.

Tom Hardy’s most recent movie, Capone, was released back in May, and he’ll return as Eddie Brock for Venom: Let There Be Carnage on June 25, 2021. Browse through our 2021 release schedule to learn what other movies are on the way. Those of you interested in watching Tenet in the comfort of your own home can procure the movie on Blu-Ray, 4K, DVD and Digital HD starting Next Tuesday, December 15.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.