Tom Hardy as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises

Since The Dark Knight trilogy ended in The Dark Knight Rises in 2012, fans and critics have continued to praise the film series for its dark and gritty reimagining of Batman. Fans hold re-watch binges of the trilogy while quoting the films in daily life. Despite this fervor for these films, director Christopher Nolan thinks viewers aren’t appreciating one thing through the acclaimed trilogy.

Christopher Nolan created what many consider “the greatest superhero trilogy in film history.” His dark takes on the vigilante helped to erase the taste of corniness in the post-Tim Burton Batman films of the 1990s. While critics and fans praised Christian Bale’s Batman and the late Heath Ledger’s Joker, the director recently spoke to them ignoring Tom Hardy’s take on Bane.

There’s no safety net for any of these guys and Tom, I mean… what he did with that character has yet to be fully appreciated. It’s an extraordinary performance, and truly amazing. The voice, the relationship between just seeing the eyes and the brow. We had all these discussions about the mask and what it would reveal and what it wouldn’t reveal, and one of the things I remember him saying to me, he sort of put his finger up to his temple and his eyebrow and said, ‘Can you give me this to play with? Let people see this.’

While many see Tom Hardy as a great actor, Nolan's comments to Indiewire highlights how he believes The Dark Knight Rises' Bane is still under-appreciated compared to other performances in the trilogy. In retrospect, The Dark Knight trilogy was a momentous change in the superhero genre. It pushed great storytelling, direction and award-worthy performances to the forefront at a time where the genre was on life support.

Under Christopher Nolan’s guidance, the trilogy grossed over $2.4 billion at the worldwide box office. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight received multiple awards and nominations including multiple Oscar nominations. Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker garnered him multiple posthumous awards including the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. At the time, superhero films were not taken seriously during awards season, so Ledger’s posthumous win was a major moment for the genre.

Many see Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of the DC superhero has become the go-to characterization. This is most clear in Ben Affleck’s portrayal in Batman v Superman and Justice League. Robert Pattinson’s interpretation in The Batman may or may not draw from Nolan. We’ll have to see it when the film comes out on May 4, 2022.

In the meantime, you can watch The Dark Knight trilogy – Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises – on DVD, Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray, Google Play and iTunes. The Dark Knight Rises is available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

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