CATEGORIES Features, Movies

When it was announced that 'Inception' star Tom Hardy would be co-starring in the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises,' rumors about which villain he'd be playing ran rampant.

Today, Warner Bros. announced Hardy will be playing Bane, one of Batman's most intellectually and physically challenging foes.

Moviefone writer Laura Prudom predicted it would be "unlikely" that Hardy would be portraying Bane when the news was first announced. Prudom did say Bane, a beefed up convict, was in Hardy's wheelhouse, but the character's inclusion in earlier Batman films made him unusable.

Looks like director Christopher Nolan thinks otherwise!

Here's what she had to say about who Bane is and why Hardy would be great for the role.

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Another victim of Joel Schumacher Syndrome after the critically derided 'Batman and Robin,' Bane is most familiar to audiences as Poison Ivy's giant, grunting henchman and nothing more. But in the comics, Bane was one of Batman's greatest adversaries, a physically and mentally imposing convict who becomes obsessed with defeating the Dark Knight after hearing tales of Batman's strength during his time in prison.

In the comics, Bane masterminds a scheme to "break" Batman in both body and mind, which he eventually does (literally) by breaking Batman's spine and leaving him paraplegic. Hardy is no stranger to playing beefed up criminals, having gained attention for his portrayal of Britain's most violent convict in 'Bronson' -- so in many ways, Bane seems like an ideal choice.

[By: Gaby Dunn and Laura Prudom]