Now that Empire has revealed their two covers for The Dark Knight Rises -- featuring both Batman and Bane -- it's time for them to give us a taste of the info they have tucked inside the issue. According to director Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises will pick up eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, adding "So he's an older Bruce Wayne; he's not in a great state."
Meanwhile, when it came to choosing a villain, Nolan and co. really wanted to test Batman on multiple levels seeing as this would be the last villain they throw at him. "With Bane, we're looking to give Batman a challenge he hasn't had before.," Nolan said. "With our choice of villain and with our choice of story we're testing Batman both physically as well as mentally."
So then what kind of challenges will Batman be up against with Bane? Honestly, the dude sounds like he's Scorpion from the Mortal Kombat video games based on some of the moves he has in his arsenal. Tom Hardy explains: "He's brutal. Brutal. He's a big dude who's incredibly clinical, in the fact that he has a result-based and oriented fighting style. It's not about fighting. It's about carnage. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed, it's nasty. Anything from small-joint manipulation to crushing skulls, crushing rib cages, stamping on shins and knees and necks and collarbones and snapping heads off and tearing his fists through chests, ripping out spinal columns. He is a terrorist in mentality as well as brutal action."
But why does he wear that funky mask? Costume designer Lindy Hemming tells us he needs it to survive: "He was injured early in his story. He's suffering from pain and needs gas to survive. He can't survive the pain without the mask. The pipes from the mask go back along his jawline and feed into the thing at his back, where there are two cannisters."
Snapping heads off and ripping out spinal columns. Think this guy is a little nuts or what? We expect more to arrive this week. Meanwhile, about that prologue playing in front of IMAX screenings of Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Nolan says it's "basically the first six, seven minutes of the film," adding that it'll serve as "an introduction to Bane, and a taste of the rest of the film." We can't freaking wait!
Additionally, some new low-res scans of the images including within the magazine have arrived online, one of which shows Harvey Dent coming back into play. Check them out below and click to enlarge. [via Collider, various]
The Dark Knight Rises hits on July 20th, 2012.