The man who broke Batman’s back in the comics, is ready to cause more damage in The Dark Knight Rises.
To make a modern superhero blockbuster, it’s not just enough that the movie is good: The campaign to get people excited has to be executed just as perfectly. Why anyone would need to get more excited about “The Dark Knight Rises” (which just started shooting) is beyond The Projector, but we do love the first salvo from the Warner Bros.’ publicity people that happened today.
This morning, the movie’s official site was revealed (via JoBlo) … if you call an all-black homepage with some weird chanting an official site. But then some crafty online sleuths discovered a coded message within the chanting, which suggested a Twitter hashtag, #TheFireRises. Tweeting that caused an image to show itself on the site, and thanks to more enterprising web folks, we now know it’s a photo of Tom Hardy decked out as Bane, the sequel’s principal villain.
Anyone who’s seen Hardy in the disturbing “Bronson” knows that he’s got a gift for scaring the hell out of you just with a look, and that’s what this image does. In the comic books, Bane was equal parts brawn and brain — sort of like Hannibal Lecter with the physique of a bodybuilder. And he’s also the man who famously turned Batman into a quadriplegic by breaking his back in a ’90s issue. It’s doubtful that will happen in “The Dark Knight Rises,” but looking at this photo, you wouldn’t put it past the dude.
But beyond just the reveal of Bane, this is some world-class viral marketing that might even top how the studio unveiled the Joker for the last film. What we particularly like about the Bane reveal is how it’s straight out of a high-tech thriller: The hero discovers a weird sound file, realizes it has a hidden message, and then cracks the code and saves the day. Fans wouldn’t have gone to all that trouble if they weren’t excited about “The Dark Knight Rises.” But, seriously, who isn’t excited about “The Dark Knight Rises”?