This Photo Of Tom Hardy Without The Bane Mask Will Piss Off Batman Fans And Tom Hardy Fans Alike [Updated]

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Update: And as a fan of both, I'm really peeved—turns out this was Photoshopped! In my defense, I reverse-image-searched this when I first found it, and didn't see anything about it being a fake. Still, I got fooled, so thank you to the commenters who pointed that out. You can check out the original here.

Bane continues to be the breakout star of The Dark Knight Rises what with all the feverish talk about his scars and his mask and those two combined—that is, everyone wanting to know just how gruesome and warped they made Tom Hardy look underneath that monstrous facial covering. Well, the internet has delivered an answer, but I have to warn you, it's kinda disappointing.

This photo started circulating about a week ago, and again within the last twenty-four hours. It's a shot of Hardy on the set of TDKR but not in costume; we don't blame him, since they load him with all manner of metal braces and a heavy pimp coat, not to mention the mask covering most of his face. So, without further ado, here's what Hardy looks like sans mask!

Bane mask off Tom Hardy set photo tan sunburn back scar

Would you get a load of that tan? As I remember it, they shot most of TDKR in the winter, but obviously the sunlight got through, because whoo-wee someone got the most awkward tanline of the decade. (You can probably credit it to the big football stadium scene, since judging by these photos the cast and crew spent hours out in the sunshine with little to no shade.) I can't tell which part is worse, the white skin following the weird lines of his mask down the forehead and over his cheeks, or the spot of tan on his cheek where the skin was exposed. Either way, he doesn't look very happy to be caught like this.

So, you're probably wondering why I said that this photo would piss off two fanbases at once. As Screen Crush pointed out, part of the excitement of seeing under Bane's mask is to determine the actual extent of the damage to Bane's face. According to Christopher Nolan‘s canon (spoilers, duh), after Bane helps Talia escape the prison, the other inmates subject him to the plague and leave him withered and near-death before Ra's al Ghul and the League of Shadows rescue him.

We the fans had assumed that Nolan would commit to that backstory by having the makeup artists actually make Bane's face as terrifying as it's supposed to be, even if we never saw it. It's like when you're writing a script and you write several scenes between characters that the audience never sees, if only because they provide context for what you do see. So, a lot of people probably felt cheated to see that it was indeed a bald Tom Hardy underneath the Bane mask, just like when Nolan and/or the editors decided to cut out all the backstory about Bane getting tortured. I know I did.

As for the Tom Hardy fans, it should be obvious: Their pretty Englishman has an awkward face-tan.

Photo: Screen Crush