Photo: Tom Hardy as Bane in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Christopher Nolan the marketing team for The Dark Knight Rises are having some fun again. In the campaign leading up the release of The Dark Knight in 2008, fans were led on a series of viral marketing treasure hunts leading to information about the film. It looks like the same thing is happening with this third film in Nolan's trilogy, starting with this image of Tom Hardy as Bane. 

Someone apparently found this image by playing around with a Twitter hashtag derived from visualized audio? Someone smarter than me will have to elaborate, but the final results are here, courtesy of /Film


For more on the elaborate marketing games and puzzles created for The Dark Knight, check out Frank Rose's The Art of Immersion (it's effing great). I talked about the book and how marketing has grown into an aspect of story on my podcast Fuzzy Typewriter


  1. Man. That looks cool.

  2. Epic

  3. It looks like he wants to bite my head off.

  4. i saw this on another site and the comments were way negative, which really surprised me. the comments on here are what i expected. looks quite cool and bad-ass to me.

  5. Well that puts a huge grin on my kisser.  Depending on how Bane is written, Hardy has the potential to put out a performance on par with Ledger’s.  I’m not sure how they’d write Hardy to be as compelling a figure as the Joker, but I have faith in Nolan and Hardy.

  6. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Tom Katers has not stopped sending me emails about this photo. “I just noticed something else!” 

  7. Nice venom port in the back of his head/mask.

  8. He looks scary!  I like it..

  9. looks like scorpion or smoke from mortal kombat

  10. Appropriately scary. I don’t envy Bale going against that.

  11. The Bane I know respects women.

  12. Flipping awesome.  Marketing engine is cranking up.

  13. Is that a big scar going down his spine?

  14. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Help me figure this out. The hashtag for this was in the audio from the official movie site? How did they find text in audio? 

  15. @Paul

    Slashfilm does a good job showing/explaining:

    It still freaks me out that somone would actually figure this out though, without being somekind of Batman-level detective themselves.

  16. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Thursday  I saw that, but I don’t understand how the audio had text imbedded in it. 

  17. Stoked!

  18. Haha thats pretty great, but I too want to know how they manipulated the audio spectrals like that. Whatever application exists to do so, I want to play with it. 🙂

  19. I mean I know tools exists to filter audio frequencies, but that seems like a really complicated filtered process!

  20. @Paul

    From what I can tell, they took a waveform (a graphical representation of sound) a manipulated it to look like text. Then they put it on the website in audioform, which apparently sounds like some kind of weird chanting. Then someone recorded the audio, and put it in a sound editing program to manipulate it, and saw how it looked like the text for the hash tag.

    (For the love of God someone correct me if I’m wrong)

  21. How would someone know to uncover this?

    Man, I wish I was back in undergrad so I could dick around with frickin’ waveforms at 10:00 in the morning. I barely have time to watch the goddamn movie.

  22. *Shwing*

  23. @JImski I think because it sounds like chanting someone probably figured it was a language so they probably recorded it to find out what it was and in the process of dissecting, which probably involved a number of trial and errors tests until they came across this. 

  24. If we’re judging someone’s back and obscure head then yes he looks cool.

    I’d like to see a full picture though before actually judging it. Also, what is the light coming from next to him? 

  25. @Thursday 
    Well, they didn’t actually make the waveform look like text. Those are spectrals, not the wave. They recorded some weird chanting, and then filtered some frequences to make the spectrals look like text. I just find the logistics of the process confusing.You’d have to filter out different frequencies sample by sample. The wouldnt be easy in any audio tools I know of, it must be some kinda of audio-watermarking application.

  26. Badass!

  27. Its like in the movie Contact, right? We got different levels here!

  28. @Muady  Thanks for clearing that up!

  29. I dig it.

    @TheNextChampion: You never cease to enrage amaze me.  

  30. Tom Hardy is the man.

  31. THIS IS GIVING ME GOOSEBUMPS!!!! So pumped for this to come out, & can’t wait for a teaser, maybe around San Diego Comic Con time? Also, is it just me or are they showing us that Bane will orally take his venom with that mask? Perhaps they’re making into a inhaling substance like the fear flowers from Batman Begins!!!! So Awesome!!!

  32. What’s with the little white dot?

  33. Hey if people are curious about the waveform graphics Aphex Twin did this with a photo of himself in a song..!


  34. @ResurrectionFlan  Was waiting for that reference. 🙂 Richard D. James is rather frightening.

  35. @JNewcomb  He’s a softie, he tries try to act weird.

  36. I wanna see the whole body. Its good but it wasnt the reveal when we saw ledgers joker. That was EPIC

  37. All the cryptic stuff is a cool marketing device, but Doesn’t it really only work for a small number of people? Like, once maybe 10 people figure out the mystery, no one else has to decode it, and millions can come across it by accident. By the time I saw the picture, I thought they’d just released it to release it, and wasn’t aware of all this sherlock holmes stuff that went into it.

  38. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Seriously, read the Frank Rose book mentioned in the post. 

  39. Honestly, I was sold as soon as they announced it was Hardy.  That definitely looks like Bane, but it’s hard to get more excited when you’re already at “11.”

    I think I will check out that “Art of Immersion” book.  That waveform stuff is really cool, although a bit too Neil Stephenson for comfort.

  40. I could be wrong but i think the white dot’s just meant to be a light source, but not THE light source, to give the room or whatever some kinda scale i guess. removing the light just makes it look weird.
    i like these things because only a few people are meant to figure it out but then they tell us about it and then we tell someone else and soon that balls a rolling!

  41. Let’s hope this next movie is not going to be, 1) Bane breaks Batman’s back, 2) we get to see Batman in rehab for 80% of the movie, and 3) “The Dark Knight Rises” from his bed to kick Bane’s ass in the last 10% of the film.

  42. I wish I still had all the Knightfall trades.  I would reread them before the movie comes out…

  43. Part of me thought this was a Hack/Slash movie image. This Bane looks ALOT like Vlad from that series.