Christopher Nolan has never been one to overshare, and certainly when it comes to deleted scenes, it's not exactly something he believes in. Neither "Batman Begins" or "The Dark Knight" home video releases contain any extra footage among their plethora of extras, and thus far with "The Dark Knight Rises" there has only been one official still and a script page that reveals anything that Nolan might've left on the cutting room floor. But it appears there is certainly a bit more.
Costume designer Lindy Hemming recently sat down with GQ to talk about her work on the movie (which she hasn't seen yet!) and in the process of talking about how she suited up Bane, casually revealed that an origin story style sequence for the villain wound up being removed from the movie. Here's what she had to say:
"…the other thing that you should have seen during that [prison] sequence is [Bane] being injured in his youth. So one of the fundamental things about his costume is that he has this scar from the back injury. Even if he hasn't got the bulletproof vest on, he still has to wear the waist belt and the braces. In that scene in the prison, where he's learning to fight the same way Batman learned to fight, he's wearing an early version of his waist belt. It's showing support, but it's not the finished one he eventually wears. He's also wearing an early version of his gas mask, all glued together.
…there's a whole early section for Tom Hardy where he's fighting and being taunted by people. He's got chains on him, and he's standing on a wooden thing while people are attacking him. And in that scene, he's wearing a much more ragged, primitive version of the mask.
…I won't elaborate on it too much, because it isn't in the film, but there was another section that showed you why he had the mask and where it came from."
That's pretty fascinating stuff, and a unique insight into Nolan's editing process. Certainly, with the movie running nearly three hours long, stuff had to go, but it seems Nolan preferred Bane being more of an unknowable menace rather than one who is fully explained, and it's an interesting choice. We'd have to agree that it's certainly a bit more frightning (particularly if you're not up on your comic lore) for Bane to emerge as a massive, masked threat to Gotham, leaving his backstory a bit more ephemeral. Did we need to see training scenes to believe in his brutal strength? Not really. Any chance we'll actually see this sequence? We're not holding our breath, so you'll probably have to leave it to your imagination.
But what's very real is how well the movie is doing. So much for those box-office reports that were ready to write off the film in its second week after the Aurora tragedy slowed down the film's receipts. Having reached the $732 million mark worldwide after three weeks, "The Dark Knight Rises" has surpassed "Ice Age: Continental Drift" as the second highest grossing film of the year worldwide. Domestically, 'TDKR' trails "The Hunger Games" ($358 million to $406 million) for the number two slot, but at the rate its going, Nolan's picture should be able to surpass that before all is said and done. And while "The Dark Knight Rises" likely cannot outdo "The Avengers" globally or domestically for the title of number one grossing film of 2012 (it's at a monstrous $1.4 billion, making it the third highest grossing picture of all time), the final film in the Batman trilogy still could reach the billion mark before all is said and done.
Three weeks and $732 million worldwide, with the foreign grosses still on par with the domestic ones (and they usually outperform the U.S. by almost double with major tentpoles)? Don't be shocked if the slow-moving juggernaut eventually surpasses $1 billion at the box office before the run is over. And with little in the way of competition until September (aside from "The Bourne Legacy" this weekend), it looks like The Bat will be flying high for a while.