Dave Bautista once dreamed of playing Bane, one of Batman’s iconic arch-nemeses played by Tom Hardy in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises. But now the Knock at the Cabin star says those dreams are dead.
In an interview with Insider, Bautista explained why he’s given up on his crusade to convince DC bosses to give him the part.
For one thing, he’s spoken to new DC Studios co-head James Gunn, and he understands that to sign on to play Bane in the new DC Universe would be a 15-year commitment. That’s something Dave Bautista, 54, is okay with passing on.
“I have had conversations with James [Gunn] about that but I think the direction he’s leaning in, completely rebooting that whole universe, he’s starting from scratch and starting younger and fresher and I think you need to do that,” Bautista told Insider.
This is coming from the man who once walked directly into the offices of both Warner Bros. and DC and informed those in charge that he would be playing Bane the next time the character appeared in a movie.
“Oh, it would be Bane all day long. I’ve made no secret about this. I want to play Bane so bad I went to Warner Bros., had an appointment with them, had an appointment with DC, walked in the door and said, ‘I want to play Bane,'” Bautista said at Justice Con in 2021, via Collider. “I’m not kidding. They were a little like ‘Woah, we’re not even casting Bane.’ I was like ‘I don’t care, I’m playing him.'”
Now, he’s changed his tune.
“I think for the DC Universe to be revived, you need to start from scratch, and I think you need to start with younger actors,” Bautista continued in the recent Insider interview. “You need to start to plan for the next 15 years, and I just don’t think you can do that with me. And I understand that. And, also, I have to say that I appreciate that because I don’t want to play a character that I can’t bring justice to it. I don’t think at this point in my career that I can bring justice to Bane anymore. I just don’t know if I could handle the physical part, and I don’t think I would have the longevity to plan ahead for films. So, I just don’t know if I’d be that guy.”
Originally introduced in 1993 in DC’s Knightfall comic story arch, Bane’s supervillain origin story is that he was raised as a child inside a prison, growing up in total darkness without any kindness — hence his iconic dialogue with Christian Bale’s Batman in The Dark Knight Rises in which he exclaims, “You merely adopted the darkness. I was born in it.”
In Christopher Nolan’s final installment in The Dark Knight trilogy, Bane rejoins the League of Shadows — a secret organization that counterbalances corruption with extreme measures — after the death of Ra’s Al Ghul (Liam Neeson). Alongside Al Ghul’s daughter, Talia (Marion Cotillard), they enact a plan to destroy Gotham, which they believe is beyond saving from its corrupt leaders. Bruce Wayne (Bale) is forced to put back on the Batman cape as Gotham’s protector in order to thwart their plan and save Gotham.
Despite the fact that — spoiler alert — Bane dies at the end of Nolan’s trilogy, there is, apparently, still a future for the character in James Gunn and Peter Safran’s new DC Universe.
Now, all we can do is wait to find out which lucky young actor will be the next to play Bane.