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Director Christopher Nolan has spoken to Empire, saying "surprisingly for some people, our story picks up quite a bit later, eight years after The Dark Knight. So he's an older Bruce Wayne; he's not in a great state."

The director also spoke about the choice of Bane as the villain. "With Bane, we're looking to give Batman a challenge he hasn't had before. With our choice of villain and with our choice of story we're testing Batman both physically as well as mentally."

Nolan also discussed the villain's fighting style of the physically imposing antagonist. "He's brutal. Brutal. He's a big dude who's incredibly clinical, in the fact that he has a result-based and oriented fighting style. It's not about fighting. It's about carnage. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed, it's nasty. Anything from small-joint manipulation to crushing skulls, crushing rib cages, stamping on shins and knees and necks and collarbones and snapping heads off and tearing his fists through chests, ripping out spinal columns. He is a terrorist in mentality as well as brutal action."

Empire also spoke to the film's costume designer Lindy Hemming, who revealed the reason for Bane's mask. "He was injured early in his story. he's suffering from pain and needs gas to survive. He can't survive the pain without the mask. The pipes from the mask go back along his jawline and feed into the thing at his back, where there are two cannisters."

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