Finally! More official Batman and Bane pics from Dark Knight Rises

Bane and Batman got some cover time in the latest issue of Empire Magazine. Not only did Warner Bros. premiere several new, OFFICIAL photos of the duo, but an exclusive interview with the stars and director Christopher Nolan offered up spoilery details.

The last time we saw Batman, he was on the run (literally). He'd framed himself for the murder of Harvey Dent and singlehandedly earned a spot on Gotham's most-wanted list. Christopher Nolan reveals that The Dark Knight Rises will pick up several years after the end of the last film.

"We left him in a very precarious place," Nolan said. "Perhaps 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. 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."

Speaking of Bane, Tom Hardy opens up about his villainous character, whom he describes as "brutal." He said, "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."

For those of you itching to see the first six or seven minutes of The Dark Knight Rises alongside Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Nolan confirms that the preview footage will introduce Bane. It'll be similar to how they presented the Joker in the first sequence of The Dark Knight.

The Dark Knight Rises opens July 20.

(Empire via Coming Soon)

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