The highly anticipated second teaser poster for Christopher Nolan's 'The Dark Knight Rises' was released on the movie's official website over the weekend, leaving fans questioning whether the Caped Crusader will survive his battle with the villainous Bane, played by Tom Hardy, reports the New York Daily News.
The foreboding black-and-white poster features a smashed Batman mask lying on a snowy street while Bane stalks away in the background. The villain will be well-known to fans of the original comic books as the drug-fuelled monster that broke Batman's back in the 1993 issue. According to journalists who witnessed seven minutes of IMAX footage of the film in Los Angeles last week, Hardy gives a Heath Ledger-like performance in the movie - perhaps taking the spotlight away from Christian Bale's Batman. Speaking before the screening, director Nolan stayed coy on speculation of the superhero's demise, saying, "I've barely started to edit, so don't ask me about the ending". During a recent interview with Empire magazine, actor Hardy hinted Batman would face his sternest test against Bane, saying, "With our choice of villain and with our choice of story we're testing Batman both physically as well as mentally.He's brutal (Bane). 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".
Batman: The Dark Knight Rises is slated to hit cinemas on July 20, 2012. It will be Bale's last outing as the Caped Crusader.