The Dark Knight Rises packs several story lines into its 165 minutes, but if you were expecting plenty of backstory for its big new villain Bane, you may have been disappointed: You get occasional scraps of dialogue and implications that may help you figure out why Tom Hardy's character acts the way he does, but director Christopher Nolan didn't bother to include anything as explicit as, say, a scene that explains why Bane is wearing that big mask or utility belt. Except that originally ... he did!
GQ rang up the film's costume designer Lindy Hemming, who hasn't actually seen the finished film yet, so in the middle of a regular interview about the film's Armani and Mugler duds, Hemming began to speak freely about a Bane flashback sequence that Nolan shot but evidently didn't include in the final cut.
The thing that you should have seen during that 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 ... If you look at the film, unless they've cut it—and I'm sure they haven't—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.
Eventually, the GQ writer informed Hemming that no such scene exists in the currently released movie, and she replied, "Well that's an awful shame, but I suppose you have to cut things. 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." Cross your fingers for some deleted scenes on the Blu-ray, kids.