Tom Hardy as Bane

Tom Hardy as Bane

Batman may be the Dark Knight who is protecting Gotham City from all that is evil but no Batman movie would be complete without the villain.

And over the years the Batman franchise has produced some great characters that we all love to hate and The Dark Knight Rises is no different.

So we take a look at some of the best that have graced the big screen since Tim Burton introduced took on this franchise back in 1989.

- The Joker from Batman (1989)

And you can't start anywhere else except with Jack Nicholson's fantastic interpretation of The Joker in Burton's Batman.

The movie is over twenty years old and it is still one of the iconic performances of the franchise.

Nicholson made this character one of cinema's icon as the crazed killer that is bringing a wave of violent crimes to Gotham's streets.

- Catwoman (Batman Returns 1992)

Burton returned to the director's chair for Batman Returns in 19992 and cast Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman - which remains one of her most memorable roles.

It was a great performance from Pfeiffer as she really embodied this character in what was a real action role for the actress.

- Ra's Al Ghul (Batman Begins 2005)

Liam Neeson took on the role of Ra's Al Ghul in Batman Begins back in 2005 - which saw Christopher Nolan take over the franchise.

He is perhaps one of the most complex villains in the Batman franchise as he is not looking for revenge - instead he is looking to save/heal the world.

It is a great action role for Neeson and he is the kind of actor that was able to assert authority in this part.

- Two Face (The Dark Knight 2008)

Aaron Eckhart took on the role of Harvey Dent aka Two Face in The Dark Knight back in 2008 in what was a great role.

The transformation from Gotham's White Knight to a character filled with hate was such a great one.

He is a character who becomes consumed by hate and is desperate to have his revenge on those he felt were responsible for Rachel Dawes' death.

It's an emotionally charged performance from Eckhart - not to mention that he looks fantastic as Two Face.

- The Joker (The Dark Knight 2008)

There were a few raised eyebrows when it was revealed that it would be Heath Ledger who would be playing The Joker in The Dark Knight.

But the actor stole the show in the role as he delivered a performance that was worlds apart from Jack Nicholson.

Gone was Nicholson’s comic interpretation of the character replaced instead by a real menace and madness as the Joker lived with no rules robbing and killing simply because he could.

The actor was rewarded with a posthumous Best Supporting Actor and it remains one of the greatest performances as a villain in a superhero movie.

- Bane (The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

And with The Dark Knight Rises we look set to be treated to another great villain as Tom Hardy takes on the role of Bane.

It is the first time that Bane has featured in the Nolan franchise and he is a terrorist that wants to destroy Gotham City.

Bane promises to be the toughest test for Batman so far and it's going to be great to see Bale and Hardy go head to head.

The Dark Knight Rises is released 20th July

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw

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