'The Dark Knight Rises': First pic of Tom Hardy as Bane, official website launched

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And here... we... go!

Promotion for Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated third (and final) Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises" kicked off on Friday, May 20 with the launch of the movie's official website. And man, did they have a treat for fans: The first picture of Tom Hardy as Bane!

The treat didn't come easy though. When fans first went to the website, all they saw was a black page. Soon, a sound file begins to play, which is titled "Rises." JoBlo soon decoded a hidden message in the soundfile -- a Twitter hashtag! -- #thefirerises.

When fans started tweeting the hashtag, an image started filling in on the site. The more hashtags, the closer to completing the mosaic. Brilliant, no? Soon, the first official picture of Tom Hardy as Bane was filled in.

What do you think of Hardy's Bane look, Batman fans? Are you as excited for this movie as we are?
Photo/Video credit: Warner Bros.
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