Jeep Swenson played DC’s Bane in the much-maligned Batman & Robin, Tom Hardy took over the role for The Dark Knight Rises, and Shane West got his turn in the Fox series Gotham. But it seems pretty clear that the most popular fan-casting of the Bat-breaker Bane is Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Dave Bautista. The best fan artists on the Internet often do what they can to let the Powers That Be know Bautista was born to play the Santa Prisca villain, including an amazing image by Instagram artist Jaxson Derr.
Jaxson Derr’s imagining of Dave Bautista as Bane looks closer to the Batman & Robin version of the character. Like Jeep Swenson’s Bane, his drawing includes the tubes filled with the green Venom that boosts the villain’s strength. However, rather than wearing an actual mask, Derr’s rendition of the actor has a mask painted — or possibly tattooed — on his face. Meanwhile, the actor’s arms keep their original ink without the green veins of Swenson’s version. You can see the image below.
DC fans have been waiting to see Dave Bautista take on the role of Bane for a while, and a little over three years ago, many were convinced it was finally going to happen. When it was announced in October 2018 that James Gunn — who, at the time, had yet to be rehired to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 — was recruited to helm The Suicide Squad, Bautista quickly showed his interest, tweeting “Where do I sign up!” The actor would later reveal he had the chance to play Peacemaker, but turned it down. However, before anyone knew whether or not Bautista would appear or who he might play, the top fan choice was for Bane.
In an interview this May with Digital Spy, Dave Bautista explained that while it broke his heart to turn down the chance to work with Gunn on The Suicide Squad, he chose instead to play Scott Ward in the 2021 zombie heist flick Army of the Dead. The actor explained that Army of the Dead was the clear choice because it gave him a chance to work with Zack Snyder as well as”build a relationship with Netflix,” along with giving him a lead role and a much bigger payday.
In spite of Dave Bautista not appearing in The Suicide Squad — and the fact that he was never up to play Bane in that film regardless — the actor has made it clear he wants the role. Along with mentioning it often on social media, earlier this year Bautista talked about an interesting meeting he reportedly had with Warner Bros about playing the villain. At this year’s Justice Con (via Collider), Bautista said that he went into the meetings with Warner Bros. and DC executives saying “I want to play Bane” without any other intro. When it was explained to him that they weren’t casting the character, Bautista said he replied with, “I don’t care, I’m playing him.”
While we’re waiting to find out if Dave Bautista ever realizes his goal of playing Bane, there are other recent stories you can see the actor in. Army of the Dead is streaming on Netflix, and Bautista plays Edo Voss — brother to Jason Momoa’s Baba Voss — in season 2 of Apple TV+’s dystopian series See. Along with what Bautista has said will be his final three appearances as Marvel’s Drax — next year’s Thor: Love and Thunder, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, and 2023’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 — he’s set to appear in the 2022 whodunnit sequel Knives Out 2.