Briton Tom Hardy is set to star in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Risesas longtime Batman foe and Arkham Asylum resident Bane.  At first glance, the 5’9 London-native seems to be miscast as the larger-than-life, veins-a-popping sociopath Bane; indeed, Hardy not only does not look the part, but one also wonders if he can accurately portray a villain certain to be edgy and multi-faceted in the hands of a master like Nolan.

Yet, perusal of one of Hardy’s recent and little known (to American audiences) film roles is enough to put the fears of Batman fans at ease.  In 2009, Hardy starred in the film Bronson, a biopic about a British criminal who spent 30 years in solitary confinement before becoming a bare-knuckle boxer while on parole.  This was a gritty role, requiring Hardy to get into character as a prison-hardened maniac with a passion for violence.

Watching Bronson, it becomes obvious that Hardy can pull off his new role.  Although Hardy is perhaps best known to North American audiences for his role in 2010′s Inception, Hardy has proven (to me, at least) that he has the acting range and the physicality to pull off brutish roles, like the Dark Knight Rises‘ Bane, all he needs is the right camera angles and… smallish supporting actors.  Take a look at the pics below.  Excited yet?