Tom Hardy will play The Black Mask in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. ..well if readers of Comicbookmovie got their way. The live Poll was run over a number of weeks ago once Hardy was cast in an unspecified role. The Results and reaction are included after the jump.

1. as ROMAN SIONIS / BLACK MASK (29.97%) 
The overwelminging winner for Hardy to play was Black Mask with just about a third of the vote. Black Mask is a popular fan favourite despite being a reletive new villain in the comics. I could see Hardy as Black Mask but I couldn't see Nolan casting Hardy as Black Mask. Leonardo DiCaprio is more suited in my opinion but both could play the role well. Nolan wouldn't waste Hardy's talent in my opinion and would more likely employ him in a role where he isn't wearing a mask throughout all the movie. 

2. as HARVEY BULLOCK (13.53%) 
Finishing in 2nd place in a close run between 3 roles is Tom Hardy playing Harvey Bullock. This I believe only got people voting for it because either people can genuinly want to see him in the role or because they heard that it was the rumour so voted for it anyway. I feel that Nolan would make better use of Hardy's talent with putting him in a role like Harvey Bullock with this the most likely outcome, with reports that TDKR will focus even more on Gotham City PD, with Det. Sarah Essen also linked with appearing. Time will tell. 

3. as THOMAS ELLIOTT / HUSH (12.73) 
Just finishing 3rd was Hardy playing the role of Thomas Elliott / Hush, a vigilante killer with a grudge against Bruce Wayne. Fans immediately assumed that TDKR would team Hush and The Riddler together with actors Hardy and DiCaprio in those respective roles trying to bring down Bruce Wayne. Nolan has obviously gone in a different direction but that would be a nice film to see, maybe Batmanmag-glass_10x10.gif 4? Anyway, Hardy would really suit this role the most out of any and would share a great parrallel throughout the film of how Bruce Wayne could've turned out. 

4. as BANE (10.34%) 
4th place was him playing Bane, the man to break Batman's back. Their was a small couple of weeks when Hardy was heavily linked with playing Bane and people immediately thought of his performance in Bronson. Hardy would bring Bane to the big screen in a completely different light than what was portrayed in 1997's Batman & Robin, that would showstop the film and give Batman a real physical challenge that would take some beating. 

5. as FLOYD LAWTON / DEADSHOT (6.10%) 
Tom Hardy as Deadshot has been a popular fan choice for many years since his emergance. It is still a strong possibility to happen with recent rumours suggesting that the film won't have any "freaks" in the film, like Joker, Harvey Dent or Scarecrow but an old fashioned assasain who becomes fixated on Batman after missing could appeal. He was used in the animated tie in film Batman: Gotham Knight so who knows, that was a pretty cool version. 

Hardy was more heavily linked with this role than any other, when Mark Millar claimed to have read TDKR's script and began writing things on Twitter about a big scene outside Gotham. Internet sites picked this up and made up a story about that involving Killer Croc and Hardy playing him. Well, I couldn't see Nolan using Croc at all but Hardy would give the role his best try, it doesn't have the emotional depth that Nolan likes in his story's so wouldn't ever be considered in my opinion. 

Hardy as The Penguin could be an interesting take, drastically different from Danny DeVito's Penguin in 1992's Batman Returns. This role I personally believe that Hardy could do the most with in terms of acting ability, one that could win some awards for best supporting actor. It would be a very exciting take on the character and one that fans won't be disappointed with, as well as tying in with Nolan's theme of Gang/Mobs vs Batman and the Police. 

8. as CLAYFACE (3.98%) 
Another character that appeals well in comics and in animation but not something Nolan would go for. It would involve a lot of CGI which Nolan doesn't like to use, he likes practical effects instead. However.. Det. Sarah Essen, Harvey Bullock and then maybe a different version of Clayface maybe similar to The Batman's version. Very unlikely. 

Coming in 9th place is the choice for Nolan to create an original character for Hardy to play, whether it be Villain or Hero is still to be decided. Nolan has a skill with creating original characters, finding a very important place for Rachel Dawes who was an original creation in both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight where she died at the hands of the Joker. It would be exciting to know what Nolan would come up with. 

10. as HUGO STRANGE (2.92%) 
With just under 3% of you voting for Hardy to play Dr. Hugo Strange which would be a brilliant choice in my opinion and a similar character to The Riddler without all the riddles. A Genius level interllect, Strange reminds me of Hardy's performance in Bronson when he would go into Biography Mode and I think could be a defining role if true. 

Tied for 11th place is The Ventriloquist and another Character not on the list. Ventrilogquist is an interesting choice, a man who is "controlled" by his ventriloquist dummy to do bad things. And for the Other category, I can't think of anybody else that Hardy would be playing with it most likely being a villain. 

13. as GARFIELD LYNNS / FIREFLY (1.86%) 
The penultimate choice is for Hardy to play Firefly, a thief who uses a jetpack and high tech equipment. A pretty basic character that would be a waste of Hardy talent in my opinion and not worth taking a punt on seeing in 2012, but who knows because Nolan has rebuffed a lot of stuff. 

A pretty wildcard choice and not very well known by most fans but he is a supervillain with enhanced cybernetic a bit like Cyborg with extreme KGB training and a master of combat. He would be a formidable foe similar to Bane but an unlikely choice. 

So there you have it, voted for Tom Hardy to play BLACK MASK in The Dark Knight Rises which opens on July 20, 2012. What do you think of Hardy as Black Mask, have your opinion in the usual place!

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