One of the more obscure characters added to The Dark Knight Rises was Bane. The character is a relatively young Batman villain, not appearing in the comics till the early '90s, compared to folks like the Joker who traces back to 1940. To have Bane even as a secondary villain would have been a gutsy choice on Nolan's behalf, but to have him as the primary villain is even gutsier. Majority of comic book writers tend to tackle Bane simply for his muscle, to have someone that can challenge Batman physically, but Bane has on occasion had a writer who knew that Bane was not only a beast of brute force, but was a calculating mercenary who has brains to match. This seems to be how Nolan is tackling the character.
While Nolan has stripped away some of the more fantastical elements of the character, such as his use of venom to make him super strong, the character seems to be given more to do here than he ever has in any comic book before (aside from breaking Batman's back). I am really intrigued to see where Nolan goes with the character, and in all honesty the character has a fairly minimal onscreen footprint. Sure, Bane popped up in The Batman cartoon a few years back, and he was notoriously done no justice whatsoever as Poison Ivy's muscle man in Batman & Robin. The only tremendous onscreen incarnation of the character is that from the early '90s cartoon, Batman: The Animated Series, voiced by Hector Elizondo.