New DARK KNIGHT RISES Set Photo Shows a Mysterious Masked Man Performing a Dangerous Stunt

Though it is unclear who is behind the mask, this photo taken over the weekend on the Croydon set of director Chris Nolan's latest Batman movie may hint at the film's villain Bane.

The Dark Knight Rises is the highly anticipated final installment of Warner Bros and DC Entertainment's new Batman film franchise. Christopher Nolan has returned to direct the film from a screenplay he wrote with Jonathan Nolan, from a story by himself and David S. Goyer. Details about the film's storyline are scarce, but it has already been established that one of villains set to take on the Batman (Christian Bale) will be the powerhouse known as Bane (Tom Hardy). Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), better known to comics fans as Catwoman, will also have a central role in the movie. The will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

A new photo from the Croydon, England, set of The Dark Knight Rises shows a glimpse of a man in a suit wearing what appears to be a ski mask ready to jump out of a high-rise window:



Though the context of this shot can't be decided, as well as who exactly the character is supposed to be, fan speculation points to the possibility of it being the film's villain Bane (portrayed in the scene by either Tom Hardy or his stunt man). A panel from one of DC Comic's Batman issues -- shown on the right -- whose story centers around the physically imposing villain shows a glaring similarity to the photo from the set.

The Dark Knight Rises stars Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Josh Pence, Daniel Sunjata, Diego Klattenhoff, Burn Gorman, Nestor Carbonell, Alon Aboutboul, Matthew Modine, Tom Conti, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis and Joey King and is scheduled to hit theaters July 20th, 2012.