Tom Hardy doesn't want to compete with Heath Ledger in his role as the villain in 'The Dark Knight Rises'.
He said: ''That would be putting myself in a competition with somebody who's clearly brilliant. And it's not a question of whose talent is greater or whose work is greater.
''It's just trying to be the best that we can be. I'm not trying to be better than somebody else. What he did was amazing. That's that. I've got a part I've got to play, and I want to play my part.''
Tom portrays muscular comic book super-villain Bane in Christopher Nolan's latest film, while 'Brokeback Mountain' star Heath was awarded a posthumous 'Best Actor' Oscar for his performance as the Joker in 'The Dark Knight'. The 28-year-old star was found dead in January 2008 in his New York apartment from an accidental prescription drug overdose.
'The Dark Knight Rises' producer, Emma Thomas, said the writers wanted to steer clear of similarities with Heath's iconic Joker character.
She added to Hitflix: ''We were obviously never going to revisit the Joker, and you don't want to be trying to chase that.
''It's fun to have a very different sort of villain in this, and a different sort of challenge for Batman to meet, much more physical. It's almost a more even match in some ways, you know, in a physical sense.''
Tom, 34, has recently been praised for his performance in John Hillcoat's 'Lawless' at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
'The Dark Knight Rises' will be released in June.