Christopher Nolan Will Not Rework Bane’s Incomprehensible Voice in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

     December 20, 2011

Tom Hardy Bane THE DARK KNIGHT RISES image slice

Yesterday, Batman fans were falling over themselves to praise the new trailer for The Dark Knight Rises.  There was plenty to like, but there was some agreement that the weakest aspect was trying to make out what Bane (Tom Hardy) was saying.  The same complaint was lodged against the six-minute prologue, but it didn’t seem like it would be a big deal to fix the problem.  Presumably, Christopher Nolan would hear the outcry, rework the ADR for Bane’s voice, and everyone would be happy.  Unfortunately, THR is reporting that Nolan is pretty okay with the current sound mix.  Sources at Warner Bros. say that the studio would like for Nolan to clarify the villain’s dialogue, but Nolan is using his independence “to alter the sound slightly, not to rework it completely.”  Nolan voiced a similar opinion following the premiere of the six-minute prologue when he told THR “that it was OK for a moviegoer not to understand what was said at times, as long as the overall idea was conveyed.”

It may be okay, but it’s also irritating and unintentionally comic.  Hit the jump for more.  The Dark Knight Rises opens July 20, 2012.

Regarding Nolan’s decision not to rework Bane’s voice, a high-level studio exec tells THR:

“Chris wants the audience to catch up and participate rather than push everything at them. He doesn’t dumb things down,” says one high-level exec, declining to be named. “You’ve got to pedal faster to keep up.”

Yeah, this isn’t Inception.  If some guy with a rag stuffed in his mouth tried to start talking to you, you wouldn’t think, “This man is brilliant.  I must keep up with his muffled, incomprehensible speech otherwise he’ll think I’m stupid.”  And if the point is to just to convey the overall idea, then why even have Bane speak at all?  It’s going to be funny and strange if he can speak to characters who understand him while the audience is scratching their heads and hoping for some closed-captioning.

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