‘Dark Knight Rises’ Prologue Raises Concerns Over Bane’s Voice

Reactions to Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight Rises” prologue, which introduces the back-breaking Bane through a pulse-pounding action sequence, have been overwhelmingly positive, except for one not-so-little detail: Bane’s voice.

A large portion of folks who’ve already seen the prologue agree that Bane’s dialogue can be difficult to understand, almost impossible at points, due to the combination of actor Tom Hardy’s accent and the character’s mask. Nolan himself admitted to Heat Vision that there will be points where viewers might not understand Bane’s words due to the accent-mask combo, though he insisted that additional dialogue recording will assist the finished product.

MTV News staff writer Kara Warner, who has seen the “Dark Knight Rises” prologue, described Hardy’s Bane voice as “heavily accented, cold and calculated, with an unhinged, raspy finish.” I asked her to weigh in on the Bane voice drama, and here’s what she had to say:

“Yes, it is difficult to hear some of what Hardy-as-Bane says in that German accent through his ghastly mask, even moreso because the few sentences we hear him speak are further hindered by the noisy setting: a plane, mid-flight, that’s had several drafty holes torn into it. I liken it to the experience of watching a Shakespearean play: at first it’s hard keeping track of every twist and turn in the dialogue, but after awhile your brain adjusts to the slightly foreign language and you hear everything perfectly.”

“Unfortunately with the prologue, we only had six minutes to absorb everything. Six minutes! I just don’t feel it’s enough to make the blanket judgment that we’re never going to understand anything Bane says, particularly when everything else in that footage was so spectacular. Nolan won’t let people be distracted by something a little ADR work can’t fix! He said as much during his conversations with attendees after the prologue. It was the first time they had shown anything to audiences, so naturally they were looking for feedback, which they’ve got. I say get off Nolan’s back and be happy we got to see any early footage at all.”

I’ll admit that I’ve been concerned by reports surrounding Bane’s voice, but Kara’s endorsement has me feeling more optimistic. Besides, it really is early days yet — plenty of time for ADR to fix up any extreme problems. But what do you think: are you nervous about understanding Bane’s dialogue, or do you have faith in Nolan?

Let us know what you think in the comments section and on Twitter!