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TDKR: The Bane Problem

December 20, 2011

Yesterday’s debut of the 2nd Trailer for Christopher Nolan‘s sequel The Dark Knight Rises included some great footage–BUT as I (and others have) pointed out–it’s kinda difficult to understand the words of Bane (Tom Hardy) which could be a big problem.

THR lays it out…

A fantastic action sequence hurt by the fact that you cannot understand the villain at all,” commented one fan on Twitter. Others poked fun at the seven-minute IMAX prologue. “The Dark Knight Rises prologue was really great, especially when Bane spoke the soon-to-be-classic line: ‘Mmrbl ffrmrff hmrbblfmm‘”.

Fan websites, whose approval is seen in Hollywood as key to building buzz for big superhero tentpole movies, also have not been kind to the sound in the prologue. “We’ve seen the Dark Knight Rises prologue. And yes, Bane really does sound that bad,” wrote IO9. The male-oriented site What Would Tyler Durden Do published the prologue’s purported script pages to help shed light on the dialogue. The site’s comment on fan reaction to the footage: “Most people immediately said two things: ‘damn that was bad ass!’ and ‘I have no idea what the f*** was going on!’”

Sources close to the movie say Warner Bros. is very aware of the sound issue. One source working on the film says he is “scared to death” about “the Bane problem.” And with good reason. The last Batman film, 2008’s The Dark Knight, grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, and the studio doesn’t want anything to tamper with Rise’s chances for success.

Sources also say some at Warners would like Nolan to change the sound mix, but the filmmaker, whose autonomy is well-earned…has informed executives that he plans only to alter the sound slightly, not to rework it completely.

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.

Nolan said that it was OK for a moviegoer not to understand what was said at times, as long as the overall idea was conveyed. He is currently editing the movie and won’t have a cut to show the studio for at least a couple of months.

While Warners has supported Nolan’s wishes in the past, moviegoer complaints about the character could create pressure to make changes. Or the studio and Nolan can do nothing and hope that fan interest in The Dark Knight Rises outweighs any issues with understanding Bane’s dialogue.

Christian Bale Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt Marion Cotillard Josh Pence, Alon Aboutboul and Nestor Carbonell star along with return of the trilogy’s ensemble cast such as Morgan Freeman Gary Oldman and Michael Caine Cillian Murphy might be making a cameo

Matthew Modine Tom Conti Joey King Daniel Sunjata Diego Klattenhoff Christopher JudgeCSI: Miami” co-star Adam Rodriguez and Burn Gorman take on secondary roles. Rob Brown and Italian actor Massi Furlan have small roles in the film as well

Nolan called action on the DKR from a screenplay he wrote with bro Jonathan Nolan, from a story by Nolan and David S. Goyer.

The sequel is set to hit theaters on July 20th, 2012.

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