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Some of Dark Knight Rises may go unheard; Nolan not concerned if you can’t understand Bane

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Caffeinated Clint
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Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole.

While feedback was universally positive for the IMAX-only “Dark Knight Rises” prologue, there was one common complaint : the villain, Bane (played by Tom Hardy), was hard to understand.

As Drew Turney wrote in his review of the prologue here at Moviehole, “And while it was visually stunning, most of those gathered hoped more work will be put into the sound mix. Some of the dialogue – particularly Hardy as Bane behind the iconic mask – was very hard to make out.”

Seems more work won’t be put into the sound mix, director Christopher Nolan is happy with how Bane sounds. Interestingly enough, and it’s possible they’ve simply being reading the comments about the muffled mutterings of the muzzled villain and don’t have a problem with it themselves, Warner Bros aren’t happy that Nolan won’t make the character a little more, er, audible.

The Hollywood Reporter said :

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 (his Inception earned the studio more than $800 million and eight Oscar nominations), 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 last week something along the lines of ‘It’s OK if folks don’t know what the heck one of the characters is saying, as long as they can understand what’s going on’. Strange comment. And he could be right. But still… I think we’d like to be able to understand the words that are coming out of each character’s mouth – particularly if subtitles aren’t offered.

Be interesting to see whether Warner can pressure Nolan into fixing the sound mix, and possibly get Tom Hardy back to do some ADR and speak redo. And if not, I hear Glenn Close is always willing to step in and voice a character and better still, she does good bloke.

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