In December, when the prologue from The Dark Knight Rises premiered before the IMAX version of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, the buzz surrounding the scene was less concerned with the impressive stunt work and more concerned with the unintelligible nature of Tom Hardy's Bane voice.
At the time, unnamed sources swore up and down that Christopher Nolan would not alter the voice for the final cut, saying that the director "doesn't dumb things down" for audiences. Well, if indeed 'clarifying dialogue' is a means of 'dumbing things down,' it's obvious from the above video that that's exactly what Nolan did.When the prologue was released - as well as the initial theatrical trailer - there were fans who chalked American audiences' inability to understand the voice to the strange British accent Hardy was affecting. But it's fairly clear from the before and after comparison that the over the top accent wasn't nearly as confounding as the garbled audio.
I think it's also fair to say that merely clarifying the dialogue didn't compromise the integrity of Nolan's artistic vision. Unless there's a meaningful point being made by making the dialogue incomprehensible - a la Brad Pitt's Pikey character from Snatch - it's easy enough to indicate that Bane is talking through a mask without baffling ticket buyers in the process. After all, if the characters in the film have no trouble understanding Bane, why should we?
Then again, it could've been a hilarious and entertaining turn of events if none of the characters in the film understood what he was saying either.
Tom Hardy's Bane-esque 'Star Trek' Screen Test
Meanwhile, the Internet has unearthed a ten-year-old Tom Hardy screen test from Star Trek: Nemesis that features an accent similar to the one he used for Bane.
In Nemesis, Hardy played the villainous Shinzon, a clone of Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) who (SPOILER ALERT) died precisely the same way that Lurtz did at the end of The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.
Check out the screen test below:
While the voice is obviously not quite as over the top as Bane's, there are moments when the Bane vibe shines through. It's worth noting that Hardy toned it down for the final cut of Nemesis - or perhaps we should say he 'dumbed it down' - a film so unsuccessful (both critically and financially) that it gave way to J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot.
Are you glad that Christopher Nolan altered Bane's voice for the final cut of The Dark Knight Rises? Drop us a line in the comments.
The Dark Knight Rises is in theaters everywhere.
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