With The Dark Knight Rises trailer officially floating around the interwebs, the reception for director, Christopher Nolan's third Bat-film has been mostly positive...except for one thing: The voice of villain, Bane.
At this point, the backlash (if we dare be so dramatic,) has reportedly caused a stir with some at Warner Bros studio, who, according to The Hollywood Reporter, are pressuring the director to alter Bane's voice to something more intelligible.
Nolan, however is apparently chalking up the buff, but muffled performance of star, Tom Hardy to artistic license. While he openly admits the roughness of Bane's voice, Nolan would explain that storytelling is conveyed primarily through visual drama, "otherwise, it's just a radio play."
Could the possibility of mounting fan pressure force a change in Bane's voice?
According to THR, there are "some" at Warner who would like to alter the sound mix to make Bane's dialogue more clear. This is apparently being met with resistance from Nolan, who has also earned a great deal of influence, having helmed major box-office monsters for the studio like franchise predecessor, The Dark Knight, as well as Inception. Thus, creating unnecessary friction would also not be ideal in this process.
That being said, THR's sources say that Nolan does plan to alter the Bane's rough vocal tones, but only slightly. According to an anonymous "High-Level Exec:"
“Chris wants the audience to catch up and participate rather than push everything at them. He doesn't dumb things down. You've got to pedal faster to keep up.”
This is an interesting stance. Bane's voice, while not completely unintelligible is, indeed muffled and difficult to understand. This was especially pronounced in the 6-minute prologue, which centered on Bane's intense mid-air heist between jets.
While the muffled sound of Bane's respirator could be considered an artistic choice, it does render his dialogue less accessible for a large portion of the audience. This is not due to any failure to "dumb down" intellectual aspects of the story, but simply based on the fact that the audience will not physically be able to fully perceive what's being expressed.
While it's clear there won't be a radical overhaul of Bane's voice, hopefully there can be some things done to at least crispen Tom Hardy's dialogue, so that communication breakdown won't hinder what appears to be an amazing performance as the muscle-bound-Bat-villain.