When fans who saw the Dark Knight Rises prologue back in December started to complain that they couldn't understand Bane's voice, we heard Christopher Nolan didn't care much, then we heard that maybe he cared a little after all, and then we were left to wait and hear for ourselves.
Now new footage from the flick has surfaced at the annual CinemaCon for movie theater owners, and it seems we finally have our answer to how Nolan dealt with Bane's voice.
Nolan was in Las Vegas this week to attend CinemaCon and reveal a short reel of footage to the theater owners in attendance. It wasn't story-heavy, because he wasn't necessarily showing it to fans, but some members of the press happened to be in the audience, and it seems they noticed a big difference in Bane's voice.
"OH I'M SO GLAD THAT BANE'S VOICE IS CLEARER NOW," Movies.com and Twitch critic Scott Weinberg tweeted from the event.
Jim Vejvoda of IGN was also watching the footage and reported that "it was plainly evident that Bane's audio had been boosted."
"Unlike in the prologue attached to last winter's release of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, some of the footage of which made its way into this several minutes-long sizzle reel, Bane was not muffled at all now," Vejvoda wrote. "Indeed, I feel confident saying he was crystal clear now! So we can finally lay those 'mumbling' memes to rest."
Cinemablend's Eric Eisenberg reported similar results but noted there could be one another explanation for the better sound.
"I understood every word that Bane said," Eisneberg wrote. "It should be noted that the theater I was in featured some of the most advanced technology in the projection industry, so I don't know if they changed the audio or if it was just the presentation, but it did raise my confidence in that aspect of the film."
Sure, it's possible that the projection quality is to blame for understanding Bane, but when you consider that all the complaints from back in December came from expensive IMAX theaters, it's hard to imagine that it's just a matter of better sound technology.
So it looks like Bane's going to be a little more comprehensible after all. Whether Nolan made the call himself or caved to pressure from Warner Bros. executives is anybody's guess, but at least we won't be puzzling over villainous monologues quite so much.
What's that? You want to know what else was in that footage? Well, it was really more of a montage, but Cinemablend did put together a handy list of the images. But be warned, there are a few SPOILERS AHEAD.
- Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) dressed as a maid before ripping off the white frills and revealing her black dress
- James Gordon (Gary Oldman), as seen in the teaser trailer from last summer, lying in a hospital bed in bad shape
- Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) sitting in his Batcave, which still looks very much like a cave
- Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox together in Wayne Enterprises
- A team of police officers in raid gear slowly touring through what appear to be subway tunnels
- Batman's new vehicle, The Bat, taking to the air and spinning twisting as it flies over Gotham
- Catwoman, in her full costume, leaning down and stealing stuff from a safe
- Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) and Bruce Wayne sharing an intimate kiss
- Catwoman sitting on the Batpod and firing at a blocked tunnel in the distance
- Miranda Tate saying, "You've given them everything," and Bruce Wayne replying, "Not yet."
- Alfred (Michael Caine) talking about the difficulty of getting back into his old routine.
Sadly, we still have to wait until July to see all of this come together, but at least we've proved that it is possible to get more excited about Nolan's Batman finale than we already were.