Warner Bros is reported to be ‘scared to death’ after audiences claimed they couldn’t understand the dialogue from the latest Batman villain, Bane, in The Dark Knight Rises.

Bane Batman Tom Hardy The Dark Knight Rises muffled

A six minute prologue was shown as a preview of the latest instalment in Christopher Nolan‘s series of Batman films before IMAX screenings of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Whilst audiences appear to have been generally impressed by the sneak peak, there’s no ignoring the fact that many of them are also citing the dialogue from Bane, played by Tom Hardy, as being ‘incomprehensible’.

The source of the problem seems to lie in the fact that Hardy’s face is covered by a mask – through which he receives a super-strength serum, much as you might expect. However, it seems that aside from providing Bane with the means to be a credibly menacing bad guy, it has also muffled his voice to the degree that audiences are struggling to understand anything the character says. Coupled with Hardy‘s British accent, American viewers are thought to be finding Bane’s dialogue particularly tricky to understand.

The reaction to the clip has been so overwhelmingly focused on Bane’s dialogue issues that Warner Bros is reported to be putting pressure Nolan to make changes to the film’s audio, before it is released in cinemas. However, Nolan’s not known dumbing down to aid audience understanding (see Inception), and there’s no confirmation that the sound will be re-dubbed.

Batman fans may find it easier to fathom the dialogue of the rest of The Dark Knight Rises‘ star-studded cast, which sees Christian Bale return as Batman himself, as well as Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. They’ll be joined by Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a bunch of crystal clear enunciators if ever there was one.

The Dark Knight Rises is set to hit UK cinemas on 20th July 2012.

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