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Who Does Bane From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Sound Like?

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by Matt Singer
July 25, 2012 8:09 PM
94 Comments
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"The Dark Knight Rises."

From the very first preview, no one could understand him. He came, he claimed, as a "necessary evil" of "Gotham's reckoning." I guess having a non-silly, intelligible voice was not considered a necessary part of necessary evil.

When Bane premiered in the extended "Dark Knight Rises" preview that played before IMAX screenings of "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," he just sounded like actor Tom Hardy with a mask over his face. Christopher Nolan insisted he wouldn't significantly change his borderline incomprehensible voice, but then he did, winding up with some much, much stranger (watch the line at 1:30 of this early trailer, and the line at 1:03 of this later one for proof). Now that "The Dark Knight Rises" is out, all anyone can talk about -- and all anyone can talk like -- is Bane and his slightly clearer, weirdly louder, and still-bizarre voice. Vulture said the original Bane voice sounded like "half-speed Buffalo Bill from 'Silence of the Lambs.'" In my review at ScreenCrush, I likened his pronouncements to a "pompous magician talking into the wrong end of a megaphone." But those are just two out of a myriad of interpretations of what is quickly becoming the cinematic Rorschach test of our age.

Who does Bane sound like? Who doesn't he sound like? I spent the afternoon collecting 50 (!!!) of the finest, funniest, and oddest descriptions of his idiosyncratic intonations. This is the sound of Gotham's reckoning (excuse me, "Gawthum's rehconiiiiiing," sorry Bane). And what an amusing sound it is.

Bane from "Dark Knight Rises" sounds like...

...Vincent Price talking through a window fan. (Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice)

...he's got an Egg McMuffin lodged in his trachea. (Phil Villarreal, OK! Magazine)

...somewhere between Yoda post-testosterone patch and Sean Connery on appletinis. (Michelle Orange, Movieline)

...an imitation of Sir Ian McKellen doing Patrick Stewart. (Tom Charity, CNN)

...Scooby-Doo. (Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle)

...a circus ringmaster trying to reach the cheap seats with a dollar-bin megaphone. (Rick Marshall, IFC)

...Bill Cosby speaking with an English accent through a Darth Vader filter. (samzepus, Slashdot)

...Darth Vader and Andy Kaufman's Foreign Man. (David Edelstein, NPR)

...Darth Vader with an Irish accent. (Dan Blomquist, Easy Reader News)

...Darth Vader shouting, while playing a bass accordion through a Harley Davidson exhaust pipe. (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)

And, from Twitter, Bane also sounds like...

...he's ordering mass destruction on a drive-thru intercom. (@aparnapkin)

...what the Monopoly character looks like he sounds like. (@ABritto76)

...a kind old man who wants to sit in a rocking chair and tell me war stories. (@thejoehenderson)

...a posh, luvvie cat that's meowing from an adjoining room. (@petedonaldson)

...a drunk, eldery Patrick Stewart locked in a cupboard. (@bamblesquatch)

...an old English porn star. (@amayafiyah)

...Anna Faris' burp/growl voice. (@Emersonyeah)

...Darth Vader mixed with T-Pain. (@IngloriousApps)

...Homer Simpson pretending to be Mr. Burns. (@seanedevine)

...the alien from "Earth Versus the Flying Saucers." (@scottEweinberg)

..the talking trees from "Lord of the Rings." (@misterpatches)

...Dumbledore. (@kriziaahh)

...Voldemort. (@jtcs1981)

...Winnie the Pooh. (@Shamrock_NY)

...Count Chocula. (@greyplanet)

...Goldmember. (@chrisrobinson)

...Zoidberg from "Futurama." (@awilson149)

...Deckard Cain from "Diablo." (@14outof20)

...Meatwad from "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." (@Regina_Kara)

...Cap'n Crunch talking into an auto tuner. (@retrocrush)

...General Grievous on pot. (@rozaqmandias)

...David Attenborough on steroids. (@JustinCordery)

...Alan Partridge talking into a Pringles tube. (@red90)

...Daniel Plainview speaking through a walkie-talkie. (@ASimpleDan)

...Bon Scott from AC/DC. (@shlinnnnn)

...Jack Black from Tenacious D. (@CantFeelMy)

...Ian McKellan. (@fuzzydunlopCl)

...Ian McKellan imitating Sean Connery. (@koush)

...the computer from "WarGames" imitating Christopher Walken. (@thefilmcynic)

...Sean Connery. (@oh_keefe)

...robot Sean Connery. (@millerlamotte)

...Sean Connery with bronchitis. (@NathanHullfish)

...Sean Connery over a bad cell phone reception. (@jpthegiraffe)

...a jovial Sean Connery dying at the bottom of a well. (@gilbertcruz)

...a cross between Sean Connery and Krang from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." (@LaurenFairley88)

...the love child of Sean Connery and Darth Vader. (@MikeRockavitch)

...the love child of Yoda and Cobra Commander. (@DCerminara)

...Darrell Hammond imitating Sean Connery. (@tconn)

...Darrell Hammond imitating Sean Connery through a vocoder. (@sternbergh)

...Darrell Hammond imitating Sean Connery while trapped in a well. (@KyleKallgren)

Have your own description of Bane's voice? Leave it in the comments section below. Special thanks to Evan Hughes, Michelle Orange, and Adam Sternbergh for suggesting this piece.

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More: Tom Hardy, The Dark Knight Rises

94 Comments

  • Ashnleo | June 13, 2014 2:24 AMReply

    Sean Connery and Liam Nielson!!!!!

  • Plotte Gosse | January 31, 2014 3:42 AMReply

    He DEFINITELY sounds like the milk man in Fiddler On The Roof. It's only a matter of time when some kid takes one or the other films and subs the voices. It would be hilarious...for your grandparents who remember Fiddler.

  • theTruth | November 18, 2013 1:28 PMReply

    Klaus Heisler... 100%. Check it out. Google him.

  • sundance | October 29, 2013 1:15 AMReply

    He sounds like that huge evil actor with the mask in the movie "The dark night rises"....lol

  • David | August 27, 2013 12:44 PMReply

    I have to agree with the Buffalo Bill assessment. "Would you f$%@ me Mr. Wayne? I'd f$%@ me."

  • diana | June 16, 2013 8:52 PMReply

    Christopher Plummer enhanced...

  • bubbele | April 12, 2013 10:17 AMReply

    He sounds like Prince John in Disney's Robin Hood hahaha

  • c | March 20, 2013 8:11 AMReply

    He sounds like Sean Connery talking into an old fashioned tin can phone while taking a dump inside of an Oktoberfest porta potty.

  • Ryan | March 8, 2013 1:57 PMReply

    Anthony Hopkins

  • Joseph | March 5, 2013 12:28 AMReply

    Bane sounds like goldmember with a megaphone! " when Gotham is in ashes, you have my permission to paint his yoo-hoo gold!"

  • Joseph | March 5, 2013 12:26 AMReply

    Bane sounds like goldmember with a megaphone! " when Gotham is in ashes, you have my permission to paint his yoo-hoo gold!"

  • pleiadians | February 20, 2013 1:18 PMReply

    mr bean on acid becomming suicidal

  • Ctwelve | December 26, 2012 4:18 AMReply

    bane voice sounds like Darth vader doing Patrick Stewart

  • Rob Williams | December 25, 2012 8:00 PMReply

    Hardy's voice sounds like a REALLY bad interpretation of the Cheetah from the Cheetos commercials.

  • Ali | December 19, 2012 2:34 AMReply

    Bane's voice was tight I loved that was Nolan's interpretation that's all it was

  • AJ | December 12, 2012 2:56 AMReply

    Fozzy Bear with throat cancer.

  • Seventy | December 6, 2012 4:09 PMReply

    Bane sounds like Sean Connery sucked helium from a balloon and talked through a Darth Vader voice box.

  • Nova Fung | December 5, 2012 9:12 AMReply

    He sounds like an idiot with those strange intonations.

  • Sie Bolt | December 1, 2012 5:41 PMReply

    He sounds like Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer's father!!!

  • LG | December 1, 2012 10:11 PM

    yes, this!!

  • Kimberley Monari | November 3, 2012 7:48 AMReply

    Hannibal Lector and Darth Vader's love child in the Hole in Alcatraz.

  • Jokerman | September 23, 2012 3:36 PMReply

    Kobayashi from "Usual Suspects" speaking through a vacuum cleaner hose...

  • Hos | September 20, 2012 10:56 PMReply

    Christopher Plumber, through actual plumbing.

  • Micu Lucian Ionel | September 5, 2012 6:10 PMReply

    Sean Connery

  • Chris | September 5, 2012 5:20 AMReply

    He sounds like Martin Jol - the Fulham FC manager.

  • Earl | September 2, 2012 4:16 PMReply

    a cross between the voices of Sean Connery & Patrick Stewart and the intonations/deliveries of Hannibal Lector & Sean Connery

  • amanda | August 22, 2012 7:06 PMReply

    Sounds like the wise turtle in the Neverending story

  • Chris Johnson | August 22, 2012 2:09 AMReply

    Jeremy Irons with a cold or a speech impediment.

  • Leanne | August 21, 2012 9:18 AMReply

    am i the only one that thought he sounded like John Hurt? i Just saw it last night and when i heard Banes voice i automatically thought of John Hurt :/

  • Paul | August 21, 2012 8:04 AMReply

    Stephen Fry talking into a yoghurt pot is the best description I have heard.

  • jayjay | August 19, 2012 11:21 PMReply

    Very cool voice. Whoever said a jovial Sean Connery is very close. I like the voice.

  • EvaKerplunk | August 19, 2012 9:45 PMReply

    Sean Connery while he is trying to squeeze out that tenacious little poop out of his buttocks.

  • Mark | August 19, 2012 8:33 PMReply

    He sounds like the bird that gets sat on by the Rhino in the Lion King. Right after the "I just can't wait to be king scene."

  • Milton | August 18, 2012 11:14 AMReply

    Peter O'toole in Troy.

  • OzzyMandez | August 15, 2012 7:57 PMReply

    He sounds like Goldmember with a pop-corn bucket covering his mouth.

  • James antolick | August 15, 2012 3:26 PMReply

    Bans sounds like a Sean Connery tring to sing shakspear,

  • Bryan | August 13, 2012 9:11 AMReply

    Sean Connery

  • Docdizzle | August 12, 2012 8:34 PMReply

    Wilford Brinkley doing a taking over Gotham oatmeal commercial

  • Jac | August 11, 2012 9:55 PMReply

    I was positive that Bane's voice was the gas doc from hellboy2

  • wes | August 11, 2012 1:41 PMReply

    Darth vader mixed with Sean connery

  • Johnnyboy | August 9, 2012 6:28 PMReply

    No, it's too English to be Sean Connery, its more like Patrick Stewart when he's voicing the Head of the CIA in American Dad

  • PPQ | August 9, 2012 3:55 AMReply

    Dr. Henry Killinger

  • P Adams | August 9, 2012 12:26 AMReply

    Watch Dark Knight Binges Parody
    Better plot

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVsn4RMJgwI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  • minnie | August 8, 2012 5:26 PMReply

    ... Leonard Nimoy (Dr. William Bell) from Fringe!!

  • Eli | November 24, 2012 6:34 PM

    thanks god! I thought I was going crazy! it sounds exactly like him, the same old annoying voice!!!

  • MarcBeers | August 8, 2012 12:47 AMReply

    ...a 70-something, British Shakespearean stage actor through a very small sewer pipe.

  • fuzzyeric | August 7, 2012 5:37 PMReply

    Johann from Hellboy 2. (So, apparently he sounds like Seth McFarlane when he's not just doing a minor variation of New England Guy.)

  • Elie | August 6, 2012 5:14 PMReply

    Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek the next Generation. I thought he was the actor the whole way through!

  • Joshua | August 5, 2012 1:47 AMReply

    sounds like Charles Shaughnessy

  • Alana | August 4, 2012 11:25 PMReply

    he sounds just like sean connery

  • LGB | August 3, 2012 2:55 AMReply

    I thought he sounded exactly like Deckard Cain from Diablo II...
    After you helped him defeat Diablo's hoards he decided to take on The Bat man....

  • Alana | August 4, 2012 11:26 PM

    lmao. right?

  • Hunter | August 2, 2012 11:33 AMReply

    I think he was trying to sound like gore Vidal speaking through a megaphone. It makes sense sort of his was a strong distinctive populist voice that the occupy movement quotes although apparently mr Vidal wasn't flattered by the impression...

  • Sean Wilson | August 2, 2012 10:09 AMReply

    Matt Berry through a megaphone.

  • smithy | August 2, 2012 12:18 AMReply

    He sounds exactly like Goldfinger in James Bond. I wouldnt be surprised if he modelled his voice on Goldfinger's!.

    "No Mister Bond I expect you to die....!"

  • Jazzyfatnastee | August 1, 2012 11:35 PMReply

    An old prospector imitating Box from "Logan's Run"

  • BROHERN | August 1, 2012 8:21 PMReply

    He sounds like Plankton from Sponge Bob Square Pants.

  • Eazy | August 1, 2012 3:23 PMReply

    Orson Welles' Robin Masters, and Optimus Prime.

  • Kobraman88 | July 31, 2012 11:18 PMReply

    to me Bane at times sounded like a younger constipated Patrick Stewart

  • Sidewinder | July 30, 2012 7:33 PMReply

    Mike Stoklasa' Plinkett character from RedLetterMedia ;)
    http://redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-wars/star-wars-episode-1-the-phantom-menace/

  • Mike U | July 30, 2012 11:44 AMReply

    The love child of Darth Vader and the Maestro from Seinfeld.

  • spchtr | July 29, 2012 8:38 PMReply

    Actually, he sounds an awful lot like Peter O'Toole...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K561m7Nq7kk

  • Dee | July 29, 2012 6:27 PMReply

    He sounded like Tevya from "Fiddler on the Roof". I kept waiting for him to break into "If I Were a Rich Man" or "Tradition".

  • Joey | July 29, 2012 5:18 PMReply

    he sounded Like a gay Sean Connery talking thru a Pringles tube...."I was born in the dark". No bane, u were born in the closet

  • uws | July 29, 2012 1:33 PMReply

    Abraham Lincoln from Bill and Ted talking through a drainpipe.

  • The Reading Dark Knight | July 29, 2012 12:43 PMReply

    "what lovely, lovely words", it's Marlon Brando's Dr Moreau in the Lord Humongous,warrior of the Wastelands body.

  • Bob | July 29, 2012 10:42 AMReply

    He sounds like an upper class British transformer going through puberty.

  • They Call Me Tex | July 29, 2012 1:45 AMReply

    He sounds a stoned version of that dentist in Finding Nemo.

  • Tex | July 29, 2012 1:52 AM

    I meant like... Also I keep thinking Idris Elba and a speak n spell...

  • Christina | July 28, 2012 11:26 PMReply

    My son says he sounds like Winnie the Pooh-so he walk s around the house mimicking. Him.."Good Evening Mr Wayne...do you have my honey"?!?! I totally get it-the cadence of his voice is very similar.

  • Joseph | July 28, 2012 8:03 PMReply

    Surprised nobody has mentioned Brian Blessed!

  • astute1 | July 28, 2012 7:52 PMReply

    Bane's voice is a mean Sean Connery.

  • Dumog | July 28, 2012 3:25 PMReply

    Any teenage boy trying to sound like Sean Connery, except with a stereotypical Indian accent.

  • Erica | August 20, 2012 11:08 PM

    I was going to say, Sean Connery on the set of Last Crusade, trying to imitate John Rhys-Davies' character.

  • Heather kennedy | July 27, 2012 8:41 PMReply

    Its obviously the "Pepperidge Farms Remembers" guy.

  • Jerome Stueart | July 27, 2012 12:36 AMReply

    I could swear his voice is actually JG Hertzler. The actor who played Martok on Deep Space Nine.

  • seanax | July 26, 2012 11:48 PMReply

    I heard Max Von Sydow in his early English language films, very careful and very dramatic, but dropped an octave and filtered through a high school assembly PA system.

  • Janani N | July 26, 2012 8:51 PMReply

    he sounds like bill hick's 'goat boy' alter ego. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Itdzus4tiQ&feature=endscreen

  • Janani N | July 26, 2012 8:51 PM

    sorry typo bill hicks' *

  • Jordan Bassett | July 26, 2012 4:11 PMReply

    He sounds like this!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJQkQdfruGE

  • Trevor Bartlett | July 26, 2012 1:40 PMReply

    Stewie Griffin working a Taco Bell drive-through.

  • bizarrojerri | July 26, 2012 9:26 AMReply

    ...he sounds like John Cleese getting shit-faced inside an empty oil tanker...

  • mondoghosto | July 26, 2012 8:39 AMReply

    He sounds like a gruff Leslie Phillips...surprised more people haven't thought this.
    Like Leslie coming over all Darth Vader.
    "I say, old chap, I am Gotham's reckoning. Hehh-llooooooo."
    Ding-dongs as required.

  • J | July 26, 2012 3:33 AMReply

    William Hague

  • Willie Ayee | July 26, 2012 3:31 AMReply

    the villain from Die Hard: With A Vengence

  • Kate | July 26, 2012 12:19 AMReply

    It's not mine, but I liked this one from Xan Brooks: "delivering his lines in a choked, muddy drawl that makes him sound like Marlon Brando, down a well-shaft, gargling from a jerry-can. Bane might be fomenting a mass uprising against Gotham's moneyed elite; he might be singing the show-tunes from La Cage aux Folles. It is sometimes hard to tell."

  • Steve Rotterdam | July 25, 2012 9:44 PMReply

    Tor Johnson gargling with a harmonica.

  • Steve Rotterdam | July 25, 2012 9:43 PMReply

    Auric Goldfinger inhaling Whippets.

  • Rob Jones | July 25, 2012 9:31 PMReply

    And it doesn't get much better than that.

  • Rob Jones | July 25, 2012 9:30 PMReply

    Pretty sure a walrus butler was Devin Faraci's

  • Matt | July 25, 2012 9:04 PMReply

    FYI Tom Hardy has said he based Bane's voice on the late bare-knuckle boxer Bartley Gorman

  • G.R. | July 26, 2012 5:19 PM

    Ah, cool. It's funny; when I saw TDKR yesterday, I thought Bane sounded a lot like Paddy Considine in 'A Room for Romeo Brass' -- and Paddy had based his character's voice on Bartley Gorman, too.

  • Matthew Legarreta | July 25, 2012 8:36 PMReply

    A walrus with a mustache and monocle and/or Mr. Monopoly.

  • AlmostFilmCritic | July 25, 2012 8:23 PMReply

    Mix between Ian McKellan and Master Control Program from Tron.

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