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Bane's Caribbean Origin & Accented Voice In "The Dark Night Rises" (Things That Make You Go Hmm...)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
April 12, 2012 10:55 AM
6 Comments
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I was over on Entertainment Weekly's website this morning, checking out this week's cover story on The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR) and a preview of the 2012 summer movie season, and in a short feature on TDKR, I read this:

[Tom] Hardy’s Bane has another defining characteristic that perhaps you’ve heard about, or perhaps have heard and didn’t understand: a curiously accented voice that’s further muffled by the rogue’s high-tech muzzle. “It’s a risk, because we could be laughed at — or it could be very fresh and exciting,” says Hardy, adding that the voice he developed was influenced by many factors, including a desire to honor the comic book character’s brains and Caribbean heritage. “The audience mustn’t be too concerned about the mumbly voice,” says Hardy. “As the film progresses, I think you’ll be able to tune to its setting.

The one piece of that paragraph that got my attention was that Bane is of "Caribbean heritage." Who knew? I certainly didn't. Although I'd guess that for you comic book afficionados, this is old news.

Being the curious cat that I am, I did some digging on Bane's history (however fictional) and learned the following:

- He was born in the fictional Caribbean Republic of Santa Prisca, in a prison called Peña Dura ("Hard Rock").

- Santa Prisca is a small island located in the northern Caribbean and shows strong influences from the period of Spanish colonialism, the introduction of African slaves, and its prominent role in the illegal drug trade.

- His father Edmund Dorrance had been a revolutionary and had escaped Santa Prisca's court system. The corrupt government however decreed that his young son would serve out the man's life sentence, and thus Bane's childhood and early adult life are spent in the amoral penitentiary environment.

- Bane carries a teddy bear he calls Osito (Spanish for "little bear"), whom he considers his only friend. It is revealed that Osito has a hole in his back to hold a knife that Bane uses against anyone who bullies him.

- Bane ultimately establishes himself as the "king" of Peña Dura prison. The prison's controllers take note and eventually force him to become a test subject for a mysterious drug known as Venom, which had killed all other subjects. The Peña Dura prison Venom experiment nearly kills Bane at first, but he survives and finds that the drug vastly increases his physical strength, although he needs to take it every 12 hours (via a system of tubes pumped directly into his brain) or he will suffer debilitating side-effects.

So if Santa Prisca were a real place in the northern Caribbean, it'll be an island region that also includes the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands

There's no real point to all this, other than just that I wasn't aware of Bane's Caribbean origins; and based on the above, he'd likely be a Spanish speaker. So this "accented voice" that Tom Hardy will speak with in character in TDKR might annoy some audiences I take it.

For those who are experts on Bane's comic book universe, is his heritage introduced at all, and does it ever become of any relevance to any of the comic book narratives he has been a part of?

Just one of those many things that make you go hmmm...

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6 Comments

  • Tamerlane, RLSV | April 5, 2013 10:28 PMReply

    The true origin of BANE's accent.
    youtube.com/watch?v=QTU91djQJm0
    TAMERLANE, REAL LIFE SUPER-VILLAIN

  • jaydub | July 18, 2012 12:24 AMReply

    Check out the current DC comic series running on Cartoon network called Young Justice. Bane is definately drawn like he is from Latin or Spanish decent and speaks with a heavy spanish accent.

  • VichusSmith | April 13, 2012 10:25 AMReply

    (My fault. Arnold was in a Batman movie, but not as Bane. How he was portrayed was still very bad.)

  • VichusSmith | April 13, 2012 10:19 AMReply

    Bane originally didn't look like Arnold Swarznegger, nor Tom Hardy. Bane in this movie wears a mas because the original Bane's mask is inspired by luchadors. So far, his best representation was in the 90s Batman cartoon. He's a big dude, but he's cunning, and he is latin american in origin.

    I think the Tom Hardy version is fine, but I really would not have minded if they made him as he was in the comics.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | April 12, 2012 11:16 AMReply

    His most "ethnic" look was achieved with "Batman: The Animated Series." In that cartoon -- and I feel a bit silly calling it that -- Bane looks dark-skinned (black/Hispanic). I think they even changed his place of origin to somewhere in South America, but I can't be sure.

  • HarveyDent | April 12, 2012 11:14 AMReply

    Bane's heritage from the comics I've read about him is played up no more or less than any other character of color in comic books. In most of the cartoons he's appeared in (ignore Batman and Robin) his voice is heavily Spanish-accented but never as a caricature. The snatches of Hardy's performance I've seen and heard makes it sound like Bane is more from Eastern Europe.

    Guess we'll find out in July.

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