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…