|Bane - played by Tom Hardy - from The Dark Knight Rises (PHOTO COURTESY WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT)
A good director never assumes he's smarter than his audience. He might know more than individual filmgoers, sure, but versus the collective consciousness, it's no contest.
The Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan found that out when fans reacted badly to the character of Bane (Tom Hardy) in the film's first teaser footage, released last year. It was so hard to make out what Hardy was saying through Bane's respirator mask that fans immediately started complaining about it -- and mocking it -- online.
But if you see The Dark Knight Rises in its completed form this week, you'll notice Bane's voice has been un-muffled and is now easily understood. (Shame the same can't be said for Batman's bizarre growl, but that's another story.)
It's a case of a fan-rankling mistake averted before it was too late. But not all directors have been so savvy, especially when it comes to flicks that appeal to a particularly passionate -- or geeky -- audience. Here are some gaffes, flubs and just plain bad decisions that have been immortalized in film.
Rubber nipples on Batman's costume (Batman and Robin, 1997)
Christopher Nolan may or may not have changed Bane's voice as a response to fan backlash, but Batman & Robin director Joel Schumacher couldn't be convinced that having prominent rubber nipples on his heroes' costumes was a really terrible idea. Then again, the movie as a whole was so awful it effectively killed the bat-franchise for eight years.
Stormtrooper bonks his head (Star Wars, 1977)
In one of the all-time great movie gaffes, we see a stormtrooper hit his head on a doorway as he and his cronies storm a control room where C-3PO and R2-D2 are hiding. But rather than edit the mistake out for future releases of the film, director George Lucas added an audible "bonk!" sound effect to the scene. Hey, stormtroopers are human, too.
Mismatched dialogue (Blade Runner, 1982)
There are tons of mistakes in Ridley Scott's sci-fi masterpiece, but one of the most glaring is a conversation between Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) and a snake merchant, in which the characters' lip movements and dialogue are very obviously mismatched. For the film's 25th anniversary re-release, Scott hired Ford's son, Ben, to re-shoot the scene so that Deckard's mouth was synced to the dialogue track.
Jessica Alba as the Invisible Woman (Fantastic Four, 2005)
We love Jessica Alba - lord, do we love her - but this was one of the worst casting decisions ever in a comic book movie. The brown-eyed, olive-skinned Alba looked so bizarre with her bleached-blonde locks, ice-blue contacts and lightened skin that it was distracting whenever she was on screen. And not in a good way.
Han Solo shoots first (Star Wars, 1977)
Another classic Star Wars blunder, but this one has a happy ending. In the original version of the movie, intergalactic bounty hunter Greedo was gunned down in cold blood when he confronted Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in a bar. Fortunately, this heinous mistake was fixed for the re-release of Star Wars, when a level-headed George Lucas wisely edited the scene to make Greedo fire his blaster first. And fans worldwide rejoiced.