We’re well into summer blockbuster territory now, with the recent release of X-Men Apocalypse behind us, and fever is now rising even more for Suicide Squad which is due in August. However it’s safe to say that Captain America: Civil War is the reigning box-office champion (so far, for Disney at least). Indeed, it is the belief of Empire Magazine that Civil War is “Marvel Studios’ finest film yet.”
Apart from its great continuation of the character’s relationships, its investigation of ethical and political issues and its witty banter (thank you Ant-Man) it also handled its new standout characters extremely well.
Black Panther’s solo movie is one of the most anticipated films on Marvel’s upcoming slate, and fans are already keen to see more of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. However, not everyone is overflowing with praise for the movie. Obviously it’s simply the way of life that you can’t please everyone, but a good many fans in Russia are not happy with our favorite wall-crawling character in particular.
They’ve got nothing against the excellent performance of Tom Holland! Rather, they have taken issue with a certain Vladimir Kanukhin, an-all new Russian voice-actor hired by the production company Neva to dub over his dialogue. Even though Civil War features the youngest version of Peter Parker (yet) on the silver screen, Russian audiences were underwhelmed by Spidey because his voice had none of its important, sarcastic wit.
In the words of one fan:
This comment was posted on a now-closed petition on Change.com, was signed by over 4,500 people and entitled “Replace the dubbing actor for Spider-Man in future movies of Marvel Studios.”
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the publisher and editor of Kinobusiness Alexander Semenov revealed that the dubbing process isn’t perfected often because of the “population’s limited literacy,” so any imperfections go over people's heads and don’t affect the box-office takings.
It's debatable how true this statement is, but a spokesperson for Neva has since defended their decision, stating that Kanukhin was “a student of a theater school” and that the production company still approved of his work.
At this stage it’s doubtful that a bad choice of voice is going to affect Civil War's earnings (it has taken $1,142,357,343 worldwide to date!!) but it is interesting to consider just how important sound is to cinema.
Music scores are crucial in creating the appropriate atmosphere for a scene, and individual composers are now famous because of what they bring to the films that they work on.
The same can be said for actors and their voices. Think of John Hurt, James Earl Jones and Holly Hunter, and how much their voice impacts upon their presence within their respective roles; without them they might not be as famous as they are.
Bearing that in mind, you can see why some Russians could be angry with Spidey’s portrayal, which is a shame since he’s one of the crowning jewels in an awesome movie. Hopefully the situation can be rectified, or Kanukhin can up his game for Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is due out next year (and can’t come soon enough in my opinion).
Want to hear a snippet of his work? Check out the trailer below.