In weird/awesome sequel news, the Zoolander II trailer has dropped, and it's really making viewers ask the tough questions in life: Like, "what is a 'eugoogly,'" and "why do sequel titles always look so weird?" However, what's likely the biggest question on everyone's mind right now after seeing the trailer has nothing to do with the sequel itself, though — but, instead, who is that to narrating the Zoolander II trailer? The reason for this, of course, is evident from the moment you hit play on the thing: It sounds a lot like Stephen Hawking. So much so, in fact, that after hearing the voice regaling listeners about the birth of the universe, I'm wondering if Ben Stiller was somehow able to convince Hawking to get into narrating movie trailers. What's the story behind this?
OK, let's think about this for a second. Why exactly does that voice sound like Hawking's? The answer to this, luckily, is simple: Hawking's voice is familiar because he famously uses a synthesizer known for helping those who cannot speak communicate with others.
The voice narrating the Zoolander II trailer sounds like it's without a doubt being made by the same machine that makes it possible for Hawking to speak: the DECtalk. And, sure enough, if you look closely at the end of the credits, you will see that it is actually the machine — and not Hawking — who is credited with the narration. Even though the DECtalk is trademarked, crediting a machine and not Hawking for the voiceover would be beyond weird if it were actually Hawking in control of the machine.
Check it out: The credit reads, "Narration by DECtalk - Dennis." As this 1986 article in Popular Science details, it was Dennis Klatt's research that brought about the machine — so that explains the "Dennis." But, who is actually using the device? If it is Hawking, he is not credited anywhere as being involved in trailer.
Of course, famed physicist Hawking is no stranger to pop culture. Not only does he routinely appear in high-brow science projects, he has also lent his unique voice and wit to The Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons, and Futurama. For that reason, it is impossible to completely rule out the possibility of a Hawking voice over — after all, he has taken great pleasure in playing a jokester in the past. Maybe he decided to take on an uncredited cameo for the role? Or Hawking is a huge fan of Stiller?
That said, it would also be strange for Hawking not to be credited in the trailer — especially as the DECtalk itself is.
Sadly, this question may have to go unanswered for now. Check out the trailer below and decide for yourself: Is that Hawking's narration, or just some guy playing around with DECtalk?
Images: Paramount Pictures (2)