What gender is the voice of God?
The question has been pondered by mystics through the ages, but in the sanctuary of cinema the voice of a sonorous, authoritative, fear-inspiring yet sometimes relatable presence is, invariably, that of a man. Consider the trailer and the omniscient, disembodied voice that introduces moviegoers to a fictional world.
Even now movie trailers and promos largely hew to a template created 40 years ago by Don LaFontaine, Hollywood's most prolific voice-over artist. Possessor of a resonant baritone that could cut through tight sequences of music and sound bites - and the coiner of familiar (and parodied) phrases like "In a world..." and "One man, one destiny" - LaFontaine, who died in 2008, voiced more than 5,000 trailers, 350,000 commercials and thousands of television promos.