The Dark Knight Returns

Warner Brothers announced Heath Ledger has been cast as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins sequel, The Dark Knight. I think Ledger is a solid choice and nicely underscores Nolan’s track record of filling these iconic roles with solid actors (not necessarily huge name stars). Also, that title, The Dark Knight is just leagues cooler than Batman Continues or Batman’s Movin’ On Up.

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  • I’d say they should just add Returns to the title, but that would probably misrepresent the storyline.

    I was pulling for Crispin Glover for the Joker, but I’ll give Ledger a chance.

  • I think they want to avoid using Returns since Superman co-opted the title (same studio).

    As for Crispin Glover – I think that would just start dove-tailing with the Burton flicks which goes counter to what Nolan and Goyer have crafted here. Ledger is a very good actor – and after Begins, Memento, Insomnia (and the previews I’ve seen of The Prestige), I have full faith in Nolan and his decisions. If he thinks Ledger is the man for the job, then I’m there with him.

    BTW Harvey Dent is listed as a character in the sequel. Early word is Clive Owen is a favorite. That might be interesting.

  • Ledger is a bigger-name actor than Glover by any stretch of the imagination, and picking a big-name star for the villain was the hallmark of the Burton films, so I’m not quite sure what you mean. Are you saying Glover was too “obvious” a pick?

    Though that doesn’t make much sense either, since between Michael Keaton and Christian Bale, most people would pick Bale for Batman than Keaton–Keaton is the more unusual choice.

  • Hey, a new aside on The Ed Zone!

    Can we at least get Mark Hamill to do the Joker’s voice?

    Seriously though, Ledger is an interesting choice. Not sure how it will work out. I’d prefer someone a little more under the radar, like Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow or Clive Owen as Harvey Dent (which I do like), than some heartthrob like Heath. I guess in that regard, I agree with Jason, but I don’t agree with wanting Crispin Glover instead. For one, the guy is too old considering how they are making all the characters younger than we are accustomed to from the comics or the previous films. Don’t get me wrong, he’s an odd enough duck to pull it off, but it doesn’t fit for me. Did you see him in Charlie’s Angels? Horrible!… and that flick wasn’t much better.

    BTW – Love the title too! No “Returns” needed either since they aren’t telling the true Dark Knight Returns tale, which would be freakin awesome if they ever did!

  • With all the love Frank Miller is getting these days – following Sin City, the upcoming 300 and Sin City 2 – I think the reality of a Dark Knight Returns is better than ever at some point.

    As for Heath and heartthrob – I think that is what Hollywood once wanted him packaged as but much like a young Johnny Depp, he appears to be chasing roles that run in the opposite direction (i.e. Brokeback, Monster’s Ball). Think back to 21 Jump Street – that show was designed to pimp the hot new studs. It’s no accident that Depp chased Burton while Grieco shot ‘If Looks Could Kill’. Depp wanted to insure that he was nobody’s poster boy – as that doesn’t lead to long term success.

    Anyway – check out Ledger’s short stint in Monster’s Ball. This guy has got chops and can play disturbed.

    BTW On Nolan – check out the trailer for The Prestige (about dueling magicians in turn of the 20th Century London). It looks fantastic – and based on the trailer – appears to be a bit of a Batman Begins reunion.

  • I still stand by Glover—and Sean, are you really blaming him for Charlie’s Angels? I’m inclined to lean toward a script issue more than a performance issue…but in any event, it’s a moot point. Ledger is the Joker and we’ll see how it goes.

    While Miller is red-hot (the 300 trailer went over like gangbusters at the SDCC, apparently), I think a film adaptation of DKR is unlikely. No one’s going to want to end the Batman story on the big screen.

    That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a direct-to-DVD animated version based on Miller’s art style. That’s getting popular—witness the two Ultimate Avengers DVDs, which I’ve heard good things about, plus the two upcoming Hellboy animated movies with voices by Ron Perlman, Selma Blair and John Hurt.

  • @JFCC – Give me a little more credit than that man! Glover sucked in a sucky movie. He contributed to the suck, but didn’t cause the suck. Sufferin’ Suckafrass!

    The animated Batman DVD movies already out have been pretty good too. In fact, I’d point to those as paving the path for the Ultimate Avengers, which I have yet to see but will eventually.

    @Everyone – “SDCC” is the San Diego Comics Convention and you’d have to be a geek like me to know that, but an even bigger geek like JFCC to acronymn that here without definition.

    Bring on the geek-on-geek crime! 😉

  • I seem to recall Glover’s “thin man” being the only thing I liked about Charlie’s Angels–particularly the scene where he kisses Drew Barrymore (I think it was her), then makes a weird little scream. I laughed out loud at that–so bizarre.