- Warner Brothers has sent out a press release announcing that the upcoming sequel to BATMAN BEGINS will be titled THE DARK KNIGHT and feature Heath Ledger as the Joker.
"I'm excited to continue the story we started with Batman Begins," Christopher Nolan said in a statement. "Our challenge in casting the Joker was to find an actor who is not just extraordinarily talented, but fearless. Watching Heath Ledger's interpretation of this iconic character taking on Christian Bale's Batman is going to be incredible."
The script will be written by Nolan's brother, Jonathan, from a story by Christopher Nolan and David Goyer. Christopher Nolan and Goyer co-wrote last year's BATMAN BEGINS. Filming on THE DARK KNIGHT is expected to get underway in early 2007.
Regarding Heath Ledger, I haven't seen a lot of his work. I've seen parts of A Knight's Tale, and I have to admit the only other films he's worked on that I've seen in their entirety were The Patriot and, well, 10 Things I Hate About You. That said, I have no complaints about the casting choice. In fact, I'd have to say I'm actually relieved that Nolan decided to go with an actor as opposed to a comedian (Robin Williams, a name tossed about), a freak (Crispin Glover) or a scene-stealing ham (Nicholson in Tim Burton's original).
Nolan's Batman series (funny calling it a series after only one) has set the tone as being as reality-based and dark as possible. I think Ledger can bring a lot to the role, mostly based on a gut feeling I have about him. Clearly it can't be based on my incredible library of roles I've seen him in. I just think there's something about him that could make for a very interesting portrayal of Gotham's most insane murderer. Or maybe it's because his natural smile already resembles Nicholson's sans makeup.