The Dark Knight

2008152 min, , ,

Why So Serious?

Plot:

Batman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lt. Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as the Joker.

Where to Watch:

TEST STUFF

Cast & Crew

Christian Bale

Bruce Wayne / Batman

Michael Caine

Alfred Pennyworth

Gary Oldman

Commissioner James Gordon

Aaron Eckhart

Harvey Dent / Two-Face

Nestor Carbonell

Mayor Anthony Garcia

Ron Dean

Michael Wuertz

Eric Roberts

Sal Maroni

Keith Szarabajka

Gerard Stephens

Sound

Hans Zimmer

Original Music Composer

James Newton Howard

Original Music Composer

Directing

Camera

Wally Pfister

Director of Photography

Editing

Fun Facts of Movie

  • In preparation for his role as the Joker, Heath Ledger hid away in a motel room for about six weeks. During this extended stay of seclusion, Ledger delved deep into the psychology of the character. He devoted himself to developing the Joker’s every tic, namely the voice and that sadistic-sounding laugh (for the voice, Ledger’s goal was to create a tone that didn’t echo the work Jack Nicholson did in his 1989 performance as the Joker). Ledger’s interpretation of the Joker’s appearance was primarily based on the chaotic, disheveled look of punk rocker Sid Vicious combined with the psychotic mannerisms of Malcolm McDowell‘s character, Alex De Large, from A Clockwork Orange (1971).
  • In Sir Michael Caine‘s opinion, Heath Ledger beat the odds and topped Jack Nicholson‘s Joker from Batman (1989): “Jack was like a clown figure, benign but wicked, maybe a killer old uncle. He could be funny and make you laugh. Heath’s gone in a completely different direction to Jack, he’s like a really scary psychopath. He’s a lovely guy and his Joker is going to be a hell of a revelation in this picture.” Caine bases this belief on a scene where The Joker pays a visit to Bruce Wayne’s penthouse. He’d never met Ledger before, so when Ledger arrived and performed, he gave Caine such a fright, he forgot his lines.
  • This was the first comic book movie to reach the $1 billion mark worldwide.
  • While filming a chase scene on Lake Street, the Chicago Police Department received several calls from concerned citizens stating that the police were involved in a vehicle pursuit with a dark vehicle of unknown make or model.
  • Heath Ledger‘s sudden death from drug toxicity on January 22, 2008, prompted immediate speculation over this movie’s state and Ledger’s disposition prior to death. Soon after Ledger’s death was announced, Warner Bros. issued a statement that verified that Ledger had finished all of his scenes in principal photography, as well as post-production duties (looping), thus making the Joker his final, completed movie role. Rumors abounded that playing the intense role had taken its toll on Ledger’s mental state, causing him to become depressed and take a wrong combination of drugs as a result. However, his family has since put such rumors to rest by stating that far from being depressed, he had a lot of fun playing the role. Ledger did suffer from insomnia throughout his life, and would often take sleeping pills together with other prescription drugs (something his sister had actually warned against the night before his death). Unfortunately, the mix he took on that night proved to be a fatal combination.
  • Heath Ledger had to continuously lick his lips due to his prosthetic coming off whenever he spoke. He eventually made this a tic of the character as he was filming.
  • Despite endless speculation on which actor had been chosen to portray the Joker, Heath Ledger had always been one of writer, producer, and director Christopher Nolan‘s foremost choices for the role. Ledger and Nolan had met during the Batman Begins (2005) casting process for the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, but Nolan and Heath agreed Ledger was wrong for the part. When casting the part of the Joker, Nolan met with several other actors before Ledger, but found them reluctant to take the role because of the popularity of Jack Nicholson‘s performance in Batman (1989). Upon meeting with Ledger again, Nolan recognized him as the perfect choice for the part. When asked the reason for this unexpected casting, Nolan simply replied, “Because he’s fearless.”
  • The first four days of scheduled shooting resulted in no film being rolled. Instead, writer, producer, and director Christopher Nolan screened two movies per day for the cast and crew with a break in-between. The eight movies were (in order): Heat (1995), Cat People (1942), Citizen Kane (1941), King Kong (1933), Batman Begins (2005), Black Sunday (1977), A Clockwork Orange (1971), and Stalag 17 (1953).
  • The character of Reese is an allusion to the Riddler, who attempts to reveal the identity of Batman. Much like Edward Nygma whose name sounds like “enigma” (as in E. Nygma), Mr. Reese sounds like “mysteries”.
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