The quote above came from a theatergoer outside as I was leaving a screening of The Dark Knight. I also heard “I wonder when they’ll make a second one” and “I can’t wait for the second one.” All told, I head roughly a dozen people refer to Dark Knight as “the first one” in some form or another. They had no idea Batman Begins even existed.
So now I’m curious, was this just a peculiar bit of nuttiness found only in upstate New York, or did others hear the same thing?
Still, the Joker was pretty much the crux return villain of the Batman universe. It’ll be wildly exciting to see who Nolan casts for the return role - he hasn’t gone wrong with his casting yet, as far as my opinion goes. (And since he recast the female lead between the two movies, it does not appear that he is entirely reticent to change the continuity of actors. Given the circumstances with Heath Ledger, the Joker will probably not return in the next movie which is already in the works, but I do think we’ll see the Joker again if Nolan continues his work in the Batman universe.)
I believe they’re the victim of “All sequels should have a number after them” syndrome which has become the ubiquitous default. If this ridiculous practice had never begun, perhaps they would’ve been more aware of its existing position in the hierarchy.
Yes, but the movie IS Heath Ledger (per all the hype) and a sequel of the movie would involve the Joker. Otherwise it’s not a sequel. I guess they could bring back Jack Nicholson (is there enough money on the planet for that?)
Oh, Hell NO! Jack’s a good 30 years older than Heath Ledger. He couldn’t move light young enough to get the mannerisms the same, or even close enough. I don’t move, talk or think like the smartass I was 20 years ago. Go re-watch Tim Burton’s Batman film from 1989. Jack was good for that movie, 20 years ago, but this reboot is a lot more complex and somber than Burton’s first outing. Jack’s joker was a lot sillier, simpler and certainly not as sympathetic as Legder’s Joker. And that’s the biggest thing that makes Nolan’s films work so much better than Burton’s: the characters are all more complex. Bruce Wayne seriously considered killing Joe Chill for revenge. Ras Al Ghul was Bruce Wayne’s mentor, then turned out to be a tougher villian than Batman thought he could take. I’m not sure if the mayor or O’Hara are on the take. Alfred occasionally slips into his working class accent.
And count me as someone who thought Maggie Gyllenhall was a good replacement for Katie Holmes. Katie has a younger face and great body; she worked well as a love interest for the young Bruce Wayne, but Maggie played Rachel Dawes smarter, more mature and nuanced.
The obvious title for the next instalment in the franchise is The Dark Knight Returns.
This is going to sound bad, but I think the death of Heath Ledger is the best thing that could have happened to the Batman movie franchise, artistically. It’s a huge tragedy for Ledger’s family and friends, and a lesser one for the movie industry and viewers to lose a good actor so young. But, for the Batman franchise?
Ledger being dead meaning they can’t use him, and the respect for him as the Joker his performance and his death earned mean there’s really no chance they’ll recast him for a few more movies, at least.
So, Ledger’s death has forced Nolan et al to not overuse the Joker, the way he has been at various times in the comics and various TV series, without requiring killing him off, like the Burton movie did.
I don’t think Chris Nolan would’ve used the Joker again in a third movie anyway. He seems to be handling everything involved in the Batman series in a particularly canny way, and reusing a villain immediately after just because he was popular is something he would instantly not do, just because that’s probably what the studio would want and expect him to do.
He needs a villain who is as insane and twisted as what has gone before. That’s how he’s playing them - not as cartoons, but as real people who dress up as part of their madness.
If they can recast the Joker, which shouldn’t be too hard since the Joker is under heavy makeup, and Heath has laid down a lot of his voice and the new actor will have Heath’s part in TDK as a mannerism template. The 3rd movie in this reboot, could be another, and hopefully final chapter in the Joker vs. Batman saga, as they really underlined that the Joker needs Batman. He’s not going away until he’s dead.
However, why bring back the Joker for the next flick, when the Nolan Bros. can reinvent the Riddler in the same manner. That’s the next villain I’d like to see. Let Batman regain Gotham’s trust again, and have the Joker creep back for the 4th volume.