Heath Ledger Joker

Of the many comic book movie villains we’ve seen paraded across the big screen in the past 15 years, one of the most memorable has been Heath Ledger‘s Joker from The Dark Knight. The young actor made the classic character entirely his own, imbuing him with an oddly charismatic menace that’s been impossible to forget.

The role was colored by tragedy, however, when Ledger passed away months before the film’s opening. It’s terribly sad to realize we’ll never get to see this talented star at work again, but at least we can continue to appreciate his contribution to the cinematic landscape. In a recently revealed clip from the German documentary series Too Young to Die, Ledger’s father Kim Ledger takes a peek inside his son’s “Joker diary” from the Dark Knight shoot. Hit the jump to check it out.

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With one Batman trilogy over and a new set of films likely to begin, the idea of casting the character has once again become a well-discussed subject. The name that keeps popping up is Joseph Gordon-Levitt (for good reason), but before Warner Bros. finally decides to cast a new actor in the cape and cowl, they’ll surely have met with plenty of people.

The last man tasked with casting Batman was Christopher Nolan and his eventual choice, Christian Bale, has long been praised for his work in the role. But back before 2005′s Batman Begins, Nolan met with lots of actors to discuss the role, and one of the actors was Heath Ledger. At the time, Ledger politely told Nolan he’d never do a superhero movie, only to change his mind a few years later to play Batman’s nemesis, the Joker, in 2008′s The Dark Knight. The now-iconic role won the actor a posthumous Oscar.

What made Ledger change his mind and what was discussed at that meeting? Read Nolan’s quotes and more after the jump. Read More »

Where did this amazing Dark Knight promo image come from and where can you see more, including Heath Ledger as The Joker? Want to see Christopher Mintz-Plasse as the villain in Kick-Ass 2? Which characters are featured in a new image from Iron Man 3? When does Comic Book Men start again? Is George R.R. Martin going to work on Doctor Strange? Has an actor thrown his hat in to be cast in Guardians of the Galaxy? What do Aardman Animation and Batman have in common? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits.

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Chances are we’re all pretty familiar with the The Dark Knight Rises from the outside view. Now it’s time to pop the hood. Much as rumors cropped up before production, spy photos poured out during production, speculation raged approaching release and debate stirred at release, behind the scenes tidbits are now coming online at a great rate. Many of them just stealthy sneak into Superhero Bits (like a huge gallery of images earlier today) but we’ve grabbed a few of the better ones and put them all right here.

After the jump you can find out about the following:

  • The Soundworks Collection has posted a video discussing the sound design and score of the film.
  • A video proves that Bane‘s voice was changed from the initial release of the prologue up to the final release.
  • Check out some early concept images of Bane‘s look and design.
  • An old, but worthwhile, video showing Heath Ledger‘s possible inspiration for The Joker.
  • See what Bane looked like without his mask.

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Where better to get your news of a new psot-apocalyptic action movie than through interviews to promote an animated musical sequel aimed at kids and families? George Miller directed the three Mad Max movies, and also oversaw the two Happy Feet films. As he does press rounds for Happy Feet 2, Miller is talking frequently about Mad Max: Fury Road, the fourth film in his action series about a wasteland-hardened survivor.

Many of his comments so far have boiled down to “yes, the film was delayed when weather turned planned Australian desert locations to meadows, but it will still happen.” Today, however, Miller gave a pretty full rundown of the gestation of the fourth Mad Max movie, a process that goes back more than ten years. Read More »

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Briefly: I’m not sure why this would even be a question, but apparently there has been some lingering curiosity about whether Christopher Nolan might bring back — i.e. recast — the Joker in Batman 3. You can officially lay any curiosity to rest at this point, as Nolan said the following to Empire in response to questions about the character’s return:

“No”, says Nolan emphatically and unhesitatingly. He resists elaborating simply because, quite understandably, he says, “I just don’t feel comfortable talking about it”.

There has been supposition that we might see a shadowy Joker presence, or some other partial appearance of the character in Nolan’s next Batman film. But given what we know about Nolan, the way he works and how he feels about his close cast and crew, I can’t see how anyone would think that he would even consider recasting the late Heath Ledger. In any capacity. Let’s hope this is the end of that line of questioning. [via Obsessed With Film]

Heath Ledger’s DirecTV Commercial

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Last week the online world threw a big fuss over DirecTV’s newest television advertisement, which features David Spade pimping the satellite service in an altered scene from Tommy Boy, which of course includes his dead friend, comedian Chris Farley. And you may remember, this isn’t the first time DirecTV has been accused of profiting off of the dead, as they came under fire last year for the same thing, with a similar ad altering Poltergeist, featuring Heather O’Rourke, an actress who died tragically in 1988 at age 12.

When is this disgusting trend going to end? LandlineTV have created a faux DirecTV commercial showing where these tasteless advertising stunts might lead if we don’t put a stop to it now — that’s right… Heath Ledger plugs DirecTV in a digitally altered scene from The Dark Knight. And it doesn’t end there… Landline has also produced a couple more DirecTV commercials featuring John F Kennedy and Jesus Christ, because… why not? Watch the advertisement after the jump.

Note: Some people seem to be taking this one too seriously… its supposed to be a joke. It’s funny, laugh. No, we never expected DirecTV to use Heath Ledger to promote their product in television commercials… or at least we hope not. And it seems like everyone in the comments are using “well Farley’s family approved it, so its okay.” Poor taste is not decided by the family of the dead actor, that’s just a ridiculous statement.
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While there’s no official announcement of US distribution for Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, the puzzle pieces really are starting to click into shape now. I’m of the mind that, most likely, the American release date for the film is going to be December 25th, and that the distributor will be Sony Pictures Classics. That’s far from an ideal situation, I’m sure many of you will agree, but there’s a lot we can do to help out and make the best of a bad hand. Just to stress: nothing official here, just the puzzle pieces I’ve been able to sweep up so far.

I first heard a tip off that Sony might be on board a couple of months back, and even placed a call for confirmation to Sony Pictures Classics myself. I received just the kind of “no comment” that makes one suspicious but, of course, often means nothing at all. I put the rumour to one side and decided to wait for something more solid to manifest.

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