Christopher Nolan says Heath Ledger will not appear in 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Christopher Nolan and producer Emma Thomas have swatted down an internet rumor that unused footage of the late Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight would appear in the highly anticipated follow-up The Dark Knight Rises, according to The Hollywood Reporter. At an awards season reception for Nolan’s 2010 film Inception on Tuesday, Thomas, Nolan’s producing (and life) partner said, “I heard the rumor. We’re not doing that.” Nolan also made clear that, although the script for The Dark Knight Rises isn’t yet finished, he felt Ledger’s performance should live in 2008’s The Dark Knight alone.

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  • rebecca

    Thank goodness!! I hope this means that there will be no Joker at all in the movie either. I don’t get why people want The Joker to come back. Ledger passed away so that performance should be left alone. No one should play the Joker. Even in the other Batman films they don’t bring back the villains that are locked up in Arkham or in jail, so don’t bring back The Joker. Even if Ledger hadn’t passed away they still probably wouldn’t have the Joker in the movie because we need a new villain, not the same one!

    • Larry David

      Isn’t it scary to die? Not knowing what will wait for you in the afterlife. Not knowing what will happen once you take that last breath of air. Not knowing what will happen once your eyes close.
      Will our soul leave our body and we will be standing over our body watching our loved ones cry?
      Will there be nothing and thats it?
      Will we think that we are still alive and can see people in front of us but we can’t move and speak?
      Its really scary.

      • Larry King

        Larry, you’re a dipsh1t.

    • Brian

      I agree, under the circumstances, the Joker shouldn’t appear in the next Nolan Batman movie. But if Ledger were still living, I think the third installment would definitely have involved him as the main villain, along with one or two new guys in the background (like the Scarecrow and Two-Face in the first two movies). It would have been the ultimate fight between arguably the greatest hero-villain pairing in all comic book history. But I’m sure the next movie will be amazing regardless. Nolan clearly has good taste. I trust him completely with this franchise.

      • Jade

        Looking around I am rellay into surfing quite much around here the rellay vast web, very much often I do usually go ahead to Reddit and very simply follow through

    • lostidol

      Except for Scarecrow…he appeared in both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. And I’d be just a little disappointed if he wasn’t in The Dark Knight Rises.

    • Mr J

      Well actually, if Heath Ledger hadn’t passed away because Nolan said that the Joker was supposed to be the third one and they were planning on having Ledger reprise the role. Unfortunately this will not be happening, so they had to trash the original idea and come up with something else.

      • Continentalop

        I’ve heard that before but have never actually seen or heard Nolan’s actual quote.

        I know that Goyer originally planned to have the Joker scar Harvey Dent in part 3 but Nolan decided to have Dent’s entire arc in TDK, but I don’t think Nolan ever planned on bringing the Joker back if he did a third Batman film.

    • Ekho

      As an aside, the RSS feed that was sent out contained P.S. I cemormend: Anderson Window Well Covers, and Cabo San Lucas Real Estate by Cabo Prudential . I understand that this is probably an automated feature of whatever ad platform you’re using. However, the appearance of trying to profit from someone’s death is troubling. What ad service are you using?

  • petuniafromhell

    Good, if the Joker rises again, it should not be in Chris Nolan’s Batman.

  • Aimee

    Apperently Heath Ledgers contract was for two films. It sucks that he isnt going to be in the next one. Rip.

    • Continentalop

      Just because his contract is for two films doesn’t mean he was going to come back. It just means that he was obligated to be paid the same as TDK if they did want to bring him back.

      Maggie Gyllenhal, Aaron Eckart, Katie Holmes and even Liam Neeson had a second picture clause in their contracts I believe.

      • Jason C.

        Second picture clause in a contract, and two picture contract are not the same thing. Christian Bale signed a three picture contract, that meant that if he chose not to do a third film he would be obligated to buy out his contract or vice versa if the studio didn’t want to keep him in the cowl. A two picture clause means that the actor at the time of the initial contract is willing to do two pictures, but has the option to accept or decline if its determined they would appear in the next film. Clauses are also used a lot when they don’t want to let the public know if a character is going to live or die. The real question is did you have a second picture clause or a two picture contract.

  • JR

    I had a buddy who worked as a PA on The Dark Knight, and at the time, he said that they did at least throw the idea out there of using some cut footage of the joker as a cameo. I don’t care what they say, at one point Nolan did at least consider it a possibility.

  • NedPepper

    I agree with no Joker in the next Batman film, but eventually you have to bring him back. He IS the greatest comic book villian and I’m not a believer that only Heath Ledger’s could ever play him. There’s a hundred different ways to play the Joker and would be easy to take it in a completely different direction.

  • Sam J

    Why so serious?

    • Brian

      nicely done.

      • MCS

        Not really.

  • Brett

    While it would certainly make sense to show the Joker again (given that his character did not die at the end of “Dark Knight,” and given Nolan’s earlier nods to continuity by having a reappearance by the Scarecrow in “Dark Knight”), I can understand the decision to not have a posthumous Ledger appearance. That being said, I don’t think Ledger’s death should foreclose any future depiction of the Joker in films.

  • ries

    what will happen with the franchise after nolan and co. are finished with their final installment. i just hope it’s not a nolan wannabe and they go in their own direction. don’t get me wrong, i love what has been done in the last two movies, but to try to recreate that would be a mistake. at least we have one left in the series to look forward to.

  • Andrew

    The Joker and TwoFace were originally supposed to return in the 3rd film in the early early versions. But Nolan decided to stick the entire TwoFace arc (and death) into TDK, and then Ledger died, and I think that although the situation is unfortunate, it will make for a fresh 3rd installment.

  • jane

    So all the extra footage of Heath Ledger that was not put on the DVD/blue-ray just sits there? What a waste. Heath would want people to see what he accomplished. Miss you buddy.

  • m1

    I still wanted to find out what happened to the Joker though. It was somewhat unclear in The Dark Knight.

  • Lucas

    The best thing to do at this point, would be to give some back story of what happened to the Joker after he went to the asylum, and introducing Harley Quinn as one of the Villians. I could see Christina Ricci, or Helna Bonom Carter(sp?) playing a pretty quicked Harley Quinzell. Time will tell though, I don’t think Mr. Nolan will let us down, he’s a brilliant director.

  • kenan

    ledger.. in ur honon!! u out shoned batman, and the people i know and hear from over the net and around says that this is where ledger was going to make his film debut a a properly recognized actor with brilliance… ul be missed and thank u for what u gave us in TDK! (grabs a champaign and toasts it to all).. RIP ledger!

  • Romina

    Bria – I’m not sure why … but, I must have seen Knight’s Tale about 7-8 times. Anytime it is on when I cruise with my rmoete control … I stop and watch the show. For whatever reason I really liked that movie.The cause of his death is already being shrouded with talk of drugs.

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