Chris Nolan Says He Met With Heath Ledger For The Part Of BATMAN

Chris Nolan Says He Met With Heath Ledger For The Part Of BATMAN

Last night director Christopher Nolan was at the Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater and discussed his Batman trilogy. He told the audience that Heath Ledger was among the slew of young actors that he met with for the part of Bruce Wayne/Batman. Check it out!

Christopher Nolan at the 2003 MTV Movie Awardsindiewire has a breakdown of what was said:
Heath Ledger met with Christopher Nolan about the part of Batman and Bruce Wayne.
Before you get too excited, Nolan said, as is routine, he met with many young actors for the part. And while Ledger took the meeting, he immediately said he wasn't interested. “He was quite gracious about it, but he said, 'I would never take a part in a super hero film.' " Nolan said. The filmmaker said he thinks Ledger changed his mind eventually because, “I explained to him what I wanted to do with 'Batman Begins' and I think maybe he felt I achieved it.” - indiewire

After that initial rejection from Ledger Nolan was not deterred and he sought out the young actor for the role of Joker in The Dark Knight. "He didn't like to work too much," Nolan said. "He liked to do a character and then stop working and let enough time go by until he was hungry for it again. And that's what happened when he came in; he was really ready to do something like that."

Batman BEings had convinced Ledger that Nolan's films were a cut above the usual comic book movies and signed on to The Dark Knight before a script was finished. "Heath spent months and months [preparing],we cast him even before the script was written so he had a very long time to obsess about it, think about what he was going to do, to really figure it out.”

Nolan fed into Ledger's obsession by sending him material that might be helpful for his research into The Joker. He gave him Anthony Burgess's novel "A Clockwork Orange" and had him look at artwork from Francis Bacon, the painter.

Nolan acknowledge that Ledger did a lot of experimenting with pitch and tone of The Joker's voice. He even spent a lot of time trying out different hairstyles and picking from an assortment of rubber knives.

"Like a lot of artists, he would sneak up on something," Nolan said. "So you couldn't really sit and go, 'Okay, you're going to do the Joker. You're going to show me what it's going to be.' You had to sort of say, 'Let's read this scene. Don't act it, just read.' And he'd sit with Christian and there would be a line or two where his voice was a little different, throw in a little bit of a laugh. And then we would film hair and makeup tests and try different looks, and in that, he'd start to move, and we'd have these rubber knives and he'd choose what weapon and explore the movement of the character. We weren't recording sound, so he felt quite able to start talking and showing some of what he was going to do. And in that way he sort of sneaked up on the character."


The Dark Knight Rises will be released on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Download on December 4th. The film stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon, Tom Hardy as Bane, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John "Robin" Blake and Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate/Talia al Ghul.

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Filed Under "Batman" 11/29/2012 Source: hitfix
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Jollem - 11/29/2012, 10:56 AM
armagedom - 11/29/2012, 11:13 AM
best part of nolan's batman, the joker, 2 face, scare craw,ra's al ghul and cat woman
batman n' bane were a joke
Knightrider - 11/29/2012, 11:16 AM
Yep, glad he ended up as the Joker, gave such a fantastic performance.
FirstAvenger - 11/29/2012, 11:24 AM
The best villain ever. Glad he was the joker.
thewonderer - 11/29/2012, 11:33 AM
Whatever problem you have with Bane (i.e. design, not comic accuracy), I feel Tom Hardys performance is hardly to criticize for it.
Fogs - 11/29/2012, 11:35 AM
@LEVITIKUZ - hahahaha #1 is #1 indeed!
NerdyGeek - 11/29/2012, 11:35 AM
I would hate to know/meet anybody who didn't like Heath Ledger's brilliant performance... but that's not gonna happen. Oh wait, I'm on CBM, nevermind...
NerdyGeek - 11/29/2012, 11:38 AM

ShadesAtKnightII - 11/29/2012, 11:41 AM
I love the people who claim Ledger wasn't "comic book Joker". Pure comedy.

Ledger's performance is one of the best performances in the history of film. He completely transformed. Amazing actor.
Rothwilder - 11/29/2012, 11:43 AM
Some would argue (correctly) that Ledger DID play an excellent comic Joker.
jessepostal - 11/29/2012, 11:43 AM
Ive always thought of it as, i like the way the joker was written and the way he looked in tdk. Not so much the performance. Just like when Anthony Hopkins talked about his odin costume, you don't really have to act when your costume does the work for you.
GodzillaKart - 11/29/2012, 11:46 AM
Amazing performance and the best part of Nolan's trilogy.
BubblesShedAndBreakfast - 11/29/2012, 11:49 AM
The only thing that bugged me about The Dark Knight was when the Joker cut Spawns cheek and he fell over dead right when he cut it. I didn't know you could die automatically from that. I have a friend that put a 4 wheeler handle through his cheek and he didn't die. I loved the movie but that always bugged me. Anyways miss ya Heath you my be gone but your light will shine forever.
Jollem - 11/29/2012, 11:52 AM
first appearance of the joker

"a man with a changeless, mask-like face-but for the eyes-burning, hate-filled eyes!"

yeah, heath nailed it
jessepostal - 11/29/2012, 11:56 AM
@batz, what dont you get?
jessepostal - 11/29/2012, 12:02 PM
@danger, my favorite son! Love when he gave one back to jimmy o
thewonderer - 11/29/2012, 12:05 PM
No one will ever top Heath Ledger as Joker, Tom Hardy as Bane, and Liam Neeson as Ras
ToTheManInTheColdSweat - 11/29/2012, 12:06 PM
The definitive joker

Rip Heath :(
thewonderer - 11/29/2012, 12:07 PM
and I agree with youngman

People expect THE comic book on the screen for Batman for some reason, when no CBM HAS EVER adapted its comics directly
simpleman - 11/29/2012, 12:10 PM

Of course, JK will not be in TASM2, it's reboot, in case you forgot.
Funsize - 11/29/2012, 12:15 PM
One of the best performances in the history of movies!!!
jessepostal - 11/29/2012, 12:17 PM
@batz, it def had a huge impact on what made it what it is. You have a huge iconic character taken in a direction so different than anyone would have thought, a character that was more now than then, no cheese, and almost creepy. That's more than half the work already done. Just like in stalker/slasher flicks, take Jason for example, his look alone sells the roll, besides the occasional machete swing what else does he do besides walk. Visuals alone can sell your product. Dont get me wrong the guy could act, but to me it wasn't his best work, the costume and writing def took it to a different level
SageMode - 11/29/2012, 12:23 PM
Its funny how his performance alone is what gained TDK and Nolan 99% of the attention and recognition they got afterwards.
GuardianAngel - 11/29/2012, 12:25 PM
Goes to show how Nolan changed the genre so that you don't have to be a fan of comic books to like the films.

I wonder how many people started reading comic books after seeing his films. Same thing with The Avengers.
Jollem - 11/29/2012, 12:27 PM
@SageMode - it's funny how iron man has a lot of four-year fans :)
THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 11/29/2012, 12:28 PM
jessepostal - 11/29/2012, 12:31 PM
@batz, diff opinions make the world go round :) and sluts dont forget the sluts
PapaEmeritus - 11/29/2012, 12:31 PM
Ledger did a truly remarkable work. His Joker entered the hall of the greatest movie villains of all time.
sinchsw - 11/29/2012, 12:34 PM
In response to hope420:

I thought the same thing at first, then decided it was too ridiculous to conclude he died, but rather passed out from shock. I'm sure he was finished off a short time later. Most people would probably just pass out his their face was split open like that.
DC4everLantern - 11/29/2012, 12:36 PM
All villains in Nolans Trilogy are great. The Joker was unforgettable, but i think i like BANE this time more.
jessepostal - 11/29/2012, 12:39 PM
@theyoung, still upset about our bane convo?
TheDpool - 11/29/2012, 12:40 PM
The guy would be making the money is he was still alive he'd be getting roles thrown at him.

XxComablackxX1937 - 11/29/2012, 12:44 PM
I respect Ledger's performance of the Joker on the fact that i didn't believe he could fit or act in the role an he made me eat my own words.

So he was a perfect fit for the role.
jessepostal - 11/29/2012, 12:55 PM
@theyoung, u said he had a very visable hose going from his mask to his vest, i said no,haha and than you kept pushing it and making excuses :)
jessepostal - 11/29/2012, 12:57 PM
@batz, thanks bud, Tis the buttcheeks, or the season :)
Maximus101 - 11/29/2012, 12:58 PM
Sagemode still a big troll is he lol all three were amazing, you should try being a real fanboy and not a marvel fanboy that way you will see the movies for what they are. Ledgers joker could literally not have been done any better.
QuietStorm - 11/29/2012, 12:58 PM
For those who think the joker wasn't in the TDKR, at least watch the first 2 1/2 minutes of this and he's got a pretty good explanation of how the joker is still very relevant.

BANEofExistence - 11/29/2012, 12:59 PM
Batman Begins changed superhero films forever! Both Heath Ledher and Guy Pearce turned down roles in 2003-04 for Batman Begins, after the success they both changed their minds with Ledger on TDK and Pearce in Iron Man 3
jessepostal - 11/29/2012, 1:14 PM
@theyoung, haha your crazy, He doesn't, he's got something on the back of his neck for the one shot, the next shot is of him from behind and its not there, and nowhere to be seen in the rest of the movie, just mask than neck
jessepostal - 11/29/2012, 1:21 PM
@cipher, i get what your saying, but any so called big production "actor" isn't chosen because he's not gonna be the part. And audiences today don't notice shit,look at the majority on mediocre to blah leading movies, this is why channing tatum and justin bieber rule the world:)People dont know whats good and whats not. Influence makes up there mind for them
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