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The Joker is Dead.

Why so serious?

I'm sure most of you have heard by now about how Heath Ledger died this week. I hadn't seen very many of his movies at all, but I was really looking forward to his performance as the Joker in the upcoming The Dark Knight. The trailers look promising, and as a huge Batman fan I'm curious to see how this take on the character will turn out. It could be a tremendous pile of poo, but I can't wait to find out.

And of course, I can and still will do that. But this puts a major monkeywrench in that film franchise, as rumor has it the Joker is supposed to be in the third movie as well, and in it he's supposed to do something kind of important (I won't say what for those of you who care about spoilers but I'm sure many of you know what I'm talking about). So now the question is, will they write out the Joker's role in that third film or will they have someone else play the part? I can't see how either one of those wouldn't suck, at least from a standpoint of consistency. And say they got someone awesome like Crispin Glover to play the Joker--he doesn't really look like Heath Ledger so that would be end up being retarded.

I remember when The Crow came out and the death of Brandon Lee pretty much cast a huge shadow over that movie that it could never get out from under (not that it should have--and hey, isn't it kind of weird that the last film either of these guys did was a comic book movie where they wear eerily similar clown makeup?). What should've been a fun and awesome comic book movie this summer will now be kind of depressing and will always bear the mark of being Heath Ledger's last completed movie (unless he's further along in the upcoming Terry Gilliam film than I think).

At least (odds are) he went out on a high note as far as last films go. Just look at poor Raul Julia.



I-Name (Guest) on 01/26/2008 4:07 pm

Sad news indeed, Heath Ledger we all will miss you.


Steeeeph (Guest) on 01/26/2008 4:38 pm

It was really tragic to hear he had died,especially after i had seen a poster for the new batman. "At least (odds are) he went out on a high note as far as last films go" I agree with that statement completely. Thanks for writing an actual non-threatening heath ledger article about his death as i have seen many jokes on the internet.


Jason (Guest) on 01/26/2008 5:20 pm

After a few fans and I got around to the whole Batman issue, we decided the best way to go about this would be to bring in good ole' Harley Quinn - it'd be the optimal way to fill the Joker role without recasting Ledger, which they would never do.

Of course, we're not writing this, so who knows what's going to happen?


Sean (Guest) on 01/26/2008 5:26 pm

I just feel bad for his daughter who won't have a father. I was (still am) looking forward to his role as the Joker but it seems a little ghoulish to think about that now. Dying young is trite. Getting old, fat, and wise is a lot more interesting than being some poster on a 16-year- old's bedroom wall. I'm sure Mr. Ledger would have prefered to be living old person instead of a dead "icon" or "legend". How many times do drugs have to destroy gifted people (whether it's Kurt Cobain or Chris Farley or Heath Ledger, etc.) before we all stop tolerating such wastes of talent?

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MLE on 01/26/2008 5:59 pm

;_; indeed

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Mystik Tomato on 01/26/2008 5:59 pm

I don't think that Joker would've been in a large part in Dark Night 2. Isn't Two-Face the main villain for that one? But, yeah, I agree with Jason. Harley Quinn would be optimal as a Joker replacement. Hopefully Harley is actually portrayed as his former-girlfriend, rather than what Joel Schumacher was going to do (Joker's daughter)

Anyway, it is too bad that Heath died. He looked awesome as the Joker, and being that the Joker was his first villainous role, he could've been great in other villain roles.

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Poxpower on 01/26/2008 6:08 pm

Woah, what happened to you, Ronald McDonald?

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puppetgeneral39 on 01/26/2008 6:15 pm

Aw c'mon man Street Fighter: The Movie was sweet!

"Change the channel!" priceless.

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Yaanu on 01/26/2008 7:05 pm

I'll always remember Raul for his part in "Overdrawn At The Memory Bank".


RIP Heath, RIP Raul


penisbutt (Guest) on 01/26/2008 7:22 pm

Batman strikes again!

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Purple Man on 01/26/2008 7:24 pm

I agree with your comments, Protoclown. This first thing I thought went I heard of his death was "aw crap, there goes an awesome Joker", then "damn, he was a cool dude". He was just a quiet Aussie surfer guy, not a vain movie star.

If they bought in Harley, that would be pretty sweet. But damnit, while we're on the subject, I want a Batgirl movie!

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Thanos on 01/26/2008 7:34 pm

Short of union writers never going back to work, the next Bat-Film can easily be touched up with a reworked plot. While I can understand the magnitude that the Joker has had in the Bat-Mythos, I never really cared for the character because he was always so one-dimensional. For my money's worth, I'd love to see Clayface with a similar origin to that of the Animated Series version. Now that was a reluctant villian with strife and torment... just imagine the effects that could be done! It would compare to the Sandman of Spider-Man 3, but actually look much better aesthetically speaking.


Regen (Guest) on 01/26/2008 8:50 pm

"How many times do drugs have to destroy gifted people (whether it’s Kurt Cobain or Chris Farley or Heath Ledger, etc.) before we all stop tolerating such wastes of talent?"

Are you suggesting that we ban hard drugs? Because that's a revolutionary idea. Or are you suggesting that we restrain all talented people inside plexiglass cases so that they cannot possibly harm themselves?

I'm all for calling for change after a tragedy, but I think you should actually be calling for something when you do.

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JackSchmidtKnifeThrower on 01/26/2008 11:06 pm

"But this puts a major monkeywrench in that film franchise, as rumor has it the Joker is supposed to be in the third movie as well..."

That's what I said also... Sucks, because it looks like Heath Ledger is/was/will be/would be a really cool Joker. And if they try to have Joker in future movies (I have'nt heard too much about a/the third batman) it woulde'nt be the same.
"At least (odds are) he went out on a high note as far as last films go."
I'd say so. Heath Ledger, it won't be the same without you...

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Ronin S on 01/26/2008 11:53 pm

Not only did he die young, I think the reason people feel it's so tragic is that he kept his problems private. Dying young sucks.

How many more Batman movies can they do before they're out of villains? The Joker was always my least favorite Batman villain, Penguin was my favorite. Tim Burton's interpretation was always the one I liked best.

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Mystik Tomato on 01/27/2008 12:57 am

They still haven't done The Ventriloquist, Mad Hatter, Calendar Man, King Tut, Egghead, Clock King, Film Freak, Lock-Up, Crazy Quilt, Ten-Eyed Man, Cluemaster, Man-Bat, Falseface, The Cannoneer, Signalman or Batzarro.

And I don't care how good Christopher Nolan is making Batman, he AIN'T gonna make those guys any good. Ever.


Kenny Braverman (Guest) on 01/27/2008 1:49 am

"They still haven’t done The Ventriloquist, Mad Hatter, Calendar Man, King Tut, Egghead, Clock King, Film Freak, Lock-Up, Crazy Quilt, Ten-Eyed Man, Cluemaster, Man-Bat, Falseface, The Cannoneer, Signalman or Batzarro.

And I don’t care how good Christopher Nolan is making Batman, he AIN’T gonna make those guys any good. Ever."

Dini/Timm made Ventriloquist, Clock King, Mad-Hatter, and Man-Bat interesting. Those four have potential but I doubt they'd work in a movie. The rest are pretty bad though.

Also, there's characters likes Poison Ivy, Freeze, and Bane that were abused badly by Schumacher. At least Nolan's going to do Two-Face and Riddler justice. Burton's cult/fanbase probably wouldn't accept updated versions of Catwoman/Penguin so it's probably best to avoid those two.

As far as unused characters:

Clayface, Killer Croc, Deadshot, Black Mask, Lady Shiva, Hush, Prometheus, Talia

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Captain PirateFace on 01/27/2008 2:35 am

I have a great idea for a replacement......


anybody with me on that one?

I have never like a single movie Heath Ledger has been in, but I was insanely looking forward to him as the Joker. I know the man had talent and I felt his movie picks (that I saw) were shite. Hopefully they make kick ass pulp movies in the afterlife being made by like Sam Peckinpah.

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incognit000 on 01/27/2008 10:03 am

I really can't cry over someone I don't know personally, even if he's famous. It sucks that he died (especially if he did a great job as the Joker, meaning he'll be a hard act to follow in the next Batman movie) but I have bigger concerns.

I hope this movie is good. Batman Forever raised the bar, you can't get away with a sucky movie anymore.

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Vanhelm13 on 01/27/2008 10:41 am

Bleh. I'm still upset with their portrayal of the joker.
He's all not-well-groomed in this upcoming movie, which is completely un-joker.
The joker was never really a psychopath, because then he wouldn't care about anything. I personally believe the joker to be more of a sociopath, so he just doesn't care about killin' people
Stupid new batman movie. Messing with the coolest batman villain.

the real joker would never go out in public without a good suit, properly died hair, and good makeup.

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Protoclown on 01/27/2008 11:32 am

Jason: I hadn't even thought about the Harley Quinn angle. I think that could work, but something tells me they probably won't be doing that.

Sean: I agree that the saddest thing about this is that his daughter will grow up without a father. He also sounded like a really nice, genuine, down-to-earth guy from all the reports I've heard, so it's really sad that someone like that died young while there are plenty of asshole celebrities who think they're god running around. There should be more celebrities like him. I think we should hold our judgment about the drugs thing until the autopsy results come back in. I mean, if he was as devoted to his daughter as it sounds like, I doubt he would have intentionally killed himself.

Mystik Tomato: As I understand it, the Joker is supposed to be the main villain in the second one, and the third one is all about Two-Face (but the Joker is still very essential to the Two-Face story). But I think Harvey will remain Harvey by the end of The Dark Knight.

puppetgeneral39: That line was the only good part about that movie...I have to admit, that one thing did make me laugh out loud.

Thanos: The Joker may be one-dimensional, but he's always been one of my favorite comic villains because he's just so damned iconic, you know? I think Two-Face is my favorite Bat-villain, but there's no denying that the Joker is Batsy's archnemesis and they just look like they belong together.

Vanhelm13: You are right about how this "gutterpunk" version of the Joker isn't true to the comics, but I'm still interested in seeing what they're going to do with him. I don't mind a different take sometimes as long as it's interesting and compelling. I mean, look at the different take The Animated Series had on Mr. Freeze! It was so much better than his shitty comic origins that they actually retconned them to match the cartoon! So sometimes a reinterpretation can bring new things to the core character, though I'll admit it's exceedingly rare.

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Jaimas on 01/27/2008 12:01 pm

The Joker is one of those villains that everyone knows. Brilliant, scheming, and utterly warped, he's always made for an excellent villain overall, and his clashes with Batman are something that long-term fans and newcomers both expect.

He may not have ever really recovered from what happened to him in the Silver/Golden Age, but as Proto said; the man is iconic. Even as a one-off villain, Joker has a lot of potential, and I'm looking forward to seeing Nolan's take on him.

Heath Ledger was a damn good actor. As of currently, I've read that the most commonly-believed cause of death for the guy was a reaction he had to a perscription medication he was on.

He will be missed. I had a lot of respect for the guy. He was damn good in both Blackrock and The Patriot, and I was anxious to see how he'd do as the Joker.

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Poxpower on 01/27/2008 1:41 pm

Hell yeah that cartoon with Mister Freeze was by far one of the best episodes of that entire run. His voice was awesome, he was like Darth Vader.

The Joker from "The Killing Joke" comic was great. Don't know if that was his "official" origin or not, but that was awesome, showing how you can push this normal guy over the edge in a weird way. Though it doesn't explain how he suddenly got so good with a gun or at taunting Batman while standing on wooden roller coaster carts in abandoned amusement parks.

There's no way the new Joker won't suck balls, just like there was no way the new Transformers could be any good from the second they released the pictures of them looking like imploding scrap heaps.

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BurntToShreds on 01/27/2008 3:16 pm

Godspeed, Clown Prince.


captian suave (Guest) on 01/27/2008 3:27 pm

I agree that losing Heath is unfortunate, both for the movie and in general as he seemed like an ok guy.

that being said, I have a way around his death for the third movie.

cut in shots from the old 60's batman series every time the Joker has lines. I guarantee nobody notices!

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Pandajuice on 01/27/2008 3:50 pm

I like Nolan's image of the Joker from what I've seen so far. The Joker from the comics always seemed like an older man who had it together but was still a sociopath.
Nolan's looks like it was intended to be a younger Joker who is just starting out and hasn't built his crime empire yet. And I like that his "makeup" actually looks scarred on, and not perfectly drawn.

I hope they do The Riddler and Poison Ivy as they were always my favourites and were bastardized by Schumacher so need to be redone properly. I could see Nolan also doing Mr. Freeze and Ventriloquist very well too.

As for Heath, any talk of drugs is premature and probably false. Every time a celebrity dies, they always find pills (you've got some in your bathroom) and try to pin it on that. He had a lot to live for, his career was really taking off in a serious way, and he had no conceivable reason to commit suicide or overdose on sleeping pills.

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Tom Foolery on 01/27/2008 5:02 pm

Heath Ledger's dead? When and how did this happen!?... That's sarcasm by the way. The guy's been dead for about a week and he's all the news seems to talk about. Like nobody ever died of mysterious causes before. Even as a celebrity, I wouldn't place him too high on the totem pole. His two biggest roles were a gay cowboy and the Joker, and the latter role hasn't even had a chance to be memorable yet. I'd hate to see what the media would be like if someone 'really' famous mysterious died one night. I'm not saying Heath Ledger was a bad actor, I'm just saying he wasn't a very big celebrity. He's more famous now than he was when he was alive.

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GRUMPYNZ on 01/27/2008 5:03 pm

It's a real shame to see someone so talented die so young. I wasn't a fan of most of his movies, but it looks as though he owned the Joker role.

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KatieLovesThe80’s on 01/27/2008 9:28 pm

they said he was taking the sleeping pills becaus he had trouble sleeping because of how dark the part was and i guess he really got into his parts.
poor guy he was great.

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Christine d’Abo on 01/27/2008 10:17 pm

Breaks my heart whenever I think about it. RIP sweetie.

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Entreri21 on 01/28/2008 12:16 am

The first 3 or 4 seasons of Batman:TAS was amazing and by far better than 90% of the Batman comics. Dini and Timm I think actually GOT the characters more than anyone ever has.


Ben (Guest) on 01/28/2008 12:35 am

I've been saying that...I mean Raul Julia was a great actor and after coming off both Adam Family movies he does Street Fighter and then he dies and nobody remembers his other movies. Even though its cold to least he didn't die with a crappy movie behind him.

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Mystik Tomato on 01/28/2008 1:25 am

*Spoiler Warning for those that care about spoilers, 'n' stuff!*

"But I think Harvey will remain Harvey by the end of The Dark Knight."

Well... according to Wikipedia's Two-Face page:

"...In an interview with, Eckhart said “I play Harvey Dent. Harvey Two-Face. They are both in the movie.”[9] While the appearance of Two-Face will have some make-up, a majority will be computer generated.[10] In a series of clips shown at Wizard World 2007, one particular scene shows Harvey Dent in shadow. One character says, 'Dent! I thought you were dead,' to which Dent responds, 'Half.'"

Okay, yes, I KNOW that Wikipedia isn't the most reliable source of info for upcoming movies, but as far as I know, that's what DK2 is going to be about, considering the foreshadowing of the card in Batman Begins.


CaptainAK (Guest) on 01/28/2008 5:27 pm

"isn’t it kind of weird that the last film either of these guys did was a comic book movie where they wear eerily similar clown makeup?)"

More wierdness. I believe they were both 28 years old also. I think it's a anti-comic movie conspiracy.


RedRiot (Guest) on 01/28/2008 6:07 pm

I think it wouldn't be so bad if Crispin Glover played the Joker. I mean, Christian Bale makes a great Batman, and so did Michael Keaton. Yes, I know it went downhill from Michael keaton up until Bale, but why not give Crispin a shot? Hell, maybe get Mark Hamill to do it. His voice was perfect in the animated series. maybe he'll be able to tacheive that kind of crazy.

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Protoclown on 01/29/2008 1:06 am


Mystik Tomato: The card from Batman Begins had nothing to do with Two-Face. I assume you meant to refer to the Joker regarding the card? Or are you saying the "Half" line is supposed to be at the end of TDK, thus foreshadowing Two-Face being in the third movie like the card heralded the Joker?

What I heard, and this is just rumor mind you, is that the third movie was going to feature the trial of the Joker, and he's the one who splashes Harvey in the face with acid, turning him into Two-Face. Maybe it all happens in the second movie though, but I'm surprised that there hasn't been so much as a glimpse of Two-Face (or even Harvey) in the trailers if he figures largely into the movie. Though then again, up until now ALL the marketing seemed 100% focused on the Joker.


Drew (Guest) on 01/29/2008 1:20 am

I think that because he died, many are giving Heath Ledger more credit than perhaps deserved... While Katie Holmes was in Batman Begins, she is completely out of the sequel, so this kind of thing HAS been deen many times, so writing the Joker out should not be difficult with the magic of editing, CGI and some originality.

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JMShearer on 01/29/2008 3:38 am

It's too bad that Ledger died. His Joker looks pretty good, and now there's no chance of him taking the role again. Of course, the Joker has always been my favorite Batman character, even over the Bat himself.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing this one.

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Mystik Tomato on 01/29/2008 6:27 am

*Possible spoiler warning for people that care about spoilers!*

Protoclown:Yeah, I meant that the "Half" line is going to be at the end of TDK, like the Joker card.

"but I’m surprised that there hasn’t been so much as a glimpse of Two-Face (or even Harvey) in the trailers if he figures largely into the movie."

That's why I think that Harvey getting the acid thrown on him will be in TDK, but Two-Face himself will be in the third.


DanielHiggins (Guest) on 01/29/2008 5:37 pm

In all respect (He was in Lords of Dogtown, I think he died because God doesn't like gay cowboys... Just a thought.

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dj boobs on 01/31/2008 3:02 am

Hmmm, similar thing happened to Mako; dieing after he recorded TMNT, technically a comic book movie. But I guess it's easier to get a sound alike if they ever do a sequel to that. Here's hoping Dark Knight is good.


Goldenbane (Guest) on 02/02/2008 4:39 pm

I feel horrible that Heath died, and I'd rather see him alive and in the sequal, rather than them recast Joker or kill Joker off in the movies. My only thing is...if they do recast Joker, I think Crispin Glover would make a godly Joker. I once saw a pic of Glover done up to look like the Joker, and it was freaky scarey!

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GLX-Mr. Ordinary on 02/03/2008 6:36 am

Another one bites the dust HEY i'm gonna get to you Another bites the dust ahhhhh Shake it!---Queen. Couldn't have said it better then that.

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