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Joker's Entrance: 'Whatever Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger'


Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight was previewed Thursday at ShoWest:

"Unlike 1989's 'Batman,' in which the deranged, disfigured clown appearance of Jack Nicholson's Joker resulted from a dip in chemical goo, "The Dark Knight" starts right in with the bad guy in all his psychopathic glory. 'I believe whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you stranger,' Ledger's depraved Joker cryptically tells an accomplice in the opening scenes, in which he pulls off a daring bank robbery."

Said director Christopher Nolan: "The psychopathic clown, that's an icon to stand with the guy with the ears and cape. It's just a wonderful visual relationship, and it's a terrifying image. I think he'd be very pleased to see we're just moving ahead as is. If you try to honor somebody, you honor them by respecting their work and putting it out there for as many people to see. He was immensely proud of the work he did on the film. I feel a great burden to present that in an undistorted form."

Producer Charles Roven told the AP that Ledger was pleased with the outcome: "He was just blown away by his own performance. He said, 'Can I see it again?' So he was really, really thrilled."

Ledger's Joker Makes Dramatic Entrance [ap]

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  1. I think in the headline you mean to say "stranger"...

    Posted by: Scott B. | Mar 14, 2008 10:21:44 AM

  2. Are there any clowns that aren't terrifying?

    Posted by: DCN | Mar 14, 2008 10:36:55 AM

  3. DON,



    i know you need to keep up. but every time you post about this beautifal man, i get sad. what a loss.

    Posted by: nic | Mar 14, 2008 11:02:27 AM

  4. Not to disparage Ledger, but that line is originally from the animated MTV cartoon "Eon Flux". Still can't wait to see the movie.

    Posted by: TroyTooner | Mar 14, 2008 11:43:15 AM

  5. I luv me some Christian Slater, and the black moods the movie series has caped the crusader in, but anyone that has seen the same theatre trailer for this edition as I have—which I saw before Ledger died—must surely be as blown away. I was actually surprised at the time that his character was more the center of the trailer than Batman. He "stole" the trailer, how could he not steal the film? And I don't mean that in a pejorative way.

    Hope the growing buzz about an Oscar nomination before the film has even been released doesn't ruin it by nomination time. And we don't know what other performances he might be up against. After all, he was robbed of one Oscar already.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Mar 14, 2008 12:18:43 PM

  6. Monsieur Bedwell,
    Agreed (for once!). The makeup and Ledger's performance look fantastic. I never was a fan of the Jack Nicholson cartoonish Joker, so I'm really looking forward to this. However, it's my understanding that the Joker is not the main villain of the movie.

    I'm not sure I follow the Christian Slater reference. Did you mean Christian Bale?

    Posted by: crispy | Mar 14, 2008 12:37:59 PM

  7. CRISPY and BEDWELL having a dialogue? i do believe in miracles. i do, i do, godamit. *eyes welling and a lonesome tear drop down my cheek*

    Posted by: nic | Mar 14, 2008 2:58:07 PM

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