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THE DARK KNIGHT appreciation thread
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Someone created an essay video about how having Ledger's Joker in 'The Dark Knight' was a perfect antagonist choice that also helps set the tone for other movies to emulate. But not as a copycat approach - more a model of characteristics to consider.


Watch: Video Explains Why Heath Ledger’s Joker Is the Perfect Villain for ‘The Dark Knight’




Why, exactly, is Heath Ledger’s Joker so great? What makes this villain so memorable in The Dark Knight when plenty of other villainous turns by famous actors are so forgettable? That’s the question at the center of a new video essay that unpacks, from a -script level, how this iteration of The Joker is the perfect antagonist for Christian Bale’s Batman in The Dark Knight.


There’s a reason this film has endured in a sea of superhero movies, and it’s because it works brilliantly on a spectacle level, a character level, a story level, and most importantly, a thematic level. At its heart, The Dark Knight is a 9/11 movie, and thus the anarchic and chaotic Joker was the perfect villain to serve the film’s thematic resonance.


This video essay doesn’t delve too deep into the 9/11 parallels and instead discusses the specifics of the protagonist/antagonist relationship in cinema, and why this particular dynamic works so well in The Dark Knight. And it’s not wrong—the film subverts convention by offering up a villain who doesn’t have some overarching plan for world domination or copious amounts of wealth—he’s a force of nature, which is a terrific foil for a hero who refuses to kill and is struggling to find the balance of saving lives without putting more in danger.


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And at least with the overall trilogy, it ended in a very interesting way. What timing that this interview took place recently.


Why The Dark Knight Rises Delivers The Perfect Ending To Nolan's Batman Trilogy, According To Joseph Gordon-Levitt


This past weekend, I had the pleasure of sitting down one-on-one with Joseph Gordon-Levitt during the Los Angeles press day for the upcoming Snowden. While the bulk of our conversation was about the new Oliver Stone film, I asked about the Batman movie that never was as my final question. Purely hypothetically, I asked him if playing John Blake as Batman in his own movie was something that he would have been interested in. The actor explained why he feels it would have ultimately been completely unnecessary.


"I know we're all used to the sort of Marvel movies, which are just kind of an endless series. They don't really have a beginning, middle, and end. But I think Nolan very much thought of that movie as a conclusion, and there's a theme that runs through all three of those movies that begins in the first movie, runs through the second movie and it concludes in that moment where he says that Batman is more than a man, Batman is a symbol. And so to have another man other than Bruce Wayne kind of becoming Batman at the end of that trilogy, I think that's the perfect ending to that story."


It's pretty hard to argue with his logic here. At the very start of his mission as Batman in 'Batman Begins', Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne makes it very clear that his time as a superhero isn't actually meant to be a long-term plan. Instead, his ultimate goal is to become a symbol in Gotham City that criminals fear, allowing him to retire to a peaceful life. That's exactly what he's able to do at the very end of 'The Dark Knight Rises', leaving John Blake to carry on said symbol as he goes on to live in obscurity with Anne Hathaway's Selina Kyle in Europe.


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Who is a big enough Dark Knight fan they will take this on?


One Of Batman's Coolest Vehicles Is Going Up For Auction



We've just learned that a genuine Batpod has gone up for auction on Prop Store. This isn't a replica either; it's a legitimate prop that Christopher Nolan and his crew used on the productions of The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, as well as the respective promotional campaigns for each film. It comes with all of the scars and scratches that such a prop would get on the production of a Nolan movie, and it's the closest any of us will ever get to filling our garage with a genuine Bat-vehicle. For some folks, this authenticity may very well make it worth the £60,000 - £80,000 (approximately $80,000 - $106,000) price tag.


547 - Live Auction 2016 - Hero Batpod Vehicle



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Anne Hathaway Interested in Catwoman Movie Spinoff




Anne Hathaway is interested in returning to the DC Universe for a Catwoman spinoff movie.


In an interview at the Variety Studio at the Toronto Film Festival, presented by Airbnb, for her upcoming sci-fi action-thriller “Colossal,” Hathaway said she would love to tackle the character again, although she admitted it may be a difficult task.


“I loved that character and I had such a blast playing her,” Hathaway said. “I’m not sure how it would work because I think the Chris Nolan chapter of the Batman story has been wrapped up and I’m part of that, but I love the DC Universe and it would be fun to take a trip back.”


Hathaway was asked whether she feels possessive of the famous cat burglar.


“I don’t think you can,” she said. “It sort of goes with the territory when you accept it and receive it from the last Catwoman. I was shown such generosity from Halle [berry] and from Michelle [Pfeiffer], and so I would do that the next time as well.”


She was definitely one of the high points in The Dark Knight Rises. When I re-watched this a few weeks back, it felt like a missed opportunity she wasn't given a chance to continue in the role.

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Christian Bale's BATMAN Suit From THE DARK KNIGHT Sells For $250K




Located in the UK, The Prop Store sold some 500 memorabilia items from the Nolan films (and a few other fan favorite genre films) bringing in ~$1.947 million for the auction house this past Tuesday. Stephen Lane, chief executive officer of The Prop Store told Bloomberg, "We managed to get some world-record prices there, which is very exciting for us. The activity across the board was pretty unprecedented."


Widely regarded as the greatest comic book movie of all-time, a bidding war for props from The Dark Knight was anticipated by The Prop Store but even they didn't expect such hefty selling prices.


Lane added that many of the items purchased were by private bidders who had no intention of making the items available to fan conventions or festivals. Bloomberg reports the competition for the items included, "400 bidders from 27 countries actively participated in the auction, which drew interest from investment firms in New York and Hong Kong, archivists working for corporate and private collectors, and museums."


Christian Bale Dark Knight Batsuit- $250,000

Batpod - $400,000

Bane costume - $125,000

Star Wars TIE fighter helmet - $273,000

Goonies mask - $46,733

Jaws clapperboard - $109,000

Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back clapperboard - $43,000

Agent Mulder and Scully FBI Badges - $19,472


WOW! Now that's a fan.

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Christopher Nolan Is Working on a 4K Remaster of ‘The Dark Knight’ Trilogy




If you thought Christopher Nolan‘s Batman movies looked good before, get excited because the director has confirmed that he’s working on a 4K restoration of his The Dark Knight trilogy. Warner Bros. is in the thick of their new on-screen incarnation of the DC universe, but lots of folks are still loyal to Nolan’s Christian Bale-led version — and rightfully so, it’s one of the best film trilogies of all time, so it’s a heck of a clever money-making move to get the director back on the Batman train for a new home video release.


Wth Dunkirk heading into theaters later this month, Nolan sat down for an interview with the folks at BadTaste.It (h/t Batman-News), where he discussed restoring his back catalogue to 4K and his enthusiasm process. His love for the cleaner images should come as no surprise considering he’s one of the last holdouts who still insists on shooting with film, and indeed, Nolan praises the new technology as a means of getting closer to the experience of a movie shot and projected on film.


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Heath Ledger Documentary Clip Revisits 'The Dark Knight' Joker


A clip from I Am Heath Ledger, the documentary about the life of Heath Ledger, explores Ledger’s iconic role as the Joker in The Dark Knight.


In the clip, Ledger’s former agent, Steve Alexander, remembers the first time that he spoke to Ledger about the possibility of playing the Joker.


“I called Heath and I said, ‘This is what’s happening. They’re putting together the next Batman movie and the Joker’s going to be the villain and is that of interest?’” Alexander recalls. “There was no pause. It was like, ‘Absolutely, I want that. What do we do? I’ll get on a plane, I’ll fly out, I want to meet with Chris. Can you get me in a room with Chris Nolan?’”


After that, the video includes some voice over from Ledger describing his transformation into the Joker.



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The reason The Dark Knight stands out to me as the best superhero film done so far is that it -- and to a lesser extent The Dark Knight Rises -- wasn't primarily a superhero film.

Rather, it's an above average crime thriller that *just happens* to have a superhero setting.

Take out all the fantastical superhero elements, and it's still a compelling movie.

Wonder Woman did this as well -- with its World War I setting. Take out the superhero elements, and 2/3rds of the --script could have been the blueprint for a period espionage war movie (a la Where Eagles Dare or Valkyrie).

Logan worked because it's more about confronting fatherhood, old age and death as it is flying into a SNIKT-filled bezerker rage.

Even Jessica Jones' primary strength was that it was essentially a dual character study about rape and PTSD/survivorship. Take away Jessica and Kilgrave's powers, and it still could have worked.

Some non-superhero comic book films definitionally fit this bill because they were reality-based to begin with (think A History of Violence, Road to Perdition).

For pure superhero films themselves, for me Spider-Man 2 is the shining counter-example to the above -- it's superhero through-and-through, while not being burdened by an origin story.

The challenge I see for Hollywood going forward is to continue expanding the stories that are told with superheroes...stories that:

  • aren't dependent on origins or power explorations alone
  • don't constantly need epic save-the-world battles as their climax

and (hopefully)

  • an Iron Man film that somehow doesn't end with dudes in armor beating on each other

But ultimately, the key may be

  • Telling compelling stories that stand on their own and *just happen* to involve superheroes rather than relying purely on the whiz bang superhero powers to find an audience.
Edited by Gatsby77
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That 4K set is done!

The Dark Knight Trilogy Gets 4K Remasters


Christopher Nolan's acclaimed Batman trilogy premieres on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray just in time for Christmas.


Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises as individual 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays as well as an eight-disc 4K trilogy box set. The 4K remasters were personally overseen by Nolan, whose most recent films — including The Prestige, Inception, Interstellar and Dunkirk — will also see upgrades on the format, which "allows viewers to more accurately experience the filmmaker’s original vision, offering consumers brighter, deeper, more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before."


The Dark Knight 4K trilogy is available digitally December 12, and physical sets December 19.


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The First 'The Dark Knight' Trailer Premiered Ten Years Ago Today


Batman may currently be appearing on the big screen in Justice League, but a decade ago fans were getting excited by the trailer for a different DC Comics film. The first theatrical teaser for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight debuted ten years ago today.


Released with non-IMAX showings of I Am Legend as well as on the official website for The Dark Knight, the trailer gave fans their first look at Christian Bale's fully-realized Batman. Having saved Gotham from Ra's Al Ghul in Batman Begins, Batman faces a new threat in the form of Heath Ledger's take on The Joker. A deranged departure from Jack Nicholson's version of the classic villain, Ledger's take was striking even in the trailer though the sudden death of Ledger just over a month after the trailer's release on January 22, 2008, causing the film's marketing to shift focus onto the iconic villain. Ledger posthumously won an Academy Award for the role which took the Joker from not just a villain, but a leading character.


The Dark Knight was a massive success, with the film becoming the highest-grossing film of 2008 as well as fourth film in history to gross more than $1 billion.


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1 minute ago, fantastic_four said:

Me neither.  In general I'm not upgrading anything to 4K, but this set I will.

I buy new 4K and have only upgraded Blade Runner, Terminator 2 and this when it comes out.

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For me it’s a problem that The Dark Knight is the pinnacle of comic book films. It’s been a decade. I want someone to put out a better comic book movie that satisfies me on the level that TDK did. Winter Soldier, Civil War and GotG were great fun but they don’t measure up. Watchmen and 300 were the best translations I could ask for and still, no DK. I can only hope Matt Reeves gives us something special with a solo Batman film in the future. 

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1 hour ago, Reader said:

For me it’s a problem that The Dark Knight is the pinnacle of comic book films. It’s been a decade. I want someone to put out a better comic book movie that satisfies me on the level that TDK did. Winter Soldier, Civil War and GotG were great fun but they don’t measure up. Watchmen and 300 were the best translations I could ask for and still, no DK. I can only hope Matt Reeves gives us something special with a solo Batman film in the future. 

That's because Nolan grounded Batman in a reality not entirely unlike our own, but all of those other titles you just mentioned feature heroes with superpowers.  Nolan explicitly stated that his Batman does not exist in the larger DC universe, and when offered Superman he said he wouldn't direct it because he didn't know how to ground the character into a realistic context.

It's always impossible from the outside to tell exactly who is responsible for what between a screenwriter and a director, but I assume that most of what is good about Man of Steel came far more from the screenplay written by Christopher Nolan and his buddy David Goyer (who also wrote The Dark Knight) and far less from Zack Snyder.

Edited by fantastic_four
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