Heath Ledger Wanted To Play The Joker Again

Heath Ledger Wanted To Play The Joker Again

Heath Ledger’s brilliant, Oscar-winning performance
as the Joker in The Dark Knight could have been just the beginning. In an interview with News Australia, the late
actor’s sister, Kate, revealed that Ledger was incredibly excited about his work with
director Christopher Nolan in The Dark Knight, and he was looking forward to playing the
iconic villain again in another movie. Kate admitted that the supposed “demons” one
critic described Ledger as having didn’t exist. She explained, “He was a really happy person and he had huge
plans for his future. […] He was so proud of what he had done
in [The Dark Knight]. And I know he had plans for another Batman
[movie]. […] He just had the best time ever doing
that film. When he came home at Christmas he couldn’t
wait to tell us all about it and he was doing the voice and laughing, showing me all the
rushes. We had a great time.” Kate also mentioned that she spoke with Ledger
the night before he died of an accidental prescription drug overdose, and as she describes
it, the siblings spent time “laughing and joking together.” Ledger’s unexpected death came on January
22nd, 2008, six months before The Dark Knight arrived in theaters. The Australian actor was just 28 years old
at the time of his passing. The Dark Knight, one of two of Ledger’s posthumous
releases, opened in theaters in July 2008. Ledger’s turn as the deranged criminal Joker
redefined the iconic Batman villain, and impressed both fans and critics alike. He had delivered what went on to be an Oscar-winning
performance as one of DC Comics’ most famous bad guys – and he’d never be able to do it
again. Writing for The New Yorker, critic David Denby
had only positive things to say about Ledger, saying, “It has one startling and artful element:
the sinister and frightening performance of the late Heath Ledger as the psychopathic
murderer the Joker. That part of the movie is upsetting to watch,
and, in retrospect, both painful and stirring to think about. […] His performance is a heroic, unsettling
final act: this young actor looked into the abyss.” A lasting, but totally unfounded consensus
amongst fans is that Ledger’s performance as the Joker may have contributed to his death
in one way or another – which would suggest that the experience was far more traumatic
than anyone knew, and that he wouldn’t have wanted to revisit the character if he got
the opportunity. However, according to the New York Times,
Ledger himself had said, “[Playing the Joker was] the most fun I’ve
ever had, or probably ever will have, playing a character.” “Why so serious?” Filmmaker Terry Gilliam – who directed Ledger
in his final performance as Tony in the fantasy flick The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
– also shot down gossip about the late actor, telling The Talks that the stories about the
Joker role making him unstable were all hogwash. Gilliam said, “They were trying to [imply] that playing
the Joker had made him crazy. Absolute nonsense! Heath was so solid. His feet were on the ground and he was the
least neurotic person I’ve ever met. Heath was just great and that’s why it became
so impossible to understand. […] There was none of this twisted neurosis
that a lot of actors suffer from.” “The minute we said cut he’d be telling a
joke about something, we were back to having fun again.” It seems clear that Ledger truly had an amazing
time playing Joker. What isn’t clear, however, is whether Nolan
had planned to include Ledger in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises. At the time, Nolan wasn’t even sure that he
himself would be back for a third film, as there wasn’t an overarching narrative in place
yet. If Ledger had lived to churn out another Oscar-caliber
performance, perhaps it would have secured more Batman movies from Nolan and an entirely
different future for the DC movie universe. At least fans will always have The Dark Knight
and Ledger’s haunting embodiment of the Joker to look back on. What they also have is more Joker heading
to the big screen, as Joaquin Phoenix is bringing the Clown Prince of Crime to life in director
Todd Phillips’ Joker, set to hit theaters on October 4th, 2019. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
stuff are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

You May Also Like

About the Author: Maximilian Kuhn


  1. You know heath is an unbeatable act when everyone is still talking about his performance 11 years later! RIP You will always have a special place in our hearts

  2. miss ya man. joker are always my favorite character and i’m glad to get see it in your prime time to be Joker. ill always keep dark knight dvd cuz of it. ❤️

  3. God he had so much potential ahead of him too, to add to what he already achieved. I just think he had a mix of probably alcohol and a certain drug/drugs that just went wrong. He had too much to do and live for. Sadly missed, and I don't like making comparisons, but it felt a bit like James Dean.. Too young, too talented to die so young.

  4. Back in the day I read somewhere that the original plan for Nolan's third Batman movie involved Joker too, but not as the main villain this time. The movie planned to start with the trial of Joker for his crimes and later in the story he somehow escapes Arkham because of the third movie's main villain's acts. But after Heath Ledger's death Nolan didn't want to recast the role like he did for Rachel Dawes character (also Ledger made the role so iconic it would be disastrous trying to copy) and scrapped that plan completely. Maybe when Bane released the inmates of Arkham in the third movie Joker would be there like Jonathan Crane aka Scarecrow, but with a bigger part. So that means there would be no years of time jump between TDK and TDKR too. But all of these are just speculations now. I would like to watch an interview with Nolan and hear from himself the third movie's original plans before Ledger's death.

  5. Mannnn if he never killed himself, imagine all of the movies that could've happened.☹☹😭 Oscar after OSCAR perhaps bcuz Heath certainly was on top of the industry back then, and he still would be if he was still alive.

    Ledger and DiCaprio would've only been competing rn😂😭

  6. So he was planned for the third and final Nolan Batman movie, I wonder would Harley Quinn appear along with the Riddler, penguin, mad hatter, Black mask and Hugo Strange

  7. That would've been amazing if Heath Ledger reprised the Joker in the next movie, and it would be even cooler if he possibly played the Joker in the new Joker movie. Best Joker Ever, Rest In Peace Heath Ledger

  8. Not gonna lie.. I’m kinda glad he didn’t reprise his role. Obviously I am deeply saddened for the reason why he didn’t reprise his role. But to me, Ledger’s Joker is perfect and allowing it to be a stand alone performance only adds to the mystique of the character.

  9. as of rn he’s the best joker. i have a lot of confidence in Joaquin Phoenix but what Ledger brought to the role is just iconic. he was unique and original in his portrayal. i just don’t think i’ll ever like a Joker performance more than Heath’s.

  10. It's so unfortunate and depressing that a man of 28 yrs old, with better talent than most people now, passed away so soon. What he left behind will never be forgotten. Not only did he played such a chillingly compelling villain, he transcended into a legend. Heath Ledger's joker will forever be the best and most memorable depiction of the fictional character and it's very possible, Well never have another portrayal like his.

  11. He is the greatest loss we had in Hollywood since James dean… he was so amazing… would love to have seen him do more with this character…

  12. Playing the joker had nothing to do with his death, he was doing a completely different movie at the time he died, so sick of the bs surrounding that the joker character messed with his mind..

  13. I was actually impressed by his acting skills before he played The Joker… When I saw Lords Of Dogtown, I really thought to myself “ This guy plays characters so flawlessly “

  14. This is happy to hear but also incredibly 😥 sad of what could have been. I think he is up there praising Joaquin for his performance

  15. It's so sad he never lived to see the awards and attention he got for playing the joker he was the most brilliant joker ever rip Heath ledger gone never forgotten

  16. Y’all only like his joker cause he died in all honesty Phoenix will probably be better haven’t seen it yet can’t say but I’m betting 12 on it

  17. 3:01 Well actually there was a planned cameo in TDKR where Batman would interact with his Joker from his cell in Arkham Asylum.

  18. Heath was every bit the 'Joker'.. We saw the madness in his eyes.. Heard the horror in his voice.. His smile was sinister.. His make-up was devilish.. Heath's 'Purple Man' was the greatest psychopath we had ever seen..

  19. Because of this fucking Legendary dude. I just can't take other Jokers seriously just a circus clown or average from my viewpoint. Beside the new Joker seems to be a disappointment too.

  20. If he was happy, and didn't have the demons, would he really tie those drugs? How do we know he wasn't killed for some reason? This is strange.

  21. Don't worry guys, once we die that first thing we will do is watch ledger play the joker in a new movie 😀 have faith my dudes

  22. Heath if your some how reading this I just wanna say the you were one of the greatest actors and you were the greatest Joker I love you

  23. Let's not kid ourselves. If Heath was still alive, he'd still be our Joker, especially if he really loved the part. No Leto and no Phoenix, we wouldn't have needed them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *