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May 18, 2008

The Dark Night

Filed under: Uncategorized — nazalea @ 1:36 am

International poster
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Produced by Christopher Nolan
Charles Roven
Emma Thomas
Written by Screenplay:
Christopher Nolan
Jonathan Nolan
David S. Goyer
Christopher Nolan
Bob Kane
Bill Finger
Jerry Robinson
Starring Christian Bale
Michael Caine
Heath Ledger
Gary Oldman
Aaron Eckhart
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Morgan Freeman
Music by Hans Zimmer
James Newton Howard
Cinematography Wally Pfister
Editing by Lee Smith
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) Australia:
July 17, 2008
North America:
July 18, 2008
United Kingdom:
July 25, 2008
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$180 million[1]
Preceded by Batman Begins

The Dark Knight is an upcoming 2008 American superhero film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman. The film is a sequel to 2005’s Batman Begins, which rebooted the Batman film series after an eight-year hiatus. Christopher Nolan returns as the director, and Christian Bale reprises the lead role. Batman’s primary conflicts in the film come from his fight against the Joker (Heath Ledger) and his strained friendship with district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart).

Nolan took inspiration from the Joker’s first two appearances in the comics, and like the first film, Batman: The Long Halloween was a major influence on the story. The Dark Knight was filmed primarily in Chicago (as was Batman Begins), as well as several other locations in and outside the United States. The director used an IMAX camera to film four major action sequences, including the Joker’s first appearance in the film. The Batsuit was redesigned, with a cowl allowing Bale to move his head. A recreation of the Batcycle, known as the Batpod, will be introduced.

Warner Bros. created an aggressive viral marketing campaign for The Dark Knight, developing several dozen websites revealing details of the film, such as screenshots, as a reward for collaboration among Batman fans. This led to some press attention concerning how its campaign might be altered by Ledger’s death on January 22, 2008, since the Joker had been a chief promotional focus.[2] Other marketing ventures include a new toy line as well as an animated direct-to-DVD anthology titled Batman: Gotham Knight that is set between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The film will be released on July 17, 2008 in Australia,[3] on July 18, 2008 in North America,[4] and on July 25, 2008 in the United Kingdom.[5]


Set within a year after the events of Batman Begins, [6] Batman, Lieutenant James Gordon, and new district attorney Harvey Dent successfully begin to round up the criminals that plague Gotham City until a mysterious criminal mastermind known only as the Joker appears in Gotham, creating a new wave of chaos. Batman’s struggle against the Joker becomes deeply personal, forcing him to “confront everything he believes” and improve his technology to stop him.[7] A love triangle develops between Bruce Wayne, Dent and Rachel Dawes

Batman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker. Written by Peteagassi

Right after taking out Ra’s Al Ghul’s plan and the mysterious disappearance of Dr. Jonathan Crane AKA Scarecrow, Batman continues his seemingly-endless effort to bring justice to Gotham’s crime and corrupt with the help of Lt. James Gordon and new appointed District Attorney Harvey Dent. But this time, The Dark Knight faces a rising psychopathic criminal called The Joker, who’s eerie grin makes him more dangerous than what he has yet to unleash. It becomes an agenda to both enemies that only one of them remains and are willing to break every part of what they believe in to stop the other. Written by Anonymous


Cast and characters

Christian Bale reprises the role of Bruce Wayne / Batman, a billionaire who has dedicated himself to protecting Gotham City from the criminal underworld as the “Dark Knight”. Bale was confident in his choice to return in the role because of the positive response to his performance in Batman Begins.[9] He trained in the Keysi Fighting Method,[10] and performed many of his own stunts.[9] He did not gain as much muscle this time, because of the storyline in which Batman builds a new suit that allows him to move with more agility.[8] The actor described Batman’s dilemma as whether “[his crusade is] something that has an end? Can he quit and have an ordinary life? The kind of manic intensity someone has to have to maintain the passion and the anger that they felt as a child, takes an effort after awhile, to keep doing that. At some point, you have to exorcise your demons.”[11] He added, “Now you have not just a young man in pain attempting to find some kind of an answer, you have somebody who actually has power, who is burdened by that power, and is having to recognize the difference between attaining that power and holding on to it.”[1] Bale felt that because Batman’s personality was strongly established in the first film, it was unlikely that the character would be overshadowed by the villains: “I have no problem with competing with someone else. And that’s going to make a better movie.”[12]

Heath Ledger portrays the Joker, whom the actor described as a “psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy”.[13] Director Christopher Nolan had wanted to work with Ledger on a number of projects in the past, but had been unable to do so.[14] When Ledger saw Batman Begins, he realized a way to make the character work in that film’s tone,[15] and Nolan agreed with his anarchic interpretation.[14] To prepare for the role, Ledger lived alone in a hotel room for a month, formulating the character’s posture, voice and psychology.[16][12] While he initially found it difficult, Ledger was eventually able to generate a voice that did not sound like Jack Nicholson’s take on the character in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film.[17] He started a diary, in which he wrote the Joker’s thoughts and feelings to guide himself during his performance.[13] He was also given Batman: The Killing Joke and Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth to read, which he “really tried to read […] and put it down”.[15] Ledger also cited inspirations such as A Clockwork Orange and Sid Vicious“ and that they were “a very early starting point for Christian [Bale] and I. But we kind of flew far away from that pretty quickly and into another world altogether.”[18][19] “There’s a bit of everything in him. There’s nothing that consistent,” Ledger said, adding that “There are a few more surprises to him.”[18]

Bringing the Joker back to the big screen invited a wave of speculation over his depiction. Before Ledger was confirmed in July 2006,[20] Paul Bettany,[21] Lachy Hulme,[22] Adrien Brody,[23] Steve Carell,[24] and Robin Williams[25] publicly expressed interest in the role. Jack Nicholson jokingly expressed anger at not being invited to reprise the part: “You can’t believe the reasons things do or don’t happen. Not asking me how to do the sequel is that kind of thing,” he said. “Maybe it’s not a mistake. Maybe it was the right thing, but to be candid, I’m furious.”[26] After the trailer was released, director Guillermo del Toro and comic book writer Jeph Loeb lavished praise upon Ledger, while Batman: The Animated Series co-creator Paul Dini said, “He seems more street than any other version of the Joker […] His attitude is mordant and sardonic as opposed to manic […] No goofy gags or puns for him. This Joker doesn’t split sides: he splits skulls.”[27] Mark Hamill, who voiced the part on The Animated Series, said “The balls-out debauched psycho approach seems like a great way of reinventing everyone’s favorite scary (and scar-y) clown.”[28] Ledger died on January 22, 2008 after filming ended. “It was tremendously emotional, right when he passed, having to go back in and look at him every day,” Nolan recalled. “But the truth is, I feel very lucky to have something productive to do, to have a performance that he was very, very proud of, and that he had entrusted to me to finish.”[19]

Aaron Eckhart plays district attorney Harvey Dent / Two-Face,[29] for whom battling the Joker takes a dark toll, and becomes a disfigured vigilante who uses extreme methods.[30] Producer Charles Roven described Dent as initially the “white knight of the city”.[31] Whereas Two-Face turns into an evil villain in the comics, Nolan chose to portray him as a twisted vigilante to emphasize his role as Batman’s counterpart. “[He] is still true to himself. He’s a crime fighter, he’s not killing good people. He’s not a bad guy, not purely,” Eckhart noted. The actor, who has played corrupt men in films such as The Black Dahlia, Thank You For Smoking and In the Company of Men, admitted “I’m interested in good guys gone wrong.”[30] Christopher Nolan and David Goyer had originally considered using Dent in Batman Begins, but replaced him with the new character Rachel Dawes when they realized they “couldn’t do him justice”.[32] Before Eckhart was cast in February 2007, Liev Schreiber,[33] Josh Lucas,[34] and Ryan Phillippe[35] had expressed interest in the role.[36]

Maggie Gyllenhaal plays assistant D.A. Rachel Dawes, a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne, and one of the few people who know that he is Batman. Gyllenhaal acknowledged her character as a damsel in distress to an extent, adding that Nolan had sought ways to empower her character. She said, “Rachel’s really clear about what’s important to her and unwilling to compromise her morals, which made a nice change” from the many conflicted characters she has portrayed.[37] Before Gyllenhaal’s casting, actress Katie Holmes (who had portrayed Rachel Dawes in Batman Begins) was reported in August 2005 by producer Charles Roven to be signed for The Dark Knight.[38] However, in January 2007, Holmes turned down the offer to reprise her role as Rachel Dawes due to scheduling conflicts,[39] and the role was recast two months later.[40]

Additional characters include:

  • Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth: Bruce Wayne’s trusted butler and father figure who tends to Wayne Manor.
  • Gary Oldman as Lieutenant James Gordon: One of the few uncorrupt members of the Gotham City Police Department.
  • Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox: The recently-promoted CEO of Wayne Enterprises who supplies Bruce Wayne with the gear necessary to carry out Batman’s mission.
  • Eric Roberts as Sal Maroni: The gangster who now leads Carmine Falcone’s mob family.[41] Bob Hoskins and James Gandolfini were reported to have also auditioned for the part.[42]
  • Michael Jai White as Gambol: A gang leader at war with Maroni.[41] David Banner also auditioned for the role.[43]
  • Nestor Carbonell as Mayor Anthony Garcia.[44][45]
  • Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow: The former director of Arkham Asylum, who poisoned the Gotham water supply with fear hallucinogen in Batman Begins.[46]
  • William Fichtner as Gotham National Bank Manager: A bank manager working for the mafia, confronted by the Joker in the film’s opening.[47] Fichtner’s casting was a nod to Heat.[14] Musician Dwight Yoakam was approached for the role, or to play a corrupt cop, but he chose to focus on his album Dwight Sings Buck.[48]
  • Winston Ellis as Gator: A villain who serves as Gambol’s bodyguard along with actor Chucky Venice.[49] He is confronted by the Joker in the first full length trailer.
  • Monique Curnen as Detective Ramirez: A member of the GCPD.[8]

Anthony Michael Hall has been cast as a reporter.[14] Keith Szarabajka has been cast as a detective named “Stephens” (according to his website), and Beatrice Rosen and Joshua Harto also have minor roles.[50] Edison Chen cameos as a villain.[51] Batman fan and United States Senator Patrick Leahy, who previously was an extra in the 1997 Batman & Robin and also was a guest voice actor on Batman: The Animated Series, will have a cameo in The Dark Knight, in a scene with Batman and the Joker.[52] Singaporean actor Ng Chin Han also reportedly has a “major and highly-confidential” role in the film.[53] Melinda McGraw and Nathan Gamble, also appear as Gordon’s wife and son


Before the release of Batman Begins, screenwriter David S. Goyer wrote a treatment for two sequels, which introduced the Joker and Harvey Dent. Originally, it was intended that the Joker would scar Dent during his trial in the third film, turning him into Two-Face:[55] Nolan explained, “I think in terms of making […] the most complete film it can be.”[14] As with the first film, Goyer cited Batman: The Long Halloween as the preeminent influence on the storyline.[32] Nolan was initially unsure of whether he would return, but felt that he did want to reinterpret the Joker on screen.[12] After much research, his brother and co-writer Jonathan Nolan suggested the character’s first two appearances be their influence.[14] Jerry Robinson, one of the Joker’s co-creators, was consulted on the character’s portrayal.[56] Nolan decided to avoid having to tell an in-depth origin story for the character, portraying his rise to power instead.[14] He explained, “To me, the Joker is an absolute. There are no shades of gray to him […] He bursts in just as he did in the comics.”[47]

“As we looked through the comics, there was this fascinating idea that Batman’s presence in Gotham actually attracts criminals to Gotham, [it] attracts lunacy. When you’re dealing with questionable notions like people taking the law into their own hands, you have to really ask, where does that lead? That’s what makes the character so dark, because he expresses a vengeful desire.”
—Nolan on the theme of escalation[1]

On July 31, 2006, Warner Bros. Pictures officially announced the initiation of production for the sequel, titled The Dark Knight.[20] This makes it the first live-action Batman film without the word “Batman” in its title, which Bale noted as signaling that “this take on Batman of mine and Chris’ is very different from any of the others.”[57] Nolan described the sequel’s theme as escalation, continuing how Batman Begins ended, with “things having to get worse before they get better”.[58] The director indicated that the film will continue the themes of Batman Begins, including justice vs. revenge and Bruce Wayne’s issues with his father,[59] but it would also show more of Batman as a detective, an element which they did not have time to convey in Batman Begins.[8] He described Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent’s friendship and rivalry to be the “backbone” of the film.[47] Heat was an inspiration in telling a story about the numerous denizens of Gotham City


Director Christopher Nolan (far left) and actor Heath Ledger (in make-up) filming a scene in The Dark Knight with an IMAX camera

Director Christopher Nolan (far left) and actor Heath Ledger (in make-up) filming a scene in The Dark Knight with an IMAX camera

In October 2006, film location manager Robin Higgs visited Liverpool to scout locations, mainly along the city’s waterfront, for filming The Dark Knight. Other scouted locations included Yorkshire, Glasgow, and parts of London.[60] Producer Charles Roven stated in August 2006 that principal photography would begin in March 2007,[61] but filming was pushed back to April.[62] For its IMAX release, Nolan had four major action sequences, including the Joker’s introduction, shot in the format. Nolan wished he could have shot the entire film in IMAX, as he felt “if you could take an IMAX camera to Mount Everest or outer space, you could use it in a feature movie.”[63] Shooting in the format was something Nolan had wanted to do for fifteen years, and he also used it for “quiet scenes which pictorially we thought would be interesting.”[47]

Warner Bros. chose to film in Chicago for thirteen weeks, because Nolan had a “truly remarkable experience” filming part of Batman Begins there.[64][65] There, the film was given the false title Rory’s First Kiss to lower the visibility of production, but the local media eventually uncovered the ruse.[66] Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times commented on the absurdity of the technique, “Is there a Bat-fan in the world that doesn’t know Rory’s First Kiss is actually The Dark Knight, which has been filming in Chicago for weeks?” later adding, “When you identify the studio, director and stars, even the most casual movie fan is an click away from determining the movie’s real title.”[67] Production of The Dark Knight in Chicago will generate $45 million in the city’s economy and create thousands of jobs.[68] For the film’s prologue involving the Joker, the crew shot in Chicago from April 18 to April 24, 2007.[69][70] They returned to shoot from June 9, 2007 to early September.[68]

According to actor Michael Caine, the film would also shoot in London, Los Angeles, and Baltimore.[71] While planning a stunt with the Batmobile in a special effects facility near Chertsey, England in September 2007, a technician was killed when his car crashed. None of the actors were on set.[72] The following month in London at the defunct Battersea Power Station, a rigged 200-foot fireball was filmed, reportedly for an opening sequence for The Dark Knight, prompting calls from local residents who feared a terrorist attack on the station.[73]

Filming took place in Hong Kong from November 6 to November 11, 2007, at the Central-Mid-Levels escalators, Queen’s Road, The Center, and International Finance Centre.[74][75][76] The city’s walled city of Kowloon influenced the Narrows in Batman Begins.[77] The shoot hired helicopters and C-130 aircraft.[74] Officials expressed concern over possible noise pollution and traffic.[75] In response, letters sent to the city’s residents promised that the sound level would approximate noise decibels made by buses.[74] Environmentalists also criticized the filmmakers’ request to tenants of the waterfront skyscrapers to keep their lights on all night for beautiful cinematography, describing it as a waste of energy.[75]


The Joker's scruffy and grungy make-up reflects his "edgy" character.

The Joker’s scruffy and grungy make-up reflects his “edgy” character.

Costume designer Lindy Hemming described the Joker’s look as reflecting his personality — that “he doesn’t care about himself at all”; she avoided designing him as a vagrant but still made him appear to be “scruffier, grungier”, so that “when you see him move, he’s slightly twitchier or edgy.”[12][16] Nolan noted, “We gave a Francis Bacon spin to [his face]. This corruption, this decay in the texture of the look itself. It’s grubby. You can almost imagine what he smells like.”[78] In creating the “anarchical” look of the Joker, Hemming drew inspiration from such countercultural pop culture artists as Pete Doherty, Iggy Pop, and Johnny Rotten.[8][79] During the course of the film, the Joker never removes his make-up, and his scarring becomes exaggerated, worsening like an infection.[12] Ledger described his “clown” mask, made up of three pieces of stamped silicone, as a “new technology”, much quicker to apply than regular prosthetics, and he felt that he was barely wearing any make-up at all.[17] It took only an hour for the make-up artists to apply to Ledger’s face.[12]

Designers improved on the design of the Batsuit from Batman Begins, adding wide elastic banding to help bind the costume to Bale, and suggest more sophisticated technology. It was constructed from 200 individual pieces of rubber, fiberglass, metallic mesh, and nylon. The new cowl was modeled after a motorcycle helmet and separated from the neck piece, allowing Bale to turn his head left and right and nod up and down.[80] The cowl is equipped to show white lenses over the eyes when the character turns on his Bat-sonar detection.[81] The gauntlets have retractable razors which are able to be fired.[80] The gloves also possess hydraulics for Batman to crush objects. The original suit will also be worn during part of the film. Though the new costume is eight pounds heavier, Bale found it more comfortable and less hot to wear.[8]

The film introduces the Batpod, which is a recreation of the Batcycle. Crowley, who designed the Tumbler for Batman Begins, designed six models (built by Chris Corbould) for use in the film’s production, because of necessary crash scenes and possible accidents.[82] Crowley built a prototype in Nolan’s garage, before six months of safety tests were conducted.[8] The Batpod is steered by shoulder instead of hand, and the rider’s arms are protected by sleeve-like shields. The bike has 508 millimeter (20-inch) front and rear tires, and is made to appear as if it is armed with grappling hooks, cannons, and machine guns. The engines are located in the hubs of the wheels, which are set 3 1/2 feet (1067 mm) apart on either side of the tank. The rider lies belly down on the tank, which can move up and down in order to dodge any incoming gunfire that Batman may encounter. Stuntman Jean-Pierre Goy doubled for Christian Bale during the riding sequences in The Dark Knight.[82]

For Two-Face’s make-up, Eckhart warned, “When you look at [him], you should get sick to your stomach. Being the guy under all that, well, that was a lot of fun for me. It’s like you would feel if you met someone whose face had pretty much been ripped off or burned off with acid […] There are fans on the Internet who have done artist’s versions of what they think it will look like, and I can tell you this: They’re thinking small; Chris is going way farther than people think.”[30]

The depiction of Gotham City is less gritty than in Batman Begins. “I’ve tried to unclutter the Gotham we created on the last film,” said production designer Nathan Crowley. “Gotham is in chaos. We keep blowing up stuff. So we can keep our images clean.”[1]


[edit] Music

In an October 2006 interview, composer Hans Zimmer confirmed he and James Newton Howard would return to score The Dark Knight, teaming up as they did on Batman Begins.[83] Zimmer said the main Batman theme was purposely introduced at the end of Batman Begins, and will be fleshed out in the sequel as the character develops.[84]

Zimmer and Howard have composed a two-note leitmotif for the Joker. Zimmer said in February 2008 that he was finding this unsatisfactory to represent the character’s mindset. He and Howard have spent hours together on a piano, composing the film’s score. Zimmer said, “There wasn’t a single bit we didn’t influence each other on. By the end, it became fairly unclear who came up with what, which was nice.”



14 photos


imdb and wikipedia

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