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Christopher Nolan Foolishly Casts Heath Ledger Over Paul Bettany as The Joker In Batman Begins Sequel

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | April 1, 2013 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | April 1, 2013 |

Mark this day, folks: August 3, 2006. That’s the day that Christopher Nolan made his first mistake as the current commander of the Batman franchise. For reasons that don’t quite make sense to me, Nolan — as has been rumored — has officially cast Heath Ledger as The Joker in his upcoming The Dark Knight.

What? Really? Listen, I like Ledger. A lot. He was fun in 10 Things I Hate About You, he was brilliant in Brokeback Mountain and he made A Knight’s Tale better than any movie set in medieval times featuring the music of Queen had any right to be. But, he’s not exactly comic-book material, and he has to fill the impossible-to-fill shoes of Jack Nicholson, who will always be the guy most associated with The Joker.

According to a poll of readers, around 84 percent of readers think Ledger is either a “so-so” or a “horrible” choice, while less than 10 percent think he’s a great choice. Cinemablend, echoing much of the Internet chatter, thinks it’s an odd choice, too: “Ledger seems spectacularly unsuited to the weirdness of the Joker. If you’re casting Ledger in a Batman movie, I’d start by considering him for Robin, not the caped crusader’s most lunatic villain.”

Ledger beats out several other actors who were rumored to be up for the role, including Crispin Glover, Robin Williams, Guy Pearce, Adrien Brody, and the leading contender, Paul Bettany. He would’ve been phenomenal!

Rumors, meanwhile, continue to persist that Phillip Seymour Hoffman may land the role of The Penguin, and Ryan Phillipe — coming off a memorable turn in Crash — has been apparently offered the role of Two Face. That would actually work.






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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.