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The Dark Knight (2008)

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Knight Falls on Hong Kong

Confirming rumors that first surfaced last fall, The Dark Knight will set-up shop in Hong Kong after filming is completed in Britain and Chicago. The Christopher Nolan-directed sequel to Batman Begins will reportedly film in China in November.

IGN.com, September 21

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Batman's arrival ruffles Hong Kong politicians

The arrival of Batman in Hong Kong this November for filming of the latest Hollywood sequel has ruffled local politicians who say the masked hero could disrupt traffic and cause noise pollution, reports said on Friday.

In "The Dark Knight" due for release next July, the Caped Crusader will leave Gotham City for Hong Kong to fight his enemies, Hong Kong's Standard newspaper reported.

But local politicians who met the film's producers on Thursday reportedly expressed concerns at the inconvenience and "traffic chaos," Batman might cause during the nine-day shoot. . . .

Reuters, September 21

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Daedly accident on the set of The Dark Knight.

Death on 'Dark Knight' Set

A crew member on The Dark Knight movie has been killed in an onset accident. The special effects expert was following the Batmobile on a racetrack in Surrey, England when the car he was in crashed into a tree. It is believed the dead man was trying to figure out how to film a car chase scene. The unnamed victim, a married father of two, died at the scene of the crash. Police and the Health and Safety experts are investigating the incident. None of the film's cast including Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Heath Ledger saw the accident. The Dark Knight will be released next year.

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That's just a well done fan trailer. All the footage is from Batman Begins or other films with the actors (the one with Aaron Eckhart infront of the flag is from Thank You for Smoking). There are also a couple shots from Batman: Dead End, one of the best Batman fan films out there (though it is pretty fanboy-ish).

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That Joker is from this.

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Twitch has some more on the Batman anime project. It consists of six animated shorts that are being written by US-based writers, but all of the animation is being handled by Japanese studios. And there are some big names there (Madhouse, Studio 4C and Production I.G.). But I'm most excited by the fact that Satoshi Kon (Paprika, Paranoia Agent) is directing one of the shorts. I can't wait to see what he'll do with the Dark Knight.

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You can also watch and download it in hi-res here.

Goosebumps....

I agree, totally.

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They're in good company on the side of evil

HEATH LEDGER and Aaron Eckhart, welcome to Hollywood's elite and gaudy Arkham club.

In the highly anticipated new Batman film "The Dark Knight," which opens July 18, Ledger is stepping into the purple suit of the Joker, while Eckhart will portray Gotham City Dist. Atty. Harvey Dent, who starts the movie as a handsome lawman but ends up as Two-Face, the villain driven insane by disfiguring wounds.

"Harvey Dent is a tragic figure, and his story is the backbone of this film," says Christopher Nolan, the director of the acclaimed franchise-rejuvenating 2005 film "Batman Begins," who returns with Christian Bale again playing the caped crusader. "The Joker, he sort of cuts through the film -- he's got no story arc, he's just a force of nature tearing through. Heath has given an amazing performance in the role, it's really extraordinary."

Los Angeles Times, January 13

Harvey Dent is the focus of The Dark Knight?

If that's really how the movie is setup, then what the hell is with that trailer that was released a couple months ago? Dent appears absolutely nowhere in that. . . .

If this is really the way the movie is going to net out then I think Warner Bros. needs to be careful about the potential reputation damage they've set themselves up for. They created a fully interactive campaign that was all about the mayhem created by the Joker, leading implicitly if not explicitly to the expectation that The Joker would be doing likewise in the movie. . . .

Chris, Movie Marketing Madness, January 16

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To re-post what I wrote in the 'Heath Ledger, 1979-2008' thread:

- - -

I hate to be thinking about some comic-book movie right now, but I cannot help but wonder how this will affect the publicity efforts around The Dark Knight. So much of the publicity to date has revolved around Ledger's character, but the director recently said that the "backbone" of the movie is actually ANOTHER character. So will they shift the publicity over to Harvey Dent? And what about the seemingly, unusually raw nature of Ledger's performance as the Joker? Will any of the filmmakers feel that they might have helped to "unhinge" Ledger in any way, by immersing him in that performance? Those are questions I'd hate to be asking myself.

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The Heath Ledger thread can be found here. Sorry for the confusion.

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I hate to be thinking about some comic-book movie right now, but I cannot help but wonder how this will affect the publicity efforts around The Dark Knight.

To say nothing of future sequels...

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Darryl A. Armstrong wrote:

: To say nothing of future sequels...

Yes. I was thinking about this just before I logged in. We know that Chris Nolan is more interested than Burton-Schumacher ever were in bringing back villains from earlier films; reportedly, Cillian Murphy's Scarecrow makes a second appearance in this one. So it is at least POSSIBLE that they do not kill the Joker but, instead, keep him alive for some furher mischief down the road. What's more, I would not be too surprised if they hinted at a specific line of continuation for the Joker's story (even though Nolan has said that the Joker has no real "arc" in this movie but just cuts through it every now and then like a force of nature).

So, it is possible that the loss of Ledger might put the future films in jeapordy. People have already become so impressed with Ledger's take on the character -- based on the trailer and the IMAX preview -- that it could be very difficult to cast another actor in the role, after Ledger has become so perfectly identified with it. This isn't like replacing Katie Holmes with Maggie Gyllenhaal, where many many people seemed to agree that Holmes had been miscast in the first place.

But it is also possible that this film WON'T drop any specific hints about the Joker's future. So, who knows. We'll see.

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Did Playing the Joker Kill Heath Ledger?

In a disturbing New York Times interview a few weeks ago, the late Heath Ledger said that the stress of playing the Joker -- a psychopath with zero empathy -- was interfering with his sleep. As he completed filming on "The Dark Knight" in London, he spoke of popping a couple of Ambien and still being able to sleep only an hour, suggesting that he might have felt the need to keep upping the dosage to dangerous levels.

Kyle Smith, January 23

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Fate of Ledger's last films uncertain

Warners has a different predicament with "The Dark Knight." Production on Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins" sequel is believed to largely completed -- principal photography concluded in the fall -- but the initial marketing campaign focuses on the ghoulish Joker character.

To complicate matters further, the studio has just restructured its marketing operation. International marketing topper Sue Kroll now oversees all marketing for the studio in the wake of the exit of former domestic marketing president Dawn Taubin, who developed the "Dark Knight" campaign.

Kroll will likely have to move quickly to rejigger the studio's current phase of the marketing campaign for "Dark Knight," focusing on Ledger's Joker character. This phase of the campaign had been set to run until March.

Variety, January 23

- - -

Hmmm, does that mean they were planning on shifting the campaign's attention to Harvey Dent, then? They just might have to do that a little sooner, I guess.

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I would actually be more encouraged to see The Dark Knight if Joker were less of the story. We've seen the Batman vs. Joker story already, and some of the scenes in this trailer remind me of Burton's version (the showdown in the street, for instance). I'm sure Nolan's take on it will be different, but I was hoping they would hold off on Joker's appearance for another film - maybe just hinting at it, like they did in Batman Begins.

One of the (many) things I liked about Begins was how different characters were used - Scarecrow, etc. - so it was not just a repeat of the Burton/Schumacher series. (As a comparison, Superman has had to face down Lex Luther - or a Luther wanna-be - in every movie so far. Give the rich bald guy a rest, would ya?)

So, perhaps a story focus on Two-face will be better for the series - and a better story overall. Though again, that's a repeat character from the earlier series, so time will tell. (I'm hoping the take on Two-face this time is better - the earlier attempt felt like Tommy Lee Jones was trying to out-crazy Nicholson's Joker. I've never had the impression that Two-face is a cackler...)

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Warner Brothers updates its websites to mourn the passing of Ledger.

Click on the logo at TheDarkKnight.com and you get this:

memorial.jpg

Meanwhile, if you go to WhySoSerious.com, you can see this:

blog_blackribbon.jpg

Chris at Movie Marketing Madness (a Christian, BTW) writes:

Once again let me state that the passing of Heath Ledger is something that is tragic and I can

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There was talk about re-vamping the promotional campaign for this film. Is this the first poster of the post-Ledger campaign?

406392~The-Dark-Knight-Posters.jpg

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There was talk about re-vamping the promotional campaign for this film. Is this the first poster of the post-Ledger campaign?

406392~The-Dark-Knight-Posters.jpg

No, I saw this poster some time ago on AICN. It's the International teaser poster. Perhaps they're going to start using it in N. America, but it isn't really new.

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Overstreet wrote:

: There was talk about re-vamping the promotional campaign for this film. Is this the first poster of the post-Ledger campaign?

Nope, it's been out since January 14.

BTW, has everyone here seen those blurry photos of the Harvey Dent action figure? They're kind of spoiler-ish, or I'd consider posting them here...

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