What would The Dark Knight Rises look like if Heath Ledger hadn’t died?

Jan 8, 2014
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It was a terrible day when we all heard about the surprise and untimely death of a rising star and more importantly, someone who loved his friends and family die so unexpectedly.

But, I had this thought today, what would the world be like if Heath Ledger never died? I’m speaking specifically about his work in this regard, not his personal life. What would his career look like?

Before TDK Ledger was mostly known as a teen heartthrob. And although I personally liked A Knight’s Tale and Brothers Grimm, I think it’s safe to say his interpretation of the Joker was a huge surprise to everyone and showed the world for the first time his true acting range.

As far as his career, I think it would be safe to say that Ledger would have launched into a major A list acting career where he would have gotten choice roles for movies and gone just as a far as Christian Bale in terms of playing meatier roles, working with the best directors, etc. Even if he didn’t win an Oscar for his role as the Joker, he would have won one eventually. And there’s no doubt Nolan would have worked with Ledger again. Imagine him in Interstellar or Inception. :)

Another aspect to this is the third part of the Batman trilogy. It’s been revealed in interviews with Nolan and with Ledger’s family that the Joker was suppose to be in the third part of the trilogy, but what that entailed might forever be a mystery.

If Hardy’s Bane was in it, I think it would have been interesting to see an criminal organization like the League of Shadows go up against a criminal that would laugh at the philosophy and moralizing. Yes, I do not believe Bane and Heath’s Joker would have gotten along. They both hate Batman but for completely different reasons. In fact they are so different, it’s quite possible that a movie couldn’t work with both of them in it. Also, maybe instead of Catwoman, we would have gotten Nolan’s version of Harley Quinn.

I think Joker would have died in part 3. Not by Batman’s hands, but by the consequences of his chaotic actions.

All of this is speculation of course. What do you think?
 
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Likes: Dark Star
Jan 12, 2018
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I think Joker would have died in part 3. Not by Batman’s hands, but by the consequences of his chaotic actions.

All of this is speculation of course. What do you think?
I think Dark Knight Rises would have been just as disappointing... unless they cast a different actress as Catwoman. I mean seriously, let's get real: Anne Hathaway is an awful Catwoman in that Batman film. The Joker would have needed to be central to the plot for his performance to outweigh the negatives. As it stands, we have Batman's annoying voice, Bane's annoying voice & Anne Hathaway pretending to be Catwoman. It's too much just for one movie.
 
Likes: quickwhips
Jan 8, 2014
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I think Dark Knight Rises would have been just as disappointing... unless they cast a different actress as Catwoman. I mean seriously, let's get real: Anne Hathaway is an awful Catwoman in that Batman film. The Joker would have needed to be central to the plot for his performance to outweigh the negatives. As it stands, we have Batman's annoying voice, Bane's annoying voice & Anne Hathaway pretending to be Catwoman. It's too much just for one movie.
Hathaway was bad as Catwoman. But, honestly? I don’t think that neither the Nolan’s nor Goyer know how to write woman characters. It’s evident in most of Nolan’s movies.

But yeah, it’s obvious the script for TDKR was Nolan’s plan B. My personal theory? (with no evidence lol!) It would have been Bane, Joker in the background wrecking shit on both sides, and Talia as the love interest that turns heel. End with Bruce in Paris WITHOUT a woman and no Robin (more screen time for Joker). Don’t ask me what the plot beyond that would be. I just know it wouldn’t be JUST Joker. Bane does seem the logical choice seeing what Nolan did go with.
 
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Sep 11, 2005
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After The Dark Knight Christopher Nolan didnt really have any plans or intentions to do a third movie.

WB definitely wanted a third movie with Ledger and Ledger wanted to do it and Ledger and Nolan became fiends during filming.

But, most of what you read about a third movie is from Goyer's ideas for a trilogy during filming of Batman Begins. Which would have been the rise and fall of Joker for second movie and the third movie would be Joker turning Dent into Two Face during his trial, a rivalry between Joker and Two Face and then Batman taking them both down.

So, yeah, The Dark Knight Rises is absolutely Nolan's plan B because the studio threw a ton of money at him.