Heath Ledger passed away tragically in January, the loss of this soul felt around the world. One of his last gifts to us, the movie-goer, was his role as the Joker in the upcoming movie, The Dark Knight.

What teasers we’ve seen, and previews seem to be confirming, is that Ledger put his all into the role and he literally delivered the best ever rendition of the Joker, as Kofi said over on his post about the latest Dark Knight trailer.

Christian Bale said that Ledger’s performance was incredibly intense, his portrayal of the Joker had an anarchistic aspect that made the role dirtier than anyone envisioned it. Director Christopher Nolan said “it’s going to just blow people away.

The hype in the air is that Heath Ledger may be nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of the Joker and if the preview trailers are of any hint, I would not be surprised to see a posthumous nomination.

In 2005, Heath Ledger was nominated for best-actor for his role in Brokeback Mountain, but did not win. It was an incredibly convincing role by Ledger of personal confusion and torment that drew you into the powerfully told story.

If Heath were to get the nod from the Academy, he’d join a very small contingent of actors. Peter Finch, James Dean, Spencer Tracy, and Massimo Troisi. Fellow Australian, Peter Finch is the only posthumous award winner, for best-actor, in the 1976 film, Network. James Dean was nominated twice but never won.

With the public pressure building, I can’t imagine that Heath Ledger won’t get the nod for either best-actor or supporting-actor. Never mind his sheer talent deserving of such.

If the nomination or the win happens, this would put us in the middle of entertainment history and it would be a popular and emotional win that would be felt around the world, no matter who you are. It would be an incredible tribute to the man so many loved.

Speaking of tributes: People.com is reporting that the movie’s closing credits will have a special posthumous tribute to Heath and special-effects man Conway Wickliffe who passed away in a stunt-car accident last September.

The tribute will simply say, “In memory of our friends Heath Ledger & Conway Wickliffe“.

Ticket Sales Go Off The Charts: Looking forward to the latest rendition of Batman, combined with the anticipation of seeing Heath Ledger in his last role has led to a landslide of The Dark Knight presold tickets. This sales pace has put the movie in the same category of the Star Wars prequels, Sex and the City and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

We’re still three weeks away from opening day and theaters have started adding a 3:00 A.M. screening because the regular scheduled screenings have sold out.

At present, The Dark Knight has pre-sold eight times as many tickets as Spider-Man 3 did 21 days before the opening date at MovieTickets.com. Will this translate into a box office record-breaker or is it just fanboy mania to see it as soon as possible?

We’ll know soon enough.

If you’re hoping to get to opening day, you might want to think about snagging some tickets now!

Sources: LA Times, Wikipedia, Slashfilm

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