‘Dark Knight Rises’: Christian Bale Talks Playing ‘Batman’ & Heath Ledger

Published 3 years ago by , Updated March 16th, 2012 at 12:18 pm,

Christian Bale Talks Playing Batman in Dark Knight Rises and Working with Heath Ledger Dark Knight Rises: Christian Bale Talks Playing Batman & Heath Ledger

The Dark Knight Rises may well be the most highly-anticipated film in years – to the point that its IMAX midnight showings are already selling out in some cities. Hence, anything even remotely resembling TDKR news is automatically newsworthy.

Recently, Christian Bale talked to Style Magazine about his role as Batman in Christopher Nolan’s beloved Batman trilogy, as well as his relationship with the dearly departed Heath Ledger, who played the Joker in The Dark Knight (and posthumously won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for it).

Check out the more interesting (albeit brief) sections below, via Comic Book Movie, and read the full interview in Style Magazine.

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne in Dark Knight Dark Knight Rises: Christian Bale Talks Playing Batman & Heath Ledger

On who Batman is as a character, Christian Bale said:

“For me, he’s an anarchist and a free spirit. He knows that there are parallels between him and his enemies because life is never stable – you always have to fight for it. Keeping in mind that it may never be boring and that nobody is obliging you to behave like a superhero and to always have your muscles flexed and bulging.”

On Heath Ledger, and what Christian Bale seeks in male friendship:

“An exchange, never rivalry, and I like people who have obsessions, passions, people who do not always want to be in the limelight. Heath really was a lovely person, he loved his daughter dearly and he spent his life seeking answers. He was nothing to do with the commotion that broke out after his death. Nobody ever really is a cartoon superhero, even though superheroes are all the rage today.”

It has to be incredibly grating being continually asked about your dead friend and co-star, but it’s nonetheless interesting to hear what Bale has to say about Ledger — even if it’s as minuscule as the above.

Heath Ledger as Joker in Dark Knight Dark Knight Rises: Christian Bale Talks Playing Batman & Heath Ledger

Whereas the Marvel movies have, on occasion, been immensely entertaining cinematic works, they’ve so far played an entirely different game than that of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and (from what we’ve seen) The Dark Knight Rises.

Which isn’t to say that Dark Knight was a cinematic masterpiece; rather, it was a very serious, very good portrayal of a “superhero” operating outside of the “superhero genre” that Marvel typically works with. Once Nolan moves onto other projects, cinema will be sorely lacking in terms of serious, semi-realistic drama/action films that just happen to involve superheroes, lest someone else take up the reins.


The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters July 20th, 2012.

Source: Style Magazine [via Comic Book Movie]

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

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  1. I always find DC Movies to be a more superhero in a realistic world imo,the stories tend to go more in depth.A few other examples otherwise from the Bat flicks are Watchmen,V for Vendetta even Superman Returns….
    I can’t really compare any other Marvel film that was as serious as those the only slight exception was Kickass.

    Heath will be missed ont the other hand…

  2. The Dark Knight IS a cinematic masterpiece.

    • I agree, is the proof that a super hero movie can be a great movie outside of its natural genre, and a true masterpiece imo.

  3. the Dark Knight was a FILM first and a superhero movie second.

    Marvel is Superhero merchandise.

  4. I wouldn’t mind seeing a continuation of Nolan’s Batman Universe in a Batman Beyond film with Ridley Scott as the director and Nolan as the producer. I’m sure Bale would be willing to reprise his role as an aged Bruce Wayne. My opinion is that Bale is tired of the grueling demands of playing Batman, not Bruce Wayne.

    • Doubt there are a lot of “grueling demands” playing Batman. Actors have stunt doubles, you know, especially those who wears masks.

      • Actually, I would think such roles are extremely demanding. You can’t (usually) have the stuntman do every “little” thing physically required to portray the character; it simply is not practical. More importantly, however, the actor (and this is not just Batman or Spider-Man or even just comic book heroes or fantasy figures) MUST convince the audience that he or she is straining, struggling, being the character. I know we’re talking about Batman now, but I’ll use the example of Superman:

        Back in Christopher Reeve’s Superman days, effects had to be more concrete, given the technology of the time…still effects and fakery, yes, but more consistently tangible. By the time of Brandon Routh’s donning of the suit, effects had advanced greatly, to the point that objects and even dangers could be virtually created and (often) joined with more real-world effects. Henry Cavill is stepping into the role at a point when that nonexistent world can be easily and smoothly and effectively all-encompassing (not saying they ARE doing it this way, but they could).

        Fake blood, putty body-forms, plastic structures, and sequenced explosives can obviously show the “damage” caused by Superman and whatever nemesis he faces “fighting” in some epic battle. Staged combat, using careful choreography and marked positions, can show the actual battle taking place.

        NONE OF THIS MATTERS, however, if the actors’ mannerisms, facial expressions, gestures, and overall body language do not convice viewers what they are seeing is real. In my opinion, Reeve did this beautifully, Routh did it in excellent imitation (though with one or two of his own flourishes), and Cavill (I confidently believe) will do this in the upcoming film.

        In short, playing one of these characters may seem like it’s not particularly demanding; hopefully, that means the actor has worked hard enough to fool you into believing such.

    • A Batman Beyond would be nice.

    • Ridley Scott as director? No way in heck. How about David Fincher?

  5. Oh Screen Rant… This article was really good until you said ‘The Dark Knight’ isn’t a cinematic masterpiece…

    What is your definition of cinematic masterpiece? Millions of fans worldwide? A posthumous award for an outstanding performance? Outstanding performance all around? Technically beautiful? Amazing soundtrack? Very well-written? Original?- all of which were ‘The Dark Knight’.

    If you think ‘The Dark Knight’ isn’t a masterpiece, then I’d love to see what you think is.

    • TDK was in no way original. It was based upon a character that was already established for several decades,and even took its influence from several Batman stories. Good (but also over-rated) film, but in no way original.

      • ‘The Dark Knight’ was definitely original. It was the first to really incorporate that dark, gritty superhero story that every other superhero movie is going for these days. It spun the Batman franchise a full 360.

        ‘The Dark Knight’ is in NO way over-rated. It changed everything (pun intended) about the superhero genre as we know it and it received an Oscar nomination in the process, something (I believe) no other superhero movie has done. How is that over-rated? Heath’s performance as The Joker alone is a masterpiece.

        I would like someone to give me an explanation of why ‘The Dark Knight’ is over-rated and shouldn’t be considered a cinematic masterpiece. Give me a logical explanation. Give me reasons.


        • @”It was the first to really incorporate that dark, gritty superhero story that every other superhero movie is going for these days.”

          No it wasn’t. Spider-man 3 was dark. Batman and Batman Returns were also dark. TDK was gritty and dark because that what Batman is. And the only reason other superhero films are following suit is b/c TDK made a billion dollars not b/c it was dark and gritty.

          @”The Dark Knight’ is in NO way over-rated. It changed everything (pun intended) about the superhero genre as we know it and it received an Oscar nomination in the process, something (I believe) no other superhero movie has done. How is that over-rated? Heath’s performance as The Joker alone is a masterpiece.”

          Oscar nominations mean absolutely nothing to me. Sure, it’s an achievement, but people actually try (and fail) to aruge that a character (not the film itself) gets an Oscar, then you must “submit” and agree. BTW, it was Heath Ledger that got an Oscar, not the film. TDK wasn’t even nominated for best film. It’s over-rated b/c fans ignore all the flaws in the film, and act as if it’s the “holy grail” of comic book films.

          • Did you really just say that ‘Spider-man 3’ was dark? Really? ‘Spider-man 3’ wasn’t dark whatsoever… None of the ‘Spider-man’ movies (other than the new one) has been dark. They’re more cartoonish and there is nothing wrong with that, but the new trend in Hollywood is dark and gritty and ‘Batman Begins’ started it; ‘The Dark Knight’ perfected it…

            Wow. ‘Batman’ and ‘Batman Returns’ style is not what I’m talking about… Tim Burton’s style is Gothic, not “dark” as in ‘The Dark Knight’ dark… And I disagree, the money is a part, but I’m sure the critical and fan response after it has something to do with it too.

            http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0468569/awards >> Awards may not mean nothing to you, but it means a lot for other people. There are plenty of Oscar nominations right there. It should have been nominated for Best Picture and I’m sure plenty of people will agree with me.

            Where are the flaws? I haven’t seen any myself… There are flaws in every. single. movie. Your favorite movie has flaws, it doesn’t matter what it is. No single movie is perfect, but when it comes to superhero films, ‘The Dark Knight’ is pretty damn close.

            • I agree. Every film has flaws, but people ignore the mistakes made in this film, and assume it to be perfect.

              @”And I disagree, the money is a part, but I’m sure the critical and fan response after it has something to do with it too.”

              Okay, but that doesn’t make it “original” as you stated.

              • People ignore mistakes in any film that they really, really enjoy. And then there are people who ruin the fun for them by telling them that the film that they love has flaws (when in reality, every film has flaws). What is the point in telling a fan that their film is “over-rated” and has “flaws”?

                That had nothing to do with it being “original”. I was saying that to your statement about other superhero movies only wanting to incorporate the dark and gritty tone to their films. It is original in the way that it incorporated the dark and gritty tone like no other superhero movie. INCLUDING ‘Spider-man 3′ and the older ‘Batman’ movies which weren’t dark/gritty.

                • We’ll just have to agree to disagree b/c this is going nowhere.

                  Peace out.

                • Now that’s how you debate!! on behalf of all batman fans ….good job man! I agree 100 % with every point you made.

            • And yes, I would say that Spider-man 3 had dark elements in it. It was just over-shadowed by all the weak story, acting, and cartoonish special effects.

            • “There are flaws in every. single. movie. Your favorite movie has flaws, it doesn’t matter what it is. No single movie is perfect…”

              Disagree. Some films are perfect. I can name a handful off the top of my head — The Gold Rush, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rear Window, Touch of Evil, Amelie, Once Upon a Time in the West, Vertigo, The Empire Strikes Back. You change a single thing about them and they wouldn’t be as good. Just my opinion, though.

              • Why the hell does EVERYONE loooooove the empire strikes back? The only flawless movie you mentioned there was Raiders. Which is indeed perfect. In fact I’d go so far as to say that episode V is my LEAST favorite star wars film. I liked episode I, and episode IV. They were good! I liked the stoytelling, and in my opinion episode V is not very thrilling. I think the only great parts of that movie is when han gets frozen and the final duel. Besides that the movie can go suck it.

                DONT EVEN MENTION REAR WINDOW. Talk about boring. and I’m a Hitchcock fan! GO VERTIGO! love the birds, LOOOOVE PSYCHO. best ever? North by Northwest. But rear window? really? I’d rather be watching the english patient, (another terrible movie).

                Perfect movie? Sahara.
                Perfect movie? Mission Impossible 3.
                Perfect movie? The Good the Bad and the Ugly.
                Perfect movie? A Knight’s Tale.
                Perfect movie? The Blues Brothers.

                PERFECT MOVIE? THE MATRIX.

                I end my case with the ultimate,

                PERFECT MOVIE? The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

                • Please tell me that you are not refering to Sahara as a perfect movie! That movie was okay by itself, but it strayed so far from the original story that I almost walked out of the theater!

                • Haha, you’re funny.

                • You guys have no idea what you’re talking about if you call any of those movies perfect. Sure, LOTR are great movies. Raiders, Gold Rush, Third Man, Rear Window. yeah they’re all great as mentioned before this guy kicked in with some modern movies he considered ‘perfect’. Next time, check up on your history before you make a comment. Try watching Casablanca or The Godfather or Citizen Kane or Gone with the Wind or Wizard of Oz (5 best of all time) and then come back to me. TDKR is the most anticipated movie of all time (bar none) so do not come onto this blog if you guys have no idea what you’re talking about.

                  • @ Bob

                    TDKR is the most anticipated movie of all time? Hyping it up alittle don’t you think? It might be the most anticipated movie of 2012 but thats it.

                    • so tell me what has ever been more anticipated?

                    • @schuyler

                      What has been more anticipated? Lord of the RIngs: Two Towers, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows part 2, Matrix Reloaded, Star Wars: Episode 1.

                    • The Godfather was pretty hyped up. So was a Casablanca sequel, at one point, however David Selznick wouldn’t lend out Ingrid Bergman again so that sequel idea crashed. Some guy wrote a book named As Time Goes By. I think it’s Michael Walsh. It’s worth a look into. Then there’s also Gone with the Wind. You guys only think to about 5 years in front of you and don’t have a clue about the history of cinema.

                • the only movie the i consider as perfect would be the shawshank redemption…movies that i think were close to perfect are saving private ryan, casino, american beauty and terminator 2 which i believe is the best syfi movie ever…i also really love road to perdition but i seem to be the only one lol

                  • kyak…

                    No, you’re not alone. I loved “Road to Perdition”. I think it’s an excellent film :)

                  • @Kyak,

                    WHAT IF …the protagonist in Shawshank Redemption(1994) had **NOT** found himself occupying the **very last** cell ???? It would have been impossible for him to escape from the prison in the very first place if he found himself in ANY cell other than that particular one. That’s the only glitch (and a big one at that) for me, every time I watch SR and it’s definitely one of my favorites movies too, just like you.

                  • Kyak,

                    T2(1991) is a great movie in itself with great Star-cast, acting, direction and visual effects. But the content wasn’t challenging enough to make me think or ponder about. I would recommend to you (just in case you haven’t watched it) the dream-child of Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg : Artificial Intelligence (2001). FOR ME, it’s the best Sci-fi movie and over-all too, one of the best movies ever. It’s so, so, so much under-rated. Along with great acting, direction, dazzling visual effects, it has a challenging script too which appealed to me. For a difference it’s NOT set in the very far future (like other typical sci-fi movies), a far future which makes for an convenient excuse to display too much black leather, too much heavy guns/artillery and far too much violence.

                    ‘AI’ is set in very, very near future with logical/reasonable situations and conditions which makes it more believable. I wouldn’t say much, but if you want the plot please definitely visit some site like ‘IMDB’ and then surely try to catch it to witness some mind-boggling visual effects and …of course acting.

                    BUT… of course, AI is NOT some pop-corn entertainment, but then A Clockwork Orange (1971), Dr. Strangelove or…(1964)’, Schindler’s List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998) too aren’t. Whether you like ‘AI’ just depends on your Age and the Extent of your movie-watching experience and how much seriously you take science-fiction. I, myself, take it seriously and so for me ‘AI’ is ‘THE’ benchmark of ScI-fi movies.

              • Ben Moore,

                Rear Window? Amelie? Once Upon a Time in the West?? Vertigo?? The Empire Strikes Back ???!!!

                That’s the best you could find ???

                These movies are ‘Perfect’ ??

                OK, according to your definition: (“You change a single thing about them and they wouldn’t be as good.”), those movies may be but are they really great or even good in the first place?

                I personally claim that: Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
                (1964), Spielberg/Kubrick’s Artificial Intelligence(2001), Scorcese’s Taxi Driver(1976), King Of Comedy (1982) and Casino(1995), Hitchcock’s Spellbound(1945), Eastwood’s Unforgiven(1992), Nolan’s Bat-series, Hanson’s L. A. Confidential(1997), Fincher’s SE7EN(1995), Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense(1999) and Unbreakable(2000), Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels(1998) and Snatch(2000)…etc,etc are ‘PERFECT’ movies because they are really good in the first place but…Empire Strikes Back??? Rear Window???
                And ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ was just plain boring.

                Anyway, there exists no such thing as a ‘Perfect’ movie for me.

                • I mean no offense by this whatsoever, but I genuinely have no interest in your opinion of movies if you think Once Upon a Time in the West is boring. Or if you believe that Snatch, Lock Stock, Sixth Sense, A.I., and (gulp) Unbreakable are better than Rear Window, Vertigo, Amelie, and The Empire Strikes Back. I mean, hey, good for you, but obviously we don’t and will never see eye-to-eye.

                  • Ben Moore,

                    (“we don’t and will never see eye-to-eye”)


                    So each and everyone has his/her own definition of a ‘Perfect’ movie. Rather the term ‘Perfect’ itself is an obscure, non-sense, abstract term. In fact either most movies are perfect if we consider so or non at all. It’s just depends on our mood.

                    • No, perfect is a word like every other word, it means what it means. Obviously, when we’re talking about movies, a totally subjective artistic medium, it’s implied that I’m saying “in my opinion.” In my opinion, those films are perfect, and Unbreakable is laughably, hilariously, on my knees crying tears of joy from how stupid the movie is, bad. That should go without saying, though, because obviously I don’t mean that I’ve concocted a scientific method by which to measure how perfect movies are.

            • The one major flaw in the Dark Knight was the scene where Batman jumps out the window after Rachel. Batman saves Rachel and says harvey is okay. Well, The Joker was in that building. Bats could have went right in and captured him. It’s not like he had many options for leaving the building that Bruce Wayne was living in. Bats should have pulled out his gun and claimbed back into the building and at least chased him down. At least if they would have shown him losing the Joker it would have been more well rounded. Other than that, the film was pretty effing awesome.

              • The other major flaw was the amount of time it took the Joker to get from that warehouse he was burning the money in and to the Hospital he happened to have rigged charges completely throughout. What about when Gambol was killed? Did the Joker kill him by giving him a Chelsea Grin? I think he might have snapped his neck, but that took my imagination and not the film for me to come to that conclusion. I really enjoyed the movie though.

                • The pencil went into his eye and killed him. I thought it just went through the table eraser side up, but then in a directors interview someone explained what really happened. Go figure.

                  • The pencil trick wasn’t done on Gambol, it was done on someone else, one of Gambol’s goons I think.

                    • Yeah it was.

                • first of all joker has his own gang for bombing the hospital

                  second you dont see joker killing gambol you see him putting smile on gambols face then he falls and bleeds then joker killes him but you dont see it because its not r rated

                  and you think you have a good imagination !

                  • Some movies rely on people having good imaginations and that’s why most of the movies today are garbage, except for anything Nolan, Spielberg, and Scorsese put out.

              • He should’ve captured the Joker as you say, in that scene? Well, if he’d had done that, Rachel would’ve fallen to her death (she would’ve died anyways). Leave it to the genius in Chris Nolan.

                • @ Bob

                  Maybe he was implying Batman use his grapple gun & get back into the building after ensuring Rachel was ok & to not only check on everyone else like Harvey but see if he could of catch up to the Joker.

            • I love The Dark Knight, it’s one of my favorites, but it’s not perfect. Gyllenhaal’s performance isn’t very good until her last scene, some of the music is too excessive (especially during the scene with Gordon, Two-Face, and Bats, ugh), and the exposition, though mostly well-written, could be toned down a bit.

              Awards are irrelevant in determining the quality of a movie. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close got s*** reviews (and it looks like ****) but it was nominated for Best Picture.

              I also disagree about no movie being perfect. Granted, there are only 4 that I would classify as perfect, but they exist.

          • I actually laughed out loud when I read ‘Spiderman 3 was dark’. Were you referring to Spidey’s brief ‘emo’ turn?

          • @Ghost, do you realize your own arguments here largely refute your arguments on the Transformers board?

      • So then The Godfather (parts I and II) can’t be masterpieces because they were based on books; characters and stories that were already established.

        I’m not going to go on and point out all of the flaws in that argument, there are too many. Nothing is original. Get over it, move on and judge things on their own merits.

        • I never said a film that is based upon pre-existing material can’t be a masterpiece. What I said that a film that is based upon pre-existing material ISN’T ORIGINAL.

      • @ Ghost

        I agree.

      • Ghost,

        (“and even took its influence from several Batman stories”)


        Any movie (Here: Nolan’s Bat-series) that is the FIRST to portray its main character (Here: Batman) just as THE CHARACTER SHOULD BE as it was first described in the credible original sources (Here: the critically acclaimed Bat-novels) will always be “The” Original movie. So ‘Batman-The Animated Series’ and Nolan’s ‘Batman Begins(2005)’ / ‘The Dark Knight (2008)’ will always be considered the original ever and …

        …the 1960′s parody and the PRE-Nolan live-action full length Batman movies (1989,1992,1995,1997) will never be considered so as they haven’t even aged well which does not exactly help to add to their just mediocre/bad quality.

    • Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s an excellent film, but it’s not perfect — it doesn’t belong on the shelf next to The Maltese Falcon or Citizen Kane or Vertigo or whatever. The ending in particular — Batman VS. the Joker — is pretty underwhelming, especially compared to the rest of the film.

      I mean, you think it’s a masterpiece, I think it’s really great … I’m not sure that the gulf between us is all that vast.

  6. With all the high expectations, from basically everybody who saw and loved the first two movies, I really think TDKR will deliver in terms of acting, action, storylines, cinematography and whatever else Nolan intends to throw in there.

    In short, I can’t ****ing wait!

  7. Bale is the greatest Batman keaton, kilmer, clooney, west they were all just a bad joke as Batman!

    • clooney and west maybe. but keaton and kilmer were good

      • Agreed. I still think Bale plays the best of both characters tho. PARTICULARLY in the first hour of Batman Begins.

    • nina…

      I definitely love Bale as both Bruce and Batman and love Nolan’s take on the mythos, but I would not say previous incarnations were jokes. Keaton played the uncertain duality of the role beautifully. Kilmer played the obsession angle quite effectively. Even Clooney (yes, I’m going there) caught the essence of a man who volutarily goes out nightly dressed as a bat to take on the criminal elements of Gotham in terms of the HUMOR necessary to deal with such absurdity, so as to maintain some semblence of sanity…and I REALLY hated “Batman and Robin”.

      My favorite portrayal, overall, has been Bale’s, but I loved (and still do) Keaton’s.

      • I did not include West because he purposely played up the campiness and was not trying to “portray” Bruce Wayne or Batman; he was merely providing an amusing caricature.

        • Archaeon and I are in agreement. I would say both Keaton and Bale did a good\great job. Kilmer made a serious attempt in an ok\poor movie, and Clooney is a pretty good actor, but he was cast in a pathetic attempt at a Batman movie. West, of course, was intended to be campy.

          • While I’m on the subject, I would compare Bale and Keaton. Bale I think is pretty good casting. Visually he looks close to Batman. Keaton, on the other hand, does not present to me the image of an extremely powerful, athletic man who would dress in tights and whip the hell out of street tough thugs. Nevertheless, Keatons acting and the use of body armor for the Batman outfit pulled it off well. Keaton back in the day would have been excellent in the role of GL or IM, characters whose nature doesnt require them to be incredibly muscular and physical. Also, good as Nolans movies are, I think most fight scenes in Batman are superior to Nolans fight scenes. Nolan movies show Bruce training in martial arts, but most of Batmans fights are “brawls”.

            • Keatan’s fighting in 1989s Batman was pretty weak. The entire final fight scene showed Batman being lucky not to get killed.

          • I kind of think that Clooney did a great job as Bruce. He really gave a touching performance with Alfred almost dying. All the batman parts were kind of horrible. And truthfully, I feel Batman and Robin was a better movie than Forever. Seriously, cut Ivy out and some of the campy dialogue it would have been a much better movie. Whereas in Forever I was just stuck by all the randomly thrown in scenes like Chase calling on Batman and Batman being chased by two face on the street.

            Plus, I feel Batman and Robin had the underlying tones of a great story. About life and death and how things are never there forever. In the end though I would rather watch neither film.

            As far as Batman performances go, Bale is phenomenal. I’d love to see him tackle more Wayne parts instead of being focused solely on Batman.

        • …oops.




        • @Arhaeon

          Agreed. Besides, the target audience of West’s Batman were kids…in the 60′s, if I’m not mistaken. And for that incarnation of Batman/Bruce Wayne, West played it just fine.

          • @ ronin

            Imo, West’s Batman was targeted for people of all ages because it was the first time Batman been on television. Kinda samething with Kirk Alyn being first to be known as Superman even if a cartoon was used for the flying parts despite George Reeves will later be best known for tv series that shown him jumping out windows to fly instead of seeing a cartoon.

      • 1. Bale
        2. Keaton
        3. West
        4. Kilmer
        5. Clooney
        I was 14 when Burton’s Batman came out and I remember people were flipping out when he cast Keaton. Some people thought It was going to be a big name action star like Stallone or Arnold but they didn’t get that Bruce Wayne wasn’t a big jacked muscle man. He was a sly, dapper business man by day and Batman at night.
        I loved West because that’s what I grew up with. Sure he was Campy but so was everything about the show.
        Kilmer and Clooney could have been better but they were mostly victims of the studio wanting more toys rather than a good film. So we’ll never truly know how good they could of been with a proper director and script.
        Bale for me is the best. He plays the Bruce Wayne side of Batman better than all the rest and except for the voice he’s tops as Batman also…

    • agreed no one will be as good as bale

      • Holy crap, has NOBODY LISTENED to Bale’s performance it Batman? His Batman “voice” (i.e. hoarse screaming in the deepest bass ever) is comically bad. Every time he talks as Batman (thankfully, not often) is just laughable and rips the viewer out of the story. Yes, I get he needs to describe his voice, but watch the Batman Animated Series for Kevin Conroy’s perfect differentiation between Wayne/Batman whereas Bale pretends to be the frontman of a death/metal band whenever he dons the cape and cowl. And please, TDK is not a “perfect” film. A great film? Definitely; a masterpiece? Sure (this becomes much less debatable when stating its an action masterpiece); Perfect? Far from it. One case in point – what sane warden would ever bring a bomb detonator to the middle of a ship full of unchained prisoners? Why didn’t those rigged ships just evacuate on the lifeboats? Huge gaps in realism/rationality merely to set up a thematic point.

    • I partially agree. I love Bale in the role, but Keaton and Kilmer were good as well.

    • I think Keaton was the best Bruce Wayne, but Bale is the best Batman

      • @ Liam

        It’s the opposite for me.

    • BALE: He’s leaps and bounds ahead and best among them all.

      KILMER VS. KEATON: which is the Real Issue. I believe Kilmer had everything correct about him except one: he was in a campy Movie. One simply cannot refer to campy scenes in a campy scripted movie with campy direction to explain why the actor was not good to play his character. Kilmer could have never replaced Bale, but he would have easily replaced Keaton (who even though was a good Batman, WAS a wimp Wayne). Even if we forget that Keaton was the least good looking and had the least physique of them all, required for an ideal Wayne/Batman respectively(Keaton looked something like far-far away from a guy who uses a gym regularly), we still cannot forget that he never had the ideal Wayne magnetic personality to attract females. For me, he was a plain idiotic wimp as Wayne.

      Whereas while Kilmer was definitely muscular/handsome of the two, his was unfortunately limited by the campy movie itself that he worked in, that did no justice to the character of any roles in it, least of all Batman. For me, Kilmer did play a very good playboy-Wayne of whatever the script allowed him to. That is what was important (where Keaton failed for me). Because once you’re behind the caped costume, it does not matter who is behind it, because nobody’s going to recognize you anyway. Bruce Wayne’s character where one cannot hide behind a costume should have higher priority than Batman.

      Kilmer was a good Wayne/UNDER-USED Batman in a cheezy movie. Keaton was a good Batman/wimp Wayne even in an overall OK movie by a good but not-so-great director. Even worse was that, unlike Keaton who got two opportunities as Batman under the very good director to prove himself as Wayne and yet failed on all points as Wayne, Kilmer never got a second chance to prove himself as Batman even though he had proved himself as Wayne, no… not even under the same director.

      My point: If the physically strong, play-boyish Kilmer was that good as Wayne under Schumacher’s bad direction, imagine how great he could have been behind the costume (as Batman) under the good Burton.

      CLOONEY: -(No comments.)-

      My Ranking: 1. Bale (for everything) 2. Kilmer (for Wayne) 3. Keaton (for Batman)

      • Can we all just agree that Kevin Conroy is way better than all of the live-actors and leave it at that? In any event, I would love for all the Bale = #1 Batman people to justify that awful awful and hilarious Bat-voice he adopted for the role.

        • Actually, no.

          Conroy, obviously, does fantastic voice-work as Batman. We, however, do not have any idea how he would be as a physical manifestation of the character. I, and MANY others, believe Bale does an excellent job as Batman and Bruce Wayne. Of course, many people have differing opinions, which is fine. Keaton was a surprising choice in the ’80s for a great number of moviegoers, but he showed just why he was such a great pick. As I stated above, each of the men who have portrayed the Dark Knight have presented (successfully, I think…at least to a degree and in certain regards) specifific elements and qualities of the character.

          For MY part, I love Bale the most in the role…including the VOICE. Evan, you (and the MANY others who have incessantly complained about it) are RIGHT: The voice, especially in that final confrontation with Joker, was irritating and grating. I found it quite appropriate given the situation of a man pushed BEYOND the breaking point who still manages to call out his psychotic nemesis when the people of Gotham prove (whether unintentionally or not) that they can resist the ultimate temptation which Joker felt certain would irrevocably consume them. It does not mean they always WILL, just that they CAN. I would have even been okay if Batman had been outright screaming at Joker at that point. As for earlier, I continue to maintain the logic of a “new” hero testing boundaries and methods, including what kind of voice to use in his masked persona. I cannot guarantee this, of course, but I would not be surprised to hear Batman much more centered and not as aggravating because he’s had eight years in which to mature in the role (or at least the personality, whether in costume out on the streets or not).

          We’ll see…

          • @ Archaeon

            Id like to think i agree with Evan on the point Kevin Conroy is the best Batman than any of the live-action actors tho portayed the character despite Conroy being known as a Voice actor to the character. But no-one’s been involved within the character as long as Conroy has. He’s been a tv actor aswell before being known as voice actor. After seeing pictures of him during his younger days when they made Batman:TAS, he looked like he’d be good Bruce wayne/Batman in a live-action film if he were to train himself which im sure he would. Only bad thing would be if he did go into makin live-action films, might cut into his work on Batman:TAS & the other shows he voiced as Batman which we might not have today. Id say it was for the better since WB wanted to take the Batman franchise into a more family-friendly direction & not to mention Schumacher’s part of mistakes.

            Anyways, imo if Conroy was younger today, he could top previous actors who’ve played Batman in live-action. That’s my opinion.

            • WallyWest and Evan…

              Fair enough. Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE Conroy’s take on the character…He IS extremely good at portraying both Bruce and Batman with his voice, and perhaps he could be (could have been?) a great actor in the physical role, but we just don’t know FOR CERTAIN. The others all actually dressed up in the outfit and the tuxedos and ran around the sets and “drove/piloted” the Bat-vehicles. Conroy did not. That’s the only point I was trying to make in terms of best portrayal.

              As for the voice, I understand why it would annoy or even distract a viewer…I just thought it appropriate for a hero starting out (remember that Bruce in the Nolan films had only been donning the armor for a year and half to two years. Since this third film takes place eight years later, I agree that, and fully expect to find, his voice should be much more confident…or at least much more stable and less aggravating.


              • …oops, there should be a ) after “two years”.

                Butter fingers…

              • @ Archaeon

                I agree. It’s just a possiblity Conroy could of been the best but we’ll never know. I understand where you & Evan were coming from.

                As for Bale’s Batman in the 3rd film as you stated in the last sentance, i too hope his voice will be less aggravating & more stable/confident.

          • Well stated Archeon, that is the first reasonable defense of the Batman voice I have seen – but for me anyways, it is so distracting that it rips me out of the flow of the film (could you imagine if Spider Man suddenly lowered his voice 10 or so octaves and yelled the entire time?).

            Nonetheless, I am sad that Conroy in his recent work gets to only portray Batman, I loved the incredible differentiations he made between Bruce/Batman on TAS.

  8. I think Ben is aware that a lot of people that come to this site are movie fans before they are Superhero Movie fans .
    Not everybody thinks TDK is a masterpiece .
    We dont even know if Nolan thinks it is a masterpiece .

  9. First of all, I think Christian Bale is the best Batman ever.

    Second, I like how he feel about Heath and I respect his reprosne.

    And last, Heath will surely be missed, he made The Joker a legendary character with his performance and is also the best Joker ever.

    It saddes me that he isn’t anymore and isn’t going to be in a third Batman movie.

    P.S. The Dark Knight Rises is a ciemiatic mastepiece.

    • @”And last, Heath will surely be missed, he made The Joker a legendary character with his performance and is also the best Joker ever.”

      That is until somoene else comes along and gives a better performance. Just like when everyone thought Jack Nicholson (sp?) was considered the best.

      PS: How TDKR be a “cinematic masterpiece” when you haven’t see it yet?

      • @ Ghost

        Very true. I enjoyed Ledger’s performance as the Joker as anyone else but years from now, there can always be someone who will do just as great or better. Like you, ive told people before Ledger’s Joker topped Nicolson’s & someone could always top Ledgers just aswell.

        • @ Wally West. I think it just depends on one’s preference,even though i loved Ledger’s take on Joker i still enjoyed Nicholson’s even more,that whole smooth gangster playboy thing mixed with phychotic lunatic was priceless.

          • @ Hi-C

            I liked both Nicolson’s & Ledger’s Joker performances the same, didn’t think one was better than the other. Both were sinister in their own way & planned bringing misery to Gotham. I liked Nicolson’s Joker little more for being traditonal in appearance. I undertand why Ledger’s Joker looked the way he did, reality-wise.

            • Nicholson was not only outdone by Ledger imo, but also by the PHENOMENAL work Mark Hammill has done in the animated TV/movies. Hammill is the second best Joker ever, and that says alot since Nicholson was damned good too.

      • I hope we understand that the Character ‘Joker’ and the actors’ Performances of that character are two distinct aspects.

        I wouldn’t exactly say Nolan’s Joker was the ‘best’ Joker ever but I would definitely say Nolan’s Joker was the best possibly ‘truthful and honestly portrayed’ Joker ever. So anyone’s Joker to follow Nolan’s can only be below or equal to Nolan’s. Burton’s Joker was camp personified. So unfortunately even though the legendary Nicholson did try his best, his best wasn’t enough to make the character memorable as the character itself was scripted with extreme limitations and lacked the soul of but had only the cheap gimmicks of The Joker.

        But yes, award or no award, Ledger did give one of the BEST performances ever for a fully-fledged character and is a tough act to follow.

        • @ Amol

          Imo, i think both Nicolson & Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker were honestly truthful of the character in different ways. Especially how the character is like from comics where he first debut to graphic novels, etc. It’s to see that Nicolson’s can be seen as little campier since Burton’s film was made over two decades ago & didn’t have marketing for the film as Batman Begins or TDK. Bottomline it’s what people look for in that character really played by both actors. You knew it was Jack Nicolson as the Joker, but he surprised everyone & did a great performance. Ledger like Nicolson surprised everyone aswell, only you couldn’t tell it was Ledger in make-up/costume like you seen Nicolson. I think that’s one the things that made Ledger’s Joker better. Imo, i liked both actor’s performances the same.

          Ledger did give a great performance, but im sure someone could always come to equal him or even top both his & Nicolson’s performances. Time is the eternal river, corny line i know.

  10. Its just a movie. The most anticipated movie in years was Harry Potter last chapter.TDKR is just a movie, sequel to TDK. They(media)are hyping this up too much.

    • @Hola

      Thats your opinion. The media isnt hyping this at all, just the movie sites. TDKR has barely been on the news, but covered heavily in magazines and sites. Thats all. Its the sequel to arguably the best Batman movie ever made, and is seriously anticipated and highly exciting for many fans.

      Harry Potter was anticipated but not like Batman. The hype around Potter ending was about the same as Lord Of The Rings ending with Return of the King.

      • @Hola – you really think that Potter was not hyped as much considdering the anticipation?? My god, over here in the UK just about every advert, cerial, can of beans etc had Potters face on the front of it hyping up the ‘last’ Potter film. The only film I can think of that was hyped as much was Star Wars Ep 1 TPM!! Still have not seen it myself tho :-) TDKR – I am looking foward to this more than most movies as TDK was (in my opinion) so good and not because of the internet or media.

      • Magazines and website are also forms of media. Not just news broadcasts. So yes the media is hyping it. But I don’t think the hype is unwarranted. TDK has set a precedent for the next batman movie to live up to. If anything is “hyping” TDKR it’s the film that preceded it.

    • @ Hola

      I agree. This is just before the movie opens, wait till afterwards.

  11. i thought west , keaton, killmer and bale were all good batmans for their specific times. clooney on the other hand .. not so much

    • I think Clooney COULD have been really good as Batman, if everything else was better… Too much was wrong with ‘Batman & Robin’.

      • Agreed.

    • @ han sola

      I agree.

  12. Perhaps the Superhero craze should be over because when that happens we can get real again and pay tribute to real heroes. Those ordinary people who sometimes do extraordinary things.
    After all, we can only play at being children for just so long before we must face the reality of life, which can be insane. For example: With all the starving children in the world, many of which are in our own country, a man can be paid millions of dollars for hitting a ball with a stick.

    • ChrisMohrSr….

      I agree that there are many much more serious matters in the world, but that is precisely why people should never forget to dream, to pretend, to imagine. Humanity MUST retain some link to childhood innocence, to youthful freedom, because there are SO many bad or unfortunate or evil things/people in the world that sometimes, every single one of us needs an escape of some sort, needs a way to lighten the heaviness of those concerns. Some use music; some use athletics; some use literature; some use games; some use hobbies…MOST, if not all, enjoy a combination of these.

      Human consciousness requires some downtime.

      • Archaeon,

        Truly well-said !

  13. This is my litmus test…my wife, a woman who barely knows who the Joker is let alone read a comic, absolutely LOVED The Dark Knight. We both found Ledger’s performance chilling and genuinely scary while Bale showed true emotional depth as a Batman who feels he MUST be the bat rather than WANT to due to the scum in Gotham.

  14. @ Ghost

    I agree with most of what you are saying .. Personally I think Batman Begins is a MUCH BETTER film than TDK..

  15. Keaton was the best ,bale has the physicality but he doesn’t capture the detective side batman’s brains like when keaton was explaining joker poison. Plus bales batman voice annoys the hell out of me. Don’t get me wrong tdk was the best batman movie, just in terms of the character portrayal. Ps the rest of them sucked kilmer and clooney both were awful I don’t even count west that was not batman

    • Its just cause nolan didn’t portray the detective side very much in his films.

  16. The Dark Knight was good for catching up on sleep, and yes Batman Begins was a better film. We do ChrisMohrSr that is why we have the Medal of Honor!

  17. Is TDK Nolan’s best film? If so, then yes, it is his masterpiece. But I would say Inception is Nolan’s masterpiece. No film is perfect; even Raiders had mistakes.

    • I would say Memento is Nolan’s best film.

    • “No film is perfect; even Raiders had mistakes.”

      You’re certainly entitled to that opinion, but I disagree.

      • Really? Brody said that the Bible claimed that the Ark laid waste mountains; I’ve never read that from the Bible. Also, they used a map that said Thailand instead of Siam, but the film was set in 1936 and Siam didn’t become Thailand until 1939. Don’t get me wrong, Raiders is one of the greatest films of all time but I wouldn’t say it was perfect.

        • You’re talking about factual errors when the movie was a sort of whimsical fantasy throwback to movie serials? It’s a perfect film, in my opinion. Insignificant factual errors have rarely, if ever, lessened the quality of a movie for me. We’re talking about two different kinds of perfection/imperfection.

          • Are editing mistakes also not included? If you take out editing mistakes and factual errors, then yes, I would say Raiders was a perfect film.

            • I mean, you use whatever barometer you want to gauge how good you feel Raiders is. I’m just saying, I’m measuring its quality as a work of art and entertainment.

      • Ben,

        I agree ‘Unbreakable(2000)’ is just another fun movie. And definitely NOT a masterpiece. But at least it is not as OVER-hyped as the laughable ‘Empire Strike Back’. In fact, I recently gave the ENTIRE ‘Star-Wars’ series a third chance to see if I can find anything likable in it, let alone for me to think it to be a masterpiece. But…again it failed me. I could not find one single aspect about the SW series that have not been outdone today by various movies today. Definitely that was the last time ever that I watched SW…ever.

        So may be ‘Unbreakable’ is to me what ‘Empire Strikes Back’(or may be the whole ‘Star Wars’ series) is to you.

  18. Personally, I am no Heath Ledger fan. He is a coward who left his daughter behind and ditched Michelle Williams too. He literally, one legendary movie role to his credit (yes, the Joker is legendary, greater than even Nicholson Hammill and Romero) and lots of absolute garbage (Brothers Grimm and the Patriot come to mind).

    • Uh, Heath didn’t purposefully kill himself.

      • Heath, as an adult, knew the potential consequences of his actions. I am not some rabid anti-drug conservative (in fact, I believe in legalization of all drugs), but I am for placing culpability where it is due. Heath made a disastrous decision that resulted in his girl growing up without a daddy.

        That aside, he still chose to leave his wife and his bad roles/films still vastly outweigh his good roles (even if you count A Knight’s Tale and 10 Things “bad good.”). Even his last film, the Dr. Parnassus movie, was awful! He was a phenomenal Joker, but that is about it.

        • But that’s not the work of a coward. Maybe a fool, but not a coward.

          • Fair enough Ben Moore.

        • You don’t know CRAP Evan. Vicodin and Oxycontin bottles went MISSING just as Mary Kate Olsen decided to FINALLY call 911. That loser MASSEUSE lady waited to get Heath immediate medical attention and instead called a little gremlin instead. THAT IS WHY HE PASSED AWAY. HE COULD BE HERE TODAY MAKING A LOSER LIKE YOU BOW DOWN TO HIM. I find it very comforting that Christian Bale and Heath Ledger were friends because I appreciate and respect his opinion of him not yours Evan.

    • Evan,

    • How rude. I don’t give CRAP about you Evan. Christian Bale opens up his feelings about his buddy and you can’t even respect that. Heath did leave Michelle Williams but for very important reasons. He wasn’t happy with her and she made him depressed. Heath was a very strong and responsible father but Michelle wasn’t exactly his first choice to have a child with. I heard she became a spiteful b**** going after him for sole custody after he started dating Gemma Ward. You don’t know CRAP about Heath Ledger Evan and the PATRIOT was one of the BEST movies ever made. That film made Heath Ledger a real movie star and Michelle Williams remained a nobody until she trapped him and made a real Hollywood name for herself.

      • Wow Hearts Heal – I am sure that you, a close, personal real-life friend of ledger and witness to his death does know much more than me. Whatever you tool, even if everything you said is true, it was still Heath that took the pills at such a level to kill himself and abandon his baby girl. His fault – nuff said.

        Also, I never said that I don’t respect Bale’s feelings, he knew Heath far better than I and is entitled to his own opinion (although given Bale’s reputation as a total arse – that just makes me more anti-Heath).

        Also, if you thought that the Patriot was anything more than incredibly bad Gibson torture-porn, then we have nothing else to talk about.

        • Evan you don’t know anything about what really happened to Heath Ledger.
          No it was not his fault. It was the masseuse’s fault that failed to call 911 in time and Mary Kate who was almost forced to testify for the disappearance of vital prescription bottles probably because she had something to do with providing lethal medications that Heath believed were SAFE. So don’t go about
          putting him down. Many people take a surplus of medications at once and are fine. If he did get something
          from Mary Kate then he made a serious mistake trusting her and the source she obtained it from that was most likely a doctor dealing on the side. That’s why he felt it was SAFE. I just witnessed a show about some mother giving her daughter some of her own medication. People do things like this all the time.

  19. I wanted to ask all of you at screen rant, how do you think Christopher Nolan would handle an Alien science fiction film? I know this really out of context, and has nothing to do with TDKR posts’. But I was just watching a trailer of Mass Effect 2 on Gametrailers.com, and a thought came to me,”Has Christopher Nolan ever wrote a science Fiction movie, that involves Aliens. Also, if he decided to do one, how would it be? Would he make it more practical in realism? Would he use more CGI for this type of film, than his past movies? Would it be more of thought provoking film, like “Inception”,that makes the audience question weeks on end, or even before they leave the theater? Or more action choreographic experience, like “Transformer” trilogy, with a hint of “Independence Day”? I don’t know? The trailer just made me ponder. For those who don’t mind, or who are interested and have a idea in the initiated discussion, respond.
    PS: I apologize for the random post. Oh Happy Valentines Day to poster, and ScreenRant!!

    • I just assume he’d try to make it as “real” as possible, as he does with all his films. Would be interesting to see him tackle that genre.


      • Yeah I think he would be too. Thank you for the response.

        PS: Has Nolan Announce anything recent or a while back, what he is planing to do after “The Dark Knight Rises”?

        • Xavier,

          Here you go:



          • Oh thank you. I didn’t know Christopher Nolan was still attached to the film. Now I am even more excited about the movie.

  20. In my opinion, Christopher Nolan’s Batman is by far the best, for it’s accurate portrayal of the characters. The reason why the dark theme works for this type of super hero, and why the Nolan’s franchise has been so successful is because of Batman and his world is shrouded in an dark atmosphere. The theme fits his world, his personality, his environment. Hollywood was way wrong for saying “Nolan’s Batman worked for his dark take on the genre. So maybe that’s what other super hero movies should do too?”
    Wrong. Yes it the movie was dark, however, the reason why his take on Batman are brilliant is because of the his vision, “If Super Heroes did exist, this is probable how it would go.” He made it more realistic.for Batman’s gadgets he used things that were or probable are real and used in the real world. To be honest, dark theme was just the bait, Nolan’s vision to make it as realistic as possible was the hook for me. It was like a “What if” comic, except on the silver screen.
    So verdict: Nolan’s Batman dark theme works because Batman and his world is dark, and realistic.
    PS: If anyone agrees or has anything else to add, respond. Or if you don’t agree, respond and give me you intake on what makes Nolan’s Batman interpretation good or bad. Thank you again.

    • Xavier, I agree generally with your analysis (although Batman was not always dark. In fact, the Adam West Batman reflected the Batman of the comics very well). What comic companies understand so well (and conversely, what film studios do not) is that super heroes have very different personalities that drive their popularity, and comics have succeeded by embracing the different types of heroes.

      Sam Raimi’s first two Spider Man movies were nearly perfect in that he encapsulated what made Spidey work – he is an underdog who is not the most powerful but overcomes challenges through guts and humor, and is driven by a huge sense of responsibility. Putting Spidey in Gotham just wouldn’t really work, just as Batman would not function well in Spidey’s Manhattan. To an extent, Spider Man 3 failed because they attempted to make Spider Man a dark hero driven by vengeance, not responsibility (cuz in the movie, it turns out the thief he let get away didn’t kill his Uncle – that was a fundamental change the movie couldn’t overcome), and it just didn’t work. There is a reason the two Spidey, two Batman, and Iron Man films are so much better than even the other average films (like Thor and X-Men) – the filmmakers/studios understood the characters motivations and appeals and built the proper world for them to function in.

      While Dark Knight is a better than either of the Spider Man films, I still say Spider-Man 2 train-stopping scene is the best executed segment of a super hero film, because it completely nails the essence of him. He is faced with stopping a train, something he is neither physically (like Superman) nor mentally (like Batman) able to handle, and yet he defies the odds, and in a true movie of heroism – stretches himself to the limit to ultimately succeed.

      There are some heroes who lend themselves well to a dark vengeance driven side. Batman is obvious, but then there are heroes like the Punisher, Spawn, Wolverine, Gambit and to a certain extent, Wonder Woman and Daredevil – who lend themselves to a dark tone. Then there are heroes like Spider-Man, Superman, Green Lantern, Fantastic 4 who generally work much better as underdogs or as the non-ambiguous hero. Is Superman boring? Yes. Is it still inspiring when he comes crashing in with his invulnerable glory? Yes – because you know that Superman stands for all that is good in the world.

      So, while I love the Nolan Bat films, I would hope Studios do not continue to take their heroes and throw them into successful molds. Movies like thor and Captain America give me hope that movie studios are finally beginning to embrace each character’s world, rather than thrusting a character into a world made popular by another.

      • Absolutely true. I agree, Thor and Captain America are heroes that give their audience hope, and the epiphany; that their still some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for. Didn’t mean to quote The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
        Even Superman has these qualities, to be patriotic as well as stand for something that is for truth, justice and – dare I say it. The American way.

        PS: Thank you for you’re post.

    • @ Xavier

      I have to disagree about Nolan’s Batfilms having the best accurate portrayal of characters as did the Burton/Schumacher films. Burton’s films had dark theme to them aswell but the thing about Nolan’s is it intended to be realistic as possible. I see Burton’s more of a balance between fantasy cbm/realistic tone of a film aswell as Donnor’s Superman films. I think i find The Punisher film more realistic than the Batman films despite he doesn’t have a no killing code like Batman. I just see the character more realistic than a man dressed up as a bat. Batman is just another character who can be worked into being realistic. Imo, alot of DC heroes would be much difficult to pull off in the same realistic way Nolan’s done with Batman.

      • I understand what you are saying. Although, Tim Burton’s dark undertone were visually extravagant. His portrayal of Batman was more, in my perspective, leaning towards the comic book story telling. While Nolan’s interpretation of the joker was more grounded to the realism. Instead of falling in chemical pit like in Burton’s; he wore war paint. Two-face in “Batman Forever”,(note different director)his story was more of an chemical accident that caused his disfigurement. While in “The Dark Knight” his transfiguration was fire burns. Although, Schumacher’s explanation had some realism to Two-Faces(say that 5 times fast)face being unrecognizable, it didn’t hit home for me. I was able to see Harvey Dent become the iconic villain or in this case tragic hero.
        They are completely different writers and director, whom I both love, but in different styles of how they do their work. Which is the case for every Hollywood movie. Thank you for the response. I enjoy discussing, comparing, going in depth about movies, etc.

        PS: I am an Tim Burton fan, and very excited about Bettlejuice 2.

        • @ Xavier

          I get what you’re sayin aswell. Burton/Schumacher & Nolan got things that were accurate amongst the characters in their films, and they all kinda didn’t because they all wanted to make a film their in their vision of those characters. A example would be Jack Napier (a.k.a) Joker killed Bruce Wayne’s parents in the (89) Batman film while Joe Chill killed the Waynes in Batman Begins, It was Ra’s Al Ghoul who pulled strings & confessed to Bruce himself. Even though he didn’t pull the trigger, he pointed the gun, figuring speaking.

          You’re welcome for your response. And I like some of Tim Burton’s work and if Beetlejuice 2 gets made i hope it’s as great as the first film. Im fan of both Burton’s & Nolan’s Batman films. I liked Batman Forever & wished Batman & Robin could been better. But the writers did a poor job with the script & WB made the mistake takin the franchise into a too family-friendly like direction. Not to mention Schumacher’s mistakes. That’s my opinion.

  21. Burton’s Bat was set on most fun-comics that Batman is painted in mostly snd which was the reason for his movies being campy. In that way Burton-supporters are correct in a way for saying Burton being truthful to his sources.

    Nolan’s Bat was set accurately on the famous critically acclaimed Bat-stories. And these applauded stories are very, very less in numbers (say about 20 to 25) compared to the vast campy history of Batman since 1940 but are MATURE ones (with some of them NOT even targeted for children – eg. ‘The Killing Joke’) which is what Burton himself should have used a source but unfortunately did not and what Nolan fortunately did. May be Burton wasn’t enough capable and skilled to do it.

    Batman Begins (2005) was based upon the great ‘Batman- Year One(1986)’.

    The Dark Knight (2008) was created upon the Jeph Loeb classic – The Long Halloween (1996-1997) and …Alan Moore’s legendary story ‘The Killing Joke (1988)’ which has **that** Iconic Joker and I’m pointing to his (1) Nature/Philosophy and NOT his (2) Cheap Tricks (behavior) or (3) the exact Process of he becoming the Joker. Nolan brought to life the Joker’s actual Nature/Philosophy which was what was important/difficult/challenging and gave a miss to his cheap cheezy tricks and that particular unbelievable Process. All Burton did was to give a miss to the important/difficult/challenging and just only copied the Cheap Tricks and that Process thus finding a easy way out and killing the Joker’s Soul in the process. Perhaps Burton …never even understood ‘The Killing Joke’. And that is the reason why I previously said that Nolan’s Joker cannot be overridden, but can only be equaled which in itself is a very large shoe to fill in.

    And add Ledger’s dedicated performance to it and we have icing over the cake. In fact the legendary Nicholson had far ‘more’ face make-up (that absurd laughable continuous ‘grin’ and all) than Ledger and yet still he was recognizable as Nicholson and not Joker. Nicholson just played the Joker. Ledger BECAME the Joker (with just a simple war paint that is)…because he engrained the philosophy of the Joker and not just his cheap tricks.

    And that BS about Burton’s Bat-magic being fading today because it was made more than twenty years ago is not going to work because it is not a classic anyway. ‘Citizen Kane (1941)’ was made a whole seventy years ago when technology did not even exist much and yet…it’s still a very much Classic today and will be forever.

    So the final point is…a man dressing up as a bat and a man not dressing up has DEFINITELY NOTHING to do with the difference between fantasy and realism. The real question is the difference between **Camp(Burton’s Bat-movies)** and **Maturity (Nolan’s Bat-films)**.

    • @ Amol

      In your opinion & other people’s perhaps perhaps Burton’s films seem campy, but that’s IS because they were made years ago when things were limited & the films weren’t marketed as much as Nolan’s films are today.

      Like Burton’s films, Nolan’s wasn’t as accurate as people think. Some people thought Batman: Mask of The Phantasm was better than Batman Begins about how Bruce became Batman. Not to mention how Batman was trained by Ra’s Al Ghoul in Batman Begins. In a small way imo, Nolan kinda did what Burton did by having one of Batman’s villains be responsible for his parents murder. Reason why i say that is because even though Joe Chill pulled the trigger of the gun, it was Ra’s who pointed towards their way as he explained to Bruce at his party. When people talk about Batman’s no killing Code & complained about it in Burton/Schumacher films, they forget about how Batman debuted killing random people, even having a gun on him. But the character has changed through the comics right? Even in Batman Begins, if Batman went by that code of his, he’d still would of got Ra’s off that train instead of leaving him to die when it crashes. I even rememeber a episode when Batman attempted to bring in Ra’s alive in Batman:TAS.

      Imo both Burton/Nolan did a great job with the character of the Joker. All Nolan did was make his version more realistic & did more of a job of showing what Joker was doing throughout. Burton’s films didn’t show all that happening despite Joker takin over Grissom’s gang, broadcasting on tv to ask Batman unmask himself. Tricking people into goin that parade only to kill all of them. Nicolson’s Joker is what the Joker been been known for. Ledger’s himself pulled silly stuff himself, the pencil trick, fake gas grenade, dressed as nurse? Even in BATMAN(89) Batman went over Napier’s file after seeing Joker in public, seeing what’s he’s known for. Id say Nolan’s Joker was the same as Burton’s in terms of Nature/Philosophy. Both Jokers wouldn’t of stopped till they got the best of Batman & control of Gotham by any means & how many people they would of killed. Common sense. And to say Nolan’s version of the Joker can’t be overriden is laughable really when then someone does comes along does outdue Ledger’s performance just as he outdone Nicolson’s.

      Burton’s Bat-Magic as you call it isn’t BS, many would call it common sense & fact. Citizen Kane has nothing to with the Batman franchise. Some people i know say Nolan’s Batman films aren’t as realistic as you may think. A example is Batman & Rachel free falling from the building & falling onto that car netheir gets injured or killed when reality they probly would. Another would be Joker be up & walkin after the semi crashed upside down with him inside. Other stuff they mentioned in the two films. Imo, Both Burton’s & Nolans films have fantasy & realism. Nolan’s films just have little more realism is all since his films are aimed for adult fans. I forgot to mentioned above about who personally wanted Jack Niccolson as the Joker, Batman’s own creator- Bob Kane.

      • Wallywest,


        Para 1: You mentioned ‘marketing’. But I didn’t. I do NOT judge a movie by how much it has earned at the box office. Because then ‘Avatar (2009)’ would have been the ‘greatest’ movie for me but it is not. There are lots of movies that have earned so much LESS than Nolan’s Bat-movies and still are excellent and outstanding on their own. But unfortunately not all of them are good for me and that includes …Burton’s Bat-movies.
        I believe one does NOT need to earn a lot or a spend a lot of money to write a great script. A great example could be: L.A. Confidential (1997) or Artificial Intelligence (2001). Unfortunately Burton’s Bat fails on the script-side.

        Para 2: You mentioned ‘Story-lines’. Story-lines CAN be changed/modified/deleted/created/added. They have NOTHING to do with the Maturity of character.

        Para 3: You mentioned ‘Tricks/Gimmicks of the Joker’. Nolan’s Joker too practiced them but he had the PHILOSOPHY to back those deeds. Burton’s Joker appeared like going thro’ the motions just for the sake of it. Watching Burton’s Joker tricks is like watching shock-scenes from ‘Cannibal Holocaust’. Those scenes were lined up just for the sake of lining up and they actually failed to shock me because I knew beforehand some or the other trick (oops! sorry, shock-scene) was going to appear in the next few minutes in CH. But watching Nolan’s Joker tricks was like watching Alex’s deeds from ‘A Clockwork Orange (1971)’ because both had a genuine philosophy and a ‘Soul’ to back their deeds. Genuinely touching.

        (“And to say Nolan’s version of the Joker can’t be overridden is laughable really when then someone does comes along does outdo Ledger’s performance just as he outdone Nicolson’s.”)

        Here again you are MIXING up two distinct aspects (again!): 1. Nolan’s Joker as a character 2. Ledger’s Performance. Any character that has been made to touch the peak in terms of fleshing it out in its all possible directions/dimensions and leaving not a single stone unturned CANNOT be overridden. It can only be matched by somebody’s extra-ordinary efforts. But **NOT** Overridden. Nolan’s Joker is exactly that.

        …And then you speak as if 1. Nolan’s Joker as a character and 2. Ledger’s Performance are the same two things. THEY ARE NOT. OK, I AGREE Ledger’s performance can be overridden but then it still depends on how much the next Joker has been fleshed out as a character in the script. Otherwise it would still end as another Nicholson-Joker irrespective of the actor’s great skills.

        But… first make up your mind whether you want to discuss about: 1. Nolan’s Joker as a character OR 2. Ledger’s Performance. Because they are two DISTINCT things. Because the first can NOT and **WILL (I say it.) NEVER** be overridden. The second CAN be but with some extra-ordinary efforts.

        Or let’s just agree to disagree on the first aspect (Nolan’s Joker).

        (“I forgot to mentioned above about who personally wanted Jack Nicolson as the Joker, Batman’s own creator- Bob Kane.”)

        You are telling that to a guy who has watched **ALL** (believe me on that!) Jack Nicholson films and who loves Jack by heart. Again you mixed up things. What I’m criticizing is NOT Nicholson but **Burton’s Joker** which LACKS A SOUL/PHILOSOPHY and which is a product of campy writing.

        Para 4: (“Citizen Kane has nothing to with the Batman franchise.”)
        You concentrated on the wrong part. You should have concentrated on the “still popular despite being made SEVENTY long years ago” part.
        What I called as ‘BS’ was NOT Burton’s Bat-magic. I’m not that arrogant to call somebody’s work as BS. What I called BS was the ILLUSION, the EXCUSE that a particular work would not be loved anymore just because it was created some particular (say a 100 or 200)years ago. USING THAT EXCUSE is BS. The work done has to be loved by **everyone** and NOT just by the fans of that genre/faculty to be called a ‘Classic’. It does NOT matter then how many years ago it was made. Using years as an excuse for fading popularity is a non-sense, is BS. And you used that as an excuse for Burton’s Bat. And that’s the reason why I used the example of ‘Citizen Kane’ which is still popular today after SEVENTY long years because it’s not campy and not hypocrite like Burton’s Bat.

        And I do NOT really care how much ‘real’(What is that?) Burton’s or Nolan’s environment/characters become as long as I know that Burton’s Bat was based on the campy detective comics and Nolan created his based on the critically acclaimed top-class CLASSIC Bat-stories.

        • @ Amol



          Para 1. I simply pointed out how Burton’s films didn’t have the kind of marketing advertising as Nolan’s films. Notibly before their theatrical release. There was no advertising for Batman online for people to see back then. And i never mentioned how great a film was by how much the film makes. I enjoyed Avatar but didn’t see how it could of topped Titanic. Some films are over-hyped imo.

          Para 2. Storylines can be changed, modified, deleted,created, added. That’s true & that happend when Batman was made. Burton didn’t like the first draft of the script for the film as he felt it was too campy. On the Special Edition dvd theres even scenes where Dick Grayson was gonna be introduced in the film after his parents are killed by the Joker during a chase. But Burton decided against that too as the idea went too off the film’s course & im glad. So the film could of been bad. Despite what the film grossed & how much praise from critics & fans the film got, Burton felt it wasn’t enough.

          Para 3. Imo, both Joker’s were predictable. From Nicolson’s Joker using shock buzzer to kill someone, to Ledger’s Joker leaving a grenade in the bank employee’s mouth which was fake. I you should know what i meant. Someone could always top Ledger’s performance as the Joker. The the samething was said about Nicolson, so i wouldn’t be surprised if someone came along who can out do ledger’s Joker performance. Others have said the samething. We’ll have to agree to disagree about Nolan’s Joker being topped. As for Burton’s film campy writing of his Batman film. Again maybe by seen that by today’s audience but not back then. Hard to compare the two director’s Batman films when they’re made years apart.

          Para 4. Im just goin by other people’s opinions regarding the old Batman films whether i know them in person or see people’s opinions online. There’s still alot of people who love Burton’s work on his Batman films as much as they do Nolan’s. Im one of them. There’s also people who see Burton’s films as fading away as times goes by & going as far to say they’re as campy as Batman & Robin or the 60′s Adam West tv show. Yet people forget how Burton’s (89) Batman was the best CBM made till TDK came. I wouldn’t call it a classic but wouldn’t TDK a classic neither. Like me, people i know & people online have mentioned how much Ledger’s Joker performance was the best thing in the film. The more you watch it, more they’ve got bored with it. I don’t really care how real people feel they should make CBM films aslong as there’s a balance. The Dark Knight Rises was one the inspirations for Burton’s Batman film.

  22. Today’s date 9/10/2012!
    Later this week I’ll be Auctioning off the Original Batman Hood signed by both Heath Ledget and Christain Bale, with C.O.A.!!! The Actual One used in the making of “The Dark Knight Rises”!!! For preview pictures prior to Auction starting, email mdehnert@comcast.net

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  24. This movie I saw the dark knight is good in evry aspect and I was hoping to see heath ledger again in the sequel.the part that made it more amazing was not batman,or anyother thngs its the darkness behind us .who we truly are ,this thng cannot be practised becus it can only be realized inside ,true hate,true motive ,heath was not playing the role as an actor but was showing who he really was and how a human has his darkness suppresd inside him .its incredible or.a dilemma that he was able to take it out .its only once in a lifetime where someone can have such talent.if je would have been here today.rest unsaid .