Joker in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’; Bane Mask Concept Artwork Revealed

Published 3 years ago by

The Joker Dark Knight Rises Location Joker in The Dark Knight Rises; Bane Mask Concept Artwork Revealed

Christopher Nolan may have successfully put a cap on his Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises but that doesn’t mean that all of our questions were answered. During a lengthy special edition of the Screen Rant Underground podcast, one (of several) questions that interested the Screen Rant editorial team was the location of Heath Ledger’s iconic villain, The Joker. Nolan had openly commented that the film would not reference the fan-favorite character, out of respect for the now-deceased actor, but a real-world explanation didn’t stop fans from speculating on where the “Clown Prince of Crime” might have been during Bane’s assault on Gotham City.

Now we’ve got a minute tease regarding the location of The Joker at the time of The Dark Knight Rises – by way of the film’s novelization tie-in – and, much like the enigmatic villain, his location is still pretty mysterious.

An excerpt from The Dark Knight Rises: The Official Novelization, by Greg Cox, offers insight into where The Joker might have been holed-up – without, in keeping with the Nolan approach, outright grounding speculation with a firm answer:

“Now that the Dent Act had made it all but impossible for the city’s criminals to cop an insanity plea, it (Blackgate Prison) had replaced Arkham Asylum as a preferred location for imprisoning both convicted and suspected felons. The worst of the worst were sent here, except for the Joker, who, rumor had it, was locked away as Arkham’s sole remaining inmate. Or perhaps he had escaped. Nobody was really sure. Not even Selina.”

The mention of Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) is an interesting tidbit that is not developed, leading to further questions about the anti-heroine’s past – possibly the reason she was so eager for a “fresh start”? Of course, a more likely purpose for namedropping the character could be, with Batman out of the game, Kyle had taken-up the Caped Crusader’s penchant for hacking into law enforcement databases. Batman does, after all, question Kyle about Bane and his mercenaries.

It’s definitely commendable that the director didn’t want to alter Ledger’s interpretation of the villain by shoe-horning him into The Dark Knight Rises storyline; however, there’s no doubt that the character’s presence was missed – especially since he’s not even referenced by name – and other characters from prior installments reappear. Ultimately, the novelization “explanation” is definitely fun to think about – Ledger’s Joker alone in the ruins of Arkham Asylum (or not) – even if it doesn’t actually provide the kind of closure that some fans might have hoped. That said, who wants closure on such iconic characters? Isn’t it more fun to think about caped heroes and costumed villains locked in an eternal struggle of cat and mouse – or as the Joker reasoned:

“You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.”

Where the novelization gave further insight into the potential fate of The Joker, The Art and Making of the Dark Knight Trilogy offers a candid look into the creation of The Dark Knight Rises‘ leading man, Bane (played by Tom Hardy).

Screen Rant regulars will likely remember that the art book also features an emotional goodbye letter to Batman from Nolan. However, as expected, it’s also chock full with cool pre-production artwork including a look at early sketches of Bane’s mask as well as a better look at the Batcave.

Check out a few handpicked images below (or head over to Comic Book Movie for a larger spread):

Please Do Not discuss Dark Knight Rises SPOILERS here! For discussion of the film, head over to our Dark Knight Rises SPOILER DISCUSSION page.

You can order The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy – HERE and The Dark Knight Rises: The Official NovelizationHERE.


Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for more on The Dark Knight Rises as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.

The Dark Knight Rises is now open in U.S. theaters (2D and IMAX).

Source: and Comic Book Movie

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  1. No mention of the Joker was just one of many, many things that bugged the hell out of me in Dark Knight Rises.

    • I know! I think it would of been quite a tribute if there was the tiniest nod towards the Joker, just a mention of his name…I was sat watching the whole movie thinking ‘all this is going on and the Joker wasn’t a part of it’ Let me tell you it ruined my movie experience. Just a little scene like this.. ‘Get more security over to arkham, I don’t want the Joker escaping’ Or showing an empty cell, when bane went to release him or kill him, with the walls scribbled with mad drawings. There could have interperated him into the movie easily… It seem like they have completely deleted him.

      • You said “all this is going on and the Joker wasn’t a part of it”, but you need to realize, everything that is going on in the events of this movie was caused by the actions Joker made in The Dark Knight. So even though they don’t reference him, he’s the reason for all the chaos that’s going happening. “When the chips are down, these… these civilized people, they’ll eat each other.” – Joker

      • well, when bruce is imprisoned in bane’s hole, there´s an exchange between ras’ and bruce (in bruce’s imagination) when ra’s says: “You yourself have fought the decadence of Gotham for years, WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, all your resources, all your moral authority. And the victory you could achieve was a lie. Now you understand: Gotham is beyond saving”… the “with all your strength” part came from TDK when Joker made fun of batman’s inability to violently persuade him to disclose rachel’s and harvey’s whereabouts. i know it seems like i’m reading to much into it, but the same guys who did TDK did TDKR, so i don’t think it’s just a coincidence, i think it is a very sutile way to acknowledge that the joker ocurred.


  3. Its simple. Heath Ledger died. Which means that it wouldn’t be the same without him. He acted out the part so well that nobody else could do better. Besides that, Bane was an entirely different character that was also played with incredible acting. This would have given the trilogy more variety and more excitement.

  4. It wouldn’t be the same without Heath I’m glad they don’t bring back some fony to play the joker.

  5. SO glad they didn’t bring in another actor to play him. It would have (freaked) up the entire series for me. Heath was just perfect

  6. It’s pretty obvious that had Heath Ledger not died, the Joker would’ve been running the villain court instead of Scarecrow. That part was tailor made for the Joker.

    • Unlikely. Joker would not like Bane. He wouldn’t put up with that clown.

    • Scarecrow’s court is actually from the comics – that scene was tailor-made for Scarecrow.

  7. It is pretty amazing that in the 2 Batman movies that the Joker was in, both times the people who played the Joker, did an fantastic job. Ledger and Nicholson. Both played the part differently, but both also played the part of a deranged, yet genius arch nemesis perfectly. I’ll admit I am still partial to the first Keaton movie, but the reboot with Christian Bale, does a better job of portraying the Dark Knight portion of the comics.

    • There were 3 Jokers. You are forgetting Cesar Romero.

      • Quite right, Mr. Rhein. Can’t be forgetting Cesar Romero!

        • *ahem* I think Mark Hamill would have something to say about that, as well…

  8. No one could have replaced Heath – such a sad, sad loss. He was superb and would have gone on and on getting better and better. Sorely missed.

  9. i thought they were going to say that bane was actually the joker. i mean technically, bane’s mask would cover up the scars as well as change the tone of his voice. of course, everything from motive to fighting style, to body size would not match that theory, but it could have been made to work. just my two cents, i think that would have been pretty cool.

    • That’s such a terrible, terrible, terrible idea.

      • I agree-terrible idea

      • That is not only stupid but totally makes no sense at
        All, why your at it why not male batman the illegetimate son of daredevil and wonder woman, and yes I know that we are talking about DC an marvel but that is a bit smarter than making a billion completely into I a completely different one don’t ya think

        • Okay then, F@#$ you all.

    • What in gods name?.. No.. Just no.. Oh god, no.. Haha.. Just.. Just no.. C’mon man.. No..

  10. Why doesn’t Christopher Nolan do a 4th movie and bring the riddler or penguin into it as the villain? there are so many actors that could play these parts-I don’t believe anyone else should play the joker Call the movie The DarK Knight -Resurrection I myself did not like Bane=should have stuck to an original villian

    • I agree Bane sucked and it totally makes “rises” practically unwatchable. Would have been much better to reboot the Penguin and/or Riddler.

      • I disagree. I think Bane was brilliantly portrayed. I think he was (short of the Joker, himself, returning, of course) a great way to end the TRILOGY. In other words, there will NOT be a fourth film; Nolan ended his Batman series superbly.

        That being said, I would have loved to see the Nolanverse takes on other Batman mythos characters, but alas…

        • Tom Hardy did a good job i just think the 2hr+ movie was rushed. That Nolan gave in to popular demand.


    • Teddy…

      Don’t be an obnoxious moron, please.

  12. I miss the Joker so much! Heath did so great. They could always make a really good animated film with the Joker based on Ledger’s performance from DK

  13. Puh-lease, get a life y’all.

    • Y’all should shut up, punk.

  14. Heath Ledger was amazing as the Joker, RIP. The Dark Knight rises was good too, but wasn’t the same without the Joker.

  15. I just always figured someone killed him in jail. After all, the only reason they didn’t kill him before was because they were worried about batman. His presence allowed the joker to consolidate power. With batman gone and the joker locked up with a prison full of the former employees of his enemies, he wouldn’t last long.

  16. Couldn’t they have got Jack Nicholson or Cesar Romero to play joker? They both played the role more convincingly.
    Seriously though, in real life everyone I know hates Heath Ledgers Joker and Bales Batman (they take themselves absurdly seriously and aren’t as good at acting as they appear to think they are) but on the internet everyone loves them. What’s with that??

    • what are you talking about? I have never in real life met anyone who did not like Ledgers portrayal of the Joker. It was a role portrayed so well that it ultimately drove him to madness and cost him his life. Bale’s batman, yeah I see some people who don’t like him and his batman voice. “WHERE ARE THEY!!” lol, but Heath absolutely killed it. He was a phenomenal actor and his role as Joker was legendary.

      • Heath overdosed on drugs and died because he liked drugs, not because of the role. That was hyped by the internet and sold lots of tickets, but is crap.

        • Your gay

      • flavs, “absolutely killed it?” as the joker would say, “poor choice of words”

    • Those 2 submerse themselves into there roles more than any actors out there that’s why they are loved.

  17. Something that I kind of thought about was where Joker would have been put in the film if Heath was still here. I thought it would be fitting if he was in place of the Scare Crow as being a judge in the Gotham under Bane.

  18. Brad Dourif would make a perfect Joker. Watch “Death Machine” so many Joker refrences lol
    Walks, talks and acts the same. Laugh is just as good.

  19. who would have won had ledger’s joker been in the movie and him and bane got into a fight?

  20. In the Dark Knight rises the joker would not have been in any prison within Gotham city. Bane only had control of the city and cut off all access via the bridges Gotham(Nyc) would of been a city within a much larger state with any number of prisons that could hold the joker who would be viewed as a terrorist

  21. Ok so everyone wants to know the exact area joker was going to be in the DKR. Well when the prisoners are freed when bane takes over Gotham the movie shows the prisoners leaving their cells,this is the point when the movie was, meant to focus on one cell left locked, you see the jokers smile only through the small observation hatch in the door. He is smiling then he frowns when no-one opens the door and he moves away from the hatch in which it then moves to the next scene, you don’t see the jokers full face just his scarred ‘smile’ this would have been a perfect way to add the joker without dishonouring heath ledger, this scene was only discussed once, when ideas where bouncing around for DKR, but a small out line sketch is rumoured to be drawn as a gift to some one important to the film (this last bit I’m unsure of being true but hay someone might actually have the joker scene it might exist in some form) :D

  22. Get a life, people.

    • Oh, come on!

  23. Very interesting article. The sad loss of Ledger definitely left A very large gap in the hearts and minds of the DC fans. It is very fun to speculate the possibilities of what could have happened to The Joker (since that is nearly all we can do). I found it fun to look at all of the interpretations of his absence especially that of his portrayal in YouTube’s TheJokerBlogs. Hopefully they wrap up an explanation to the absence since they are holding quite close to the Nolan universe.

  24. Keaton was the best Batman ever

    Mark Hamill is the best Joker ever, his deranged voice even beat Ledger’s. Hamill could definitely play an aging Joker, as both Hamill and Ledger are similar build and hair.

    Mark Hamill will always be my favorite Joker, Nicholson was damn good also.

    But I really really really missed Keaton as Batman, he played it Dark in the first couple movies and was amazing. Especially when he went “nuts” on Joker in the first movie and started his “Beetlejuice style” yelling and screaming at Joker which made Nicholson’s Joker step back a bit.

    Best Batman evah! :)

  25. there was a rumor that a unused scene from dark knight could have made it in the film but was cut

  26. As soon as I heard Joseph-Gordon was gonna be in the movie I pooped a little. He looks like Heath’s brother! Thought for sure he would’ve played a SMALL role as the Joker, at LEAST. I know people woulda shat on the idea of someone else playing Joker, but I personally feel it’s almost as disrespectful to just shut him out altogether.

  27. Hands down great movie.