THE DARK KNIGHT: Never-Before-Seen Photos Of Heath Ledger's Joker Have Been Revealed

THE DARK KNIGHT: Never-Before-Seen Photos Of Heath Ledger's Joker Have Been Revealed THE DARK KNIGHT: Never-Before-Seen Photos Of Heath Ledger's Joker Have Been Revealed

Some never-before-seen photos of the late Heath Ledger applying his makeup as The Dark Knight's Joker have been revealed, offering a fascinating glimpse at how his Crime Prince of Clown was created...

By JoshWilding - Oct 26, 2023 08:10 AM EST
Filed Under: The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight was released in 2008 to widespread critical acclaim, with much of that heaped upon star Heath Ledger. The actor died months before the Batman Begins sequel arrived in theaters and later earned a posthumous "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar for his groundbreaking performance as The Joker. 

Ledger died from an accidental overdose resulting from the abuse of prescribed medications, though it's long been theorised that getting into the Clown Prince of Crime's mind contributed to that (he was said to have suffered from insomnia, a condition worsened when dealing with intense acting roles). 

It was a tragic death, regardless, but his work in the Christopher Nolan-helmed blockbuster has rightly earned him "icon" status in Hollywood. 

Now, some brand new photos of Ledger applying his Joker makeup have found their way online. Providing fascinating insights into how the actor underwent this drastic transformation, they offer a candid look at how he helped create this memorable take on the classic Batman baddie. 

Unfortunately, the Tweet/X below doesn't provide a source for where these photos came from (drop us a message in the comments section below if you have any insights). However, we're hoping higher-quality pictures will eventually surface as these really are something special. 

For now, we remain grateful to have seen what Ledger was able to do with The Joker on screen. Prior to the actor's death, Nolan is said to have had tentative plans for the villain to cameo in The Dark Knight Rises, though the notion of him returning for a larger role than that was never seemingly discussed. 

Take a closer look at these new photos below. 

In The Dark Knight, with the help of allies Lt. Jim Gordon and DA Harvey Dent, Batman has been able to keep a tight lid on crime in Gotham City. But when a vile young criminal calling himself the Joker suddenly throws the town into chaos, the caped Crusader begins to tread a fine line between heroism and vigilantism.

The movie's ensemble cast includes Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Morgan Freeman. It would go on to become the first superhero movie to gross over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. 

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UncleHarm1 - 10/26/2023, 8:11 AM
A man wearing makeup? Too woke.
ProfessorWhy - 10/26/2023, 8:23 AM
@UncleHarm1 - he also cross dresses in the movie. Cancel it
Matchesz - 10/26/2023, 8:53 AM
@UncleHarm1 - the woke people are the dogs chasing cars, they wouldnt know what to do when they finally radicalize everyone.
MosquitoFarmer - 10/26/2023, 9:33 AM
@UncleHarm1 - Bet you people would try to have him canceled over this.

UncleHarm1 - 10/26/2023, 12:05 PM
@Matchesz - Everybody loves dogs, better than being a bigoted mess of insecurity
Origame - 10/26/2023, 8:17 AM
I really liked how imperfect the makeup was. Like, he'd be more or less put together depending on the scene and the amount of makeup he'd wear. It really shows he's constantly taking it on and off depending on the situation, which adds to his insanity a bit. Especially with something like the interrogation scene where it starts to get smeared.
S8R8M - 10/26/2023, 8:38 AM
I hope WB will release the deleted scenes.
Apparently, there is a scene where he is in a cell and the guard says Dr Quinn will see you now.
Th3Batman - 10/26/2023, 8:39 AM
@S8R8M - Nolan said multiple times that he won't release any deleted scene or different cut of his movies. WB technically owns his trilogy, but for some reason don't want to cross him.
Forthas - 10/26/2023, 9:29 AM
I think that if WB were smart and had combined Man of Steel in an expanded universe of The Dark Knight Trilogy, they could have recast Heath Ledger's Joker with Charlie Hunnam...

VictorAlonzo - 10/26/2023, 9:37 AM
@Forthas - I enjoyed watching him as Jax, but I don't think anyone could've pulled off Ledger's Joker.

His scenes felt on the fly, improvised, abstract. You almost felt like you were watching the documentary of a madman.
Th3Batman - 10/26/2023, 9:37 AM
@Forthas - Nolan was very much against recasting him, so that wouldn't have happened if he stuck around. What actor would be crazy enough to accept that role ? There are some roles that you can't recast, that's one of them.
Syringe - 10/26/2023, 10:51 AM
@Forthas - Love Hunnam and he delivers a semi-unhinged performance in Cold Mountain but I don't think he can match Ledger's Joker.
Forthas - 10/26/2023, 10:52 AM
@VictorAlonzo - I think if I were casting Hunnam as the new Joker, I would tell him to just try to act like Ledger. Sure he likely may not have as good a performance as Ledger but given that Ledger is no longer available, it is the next best thing. He is the most popular DC villian and therefore someone would need to take the reigns.
Forthas - 10/26/2023, 11:03 AM
@Th3Batman - Nolan has moved on so it would not have been his descion. Besides, with time gone by, I would think they are just casting an "older" Joker. There is no reason to not recast him. as amazing as Ledger was in the role, it does not belong to him. There are plenty of instances where a role was recast following the death of a central character... Gloria Foster (Oracle) in the Matrix, Richard Harris in Harry Potter, and William Hurt in the upcoming Captain America: New World Order.

When they have tried to sidestep that, you get a Wakanda Forever which although a pretty good film suffered from the lack of a lead central character because they refused to recast.
Forthas - 10/26/2023, 11:05 AM
@Syringe - The point is not to match Ledger. The point is to find a replacement that can fill a gap. If Hunnam had been cast in that role, I would not hold it against him that he was not Ledger under the circumstances.
Syringe - 10/26/2023, 11:40 AM
@Forthas - I hear you, but you have to keep in mind that the masses WOULD compare the two and crucify whichever actor failed to match Ledger's performance. It's just human nature.
VictorAlonzo - 10/26/2023, 11:50 AM
@Forthas - I thought about this recently.

What if someone did an impersonation of ledger playing the joker?

There's a guy on YouTube who does a spot on impersonation of Ledgers joker. It's fun to watch people's reactions.

Still, it lead me to the original conclusion.

An imitation of Ledgers performance has a proximity. That in itself, dilutes the ability to accurately recreate Ledgers performance.

We can only imagine what he may have become in TDKR, or any other adaptation moving forward.

BUT, using Ledger's performance in TDK gives an indication that whatever he would have done would have likely been nothing anyone could expect.

His performance is the greatest on screen character seen in movie history. Bar none.

Oh, here's a clip of the Joker performer:

MosquitoFarmer - 10/26/2023, 9:31 AM
Man, it's wierd seeing that first photo of him looking all but just like Heath, and then knowing the end result performance. What a gosh darn transformation! Still just incredible to watch. Crushed it.
Fares - 10/26/2023, 10:17 AM
I love how little behind-the-scenes footage we have of Ledger's Joker because it helps maintain an air of mystery around the character, but I can't help but want to see more behind the curtain.
marvel72 - 10/26/2023, 10:45 AM
Fantastic performance from Ledger in this movie,it wasn't a perfect but I'd take it over what passes for comic book movies these days.
Fogs - 10/26/2023, 3:07 PM
@marvel72 - Exactly.
McMurdo - 10/26/2023, 3:01 PM
This man did it best.

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