Tim Burton's Batman gave the Joker what proved to be a somewhat controversial origin story, but The Dark Knight never bothered to address the Clown Prince of Crime's past (making him every bit as mysterious as his comic book counterpart in some ways). However, it seems Warner Bros. wanted the 2008 movie to shed a little more light on the villain's background.
In the video below for this past weekend's [email protected], The Dark Knight writer David S. Goyer explained that he and Christopher Nolan wanted to do something different with the character.
"I do remember when we were talking about, 'Well what if the Joker doesn't really have an origin story?'" he said. "Even after the success of Batman Begins that was considered a very controversial thing and we got a lot of push-back. People were worried."
Another big change in that movie was Two-Face's origin story; in the comic books, he's left disfigured after being attacked in court, but The Dark Knight's Harvey Dent was horribly scarred thanks to the Joker (after he tried to force Batman to choose between saving Harvey or Rachel).
"I don't remember exactly when that decision was made," Goyer explained. "There were a lot more eyes, both in terms of the world and the studio on that film than there were on Batman Begins. And it's harder to take risks and it's harder to subvert expectations in success because people want to protect against failure or they want you to do what you did the first time, but just a little bit different."
"One of the scariest things to tell most film executives or even TV executives after having had success in something is, 'Yeah, we're not going to do that again. We're going to do something different'."
Fans certainly didn't seem to mind the changes made to Two-Face that much, but it is interesting to get some insight into why his origin story was shaken up a little.
You can hear more from the filmmaker below: