BATMAN: SOUL OF THE DRAGON's Michael Jai White On Original Plans For His THE DARK KNIGHT Villain - EXCLUSIVE

While promoting his new movie, Batman: Soul of the Dragon, star Michael Jai White sheds some light on what was originally planned for his villainous gangster Gambol in The Dark Knight and beyond...

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Bruce Timm returns to the Dark Knight's world for an Elseworlds adventure set in the 1960s: Batman: Soul of the Dragon. Set for release on Digital on January 12 and Blu-ray on January 26, it's a fun, pulpy adventure which finds Bruce Wayne training under a master sensei. It is here that Bruce, along with other elite students, is forged in the fire of the martial arts discipline. However, the lifelong bonds they form will be put to the test when a deadly menace arises from their past.

It will take the combined efforts of Batman, world-renowned martial artists Richard Dragon, Ben Turner, Lady Shiva and their mentor O-Sensei to battle the monsters of this world and beyond!   

Black DynamiteArrow, and Spawn star Michael Jai White takes on the role of Bronze Tiger, delivering a unique new take on the character which should definitely go over well with fans. Of course, this isn't his first trip into the world of Batman because he also played crime lord Gambol in 2008's The Dark Knight. There, he clashed with The Joker before seemingly being killed by the Clown Prince of Crime.

Talking to White recently, we asked for his take on being part of such a memorable scene. 

"Well, it's a little bitter-sweet because Heath is no longer with us," the actor explained. "It's hard for me to say, 'It was great' knowing the outcome shortly after. It was a great opportunity to work with someone like Christopher Nolan. That was amazing. To be around such genius, who were just so...regular. Christopher Nolan and Heath Ledger are so amazing, but also some of the most down to Earth people you ever want to meet. That was really the bonus in working on that movie."

Of course, there was something a little off about Gambol's apparent death scene in The Dark Knight, so we quizzed White on whether he was ever clued into further plans for his villain before they changed. 

"I was told about the plan for Gambol to come back and try and take over Gotham City. I think a lot of those plans got scrapped after what happened to Heath," White reveals. "I don't know. I was never told directly why the change was made. For anybody who sees the movie, you know there was kind of an obtuse cut where you don't know what happened to my character."

"You know, there's a knife in my mouth and next I'm on the floor. With a movie with a budget that size, there's seldom any grey moments [Laughs]. My character wasn't written to die, that's why that weird editing is there. It was never intended as a death scene."

Had Heath Ledger not tragically passed away, The Dark Knight Rises would have probably been a very different movie. As it stands, it still served as an effective enough finale, but Gambol returning to try and take over Gotham City might have been a lot of fun. 

Were you guys disappointed that the character's story came to a premature end during Christopher Nolan's Batman franchise?

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