Thursday, September 06, 2007

New Dark Knight Set Pics Offer Spoilers

A user of the X-Realms messageboard has posted a number of on-set pictures from The Dark Knight. Amongst the spoilery material therein is a look at Heath Ledger without Joker make-up and dressed as a cop.

The images were actually posted some time back, but the link surfaced on IGN today and that's how it came to my attention.

I'm on the record as not really caring much about The Dark Knight, but this is quite a big piece of news for Batfans, isn't it? The rendering of The Joker as a loon who applies make-up rather than has deathly-pallor by disfigurement? Does this put him more on a par with mask wearing psychopaths like Jason, Michael Myers (or, on this side of the screen, John Wayne Gacy) than the grand-guignol and penny dreadful antecedents I had previously associated with the character? And is this a bad thing?

I actually find it quite interesting.


Mark said...

Yeah, the Nolan Joker is pretty much a new thing in terms of styling. The size and shape of Joker's disfigurement has been exaggerated downwards in recent times, especially post-Miller, to the point where guys like Michael Lark drew him with a normal mouth, but with a tendency for manic leering and gurning (always hoped the Nolan movies would lean a bit more towards Lark/Brubaker/Rucka's GOTHAM CENTRAL series and its police procedural approach).

But yeah, he's always been portrayed as having been bleached white, rather than painted white. Also, in Nolan's case, the mouth is "widened" by scarring, rather than stretching, which is also new, but quite cinematic (looks a lot better than Nicholson's awful make-up job, for instance).

johnny said...

In his 1st appearance ever (I think), the Joker introduces himself to the world (and Gotham) by declaring his future assassinations of Gotham's prominent citizens and then successfully carrying out the crimes. In one of those, he's dressed like a cop, one of the cops guarding his would be victim. Until many decades later, we wouldn't find if he had normal skin and wore the clown make up or had permanently white skin and wore make up to appear human, like in the Burton film.

Although suffering from most of the shortcomings of Golden Age superhero storytelling, that story had a fantastic ultra-creepy Lynch-ian air about it. The same can be said (by me, ha!) for most of the Joker's 30s and 40s appearences until DC (or what it was called then) decided to turn him into a harmless prankster.

So... maybe Nolan's version will be close to the plots of those early stories, somehow.

Matt said...

I like this approach, despite some gagging by batfans. If he wears make-up, it kind of matches Batman's mask wearing in some ways. Also, it differentiates him from Two-Face who is scarred all over half of his face. The Joker's scarring should be more minimal as to keep the characters separate. I think permanent white skin would be a bit similar to the two face bit.

If there is a reason I want to see this film, it is for the protrayal of the anarchy driven Joker. Honestly, I wish they would finish this film as a conclusion to this series if it is good. Part threes normally suck.

Summer 2008 is a revival of summer 1989: We have Indiana Jones, a Batman film with the Joker. All we need is that computer animated Ghostbusters film to make the echo more crisp.

Adam said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again...

Isn't the monster who's willing to make himself a freak scarier than the freak who's pushed into the role of a monster?

As it is, there has never been a definitive "origin" story for the Joker in the comics continuity anyway. Yes, that's right, not even Alan Moore's THE KILLING JOKE is the definitive word, Bat-fans (read your WHO'S WHO to find that the Joker's beginnings are cloudy at best).

I like the idea of a greasepaint Joker quite a bit myself.

Anonymous said...

Nolan's already on the record as saying that the Joker in this film is based on his first appearances in the comics rather than later ones, this just seems to back it all up.

daniel moreira said...

The link is broken.
Can you post it again?