In 2005, Chris Nolan brought one of the greatest comic book characters back from the dead. After the disaster that was “Batman & Robin,” few believed that the franchise could be resurrected. However, Nolan and company delivered in spades. Not only was 2005s “Batman Begins” the best Batman film, but it was arguably the best comic book based film. The film examined the psychological torment of the character and gave Batman the film origin he was so desperately in need of. From impeccable casting to an amazing script, Nolan’s film got everything right.
In 2008, we will be treated to another go around with Nolan’s take on the Caped Crusader. On July 18, 2008, Warner Bros. will release “The Dark Knight,” the aptly named sequel to “Batman Begins.”
This is the first Batman film without the title character’s name in the title. Picking up directly where its predecessor ended, the film will tell the story of Batman’s pursuit of the Joker, his arch-nemesis. The story of the Joker’s origin will be derived primarily from his first appearance in the comics and Alan Moore’s graphic novel “The Killing Joke.”
However, unlike 1989s “Batman,” the film will not end with the Joker’s death, but instead with his arrest, which will set up the plot for the third film. The trial will be the pivotal point that results in Harvey Dent’s transformation into Two-Face, which will be explored in the third film.
The script was once again written by David Goyer, Chris Nolan and Jonathan Nolan. Shooting will take place in Chicago, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. Unlike the last film, the script has not leaked on the internet. The only bits of plot that fans have to go off of are those given by Nolan and Goyer in interviews.
Throughout the course of the summer, the casting of many of the key roles was the subject of serious scrutiny. Rumors were floating around Hollywood as to who would play the Joker and Gotham District Attorney Harvey Dent, a.k.a. Two-Face. Many high- and low-profile actors such as Lachey Hulme, Johnny Depp, Steve Carell and Mark Hamill, were rumored to be in the running for the role of the Joker. For the role of Harvey Dent, many names popped up.
Liev Schrieber, Aaron Eckhart, John Cusack and even Jamie Foxx were rumored as candidates for this role. In the end, Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker and Aaron Eckhart won the role of Harvey Dent.
While principle actors Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman were signed to reprise their respective roles in three films, Katie Holmes, who played Rachel Dawes, chose not to return. Instead, Maggie Gyllenhall will take over the role of Rachel Dawes. Many believe that she is a much better choice for the role. Other changes to the movie include a revamped suit, which will look less armor-like, and a new vehicle will be added to Batman’s arsenal.
With shooting set to begin in March, it looks to be a long wait for Bat-fans. However, there is much faith that Chris Nolan and company will deliver another high-quality Batman experience.