The Dark Knight (film)
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced, and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the second installment of Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy and a sequel to 2005’s Batman Begins, starring Christian Bale and supported by Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Morgan Freeman.
In the film, Bruce Wayne / Batman (Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Eckhart) form an alliance to dismantle organized crime in Gotham City. But they are menaced by an anarchistic mastermind known as the Joker (Ledger), who seeks to undermine Batman’s influence and throw the city into anarchy.
Nolan’s inspiration for the film was the Joker’s comic book debut in 1940, the 1988 graphic novel The Killing Joke, and the 1996 series The Long Halloween, which retold Harvey Dent’s origin. The “Dark Knight” nickname was first applied to Batman in Batman #1 (1940), in a story written by Bill Finger.
The Dark Knight was filmed primarily in Chicago, as well as in several other locations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. The film was the first mainstream feature to partially utilize IMAX 70 mm cameras, with Nolan using them for 28 minutes of the film, including the Joker’s first appearance. Warner Bros.
initially created a viral marketing campaign for The Dark Knight, developing promotional websites and trailers highlighting screenshots of Ledger as the Joker. Ledger died on January 22, 2008, some months after he completed filming and six months before the film’s release from a toxic combination of prescription drugs, leading to intense attention from the press and movie-going public.
Considered one of the best films of its decade and one of the greatest and most influential films of all time. The film received critical acclaim for its screenplay, visual effects, musical score, mature themes, performances (particularly Ledger’s), cinematography, action sequences and direction. The film also set numerous records during its theatrical run. The Dark Knight appeared on 287 critics’ top-ten lists, more than any other film of 2008 with the exception of WALL-E, and more critics (77) named The Dark Knight the best film released that year.
With over $1 billion in revenue worldwide, it became the fourth-highest-grossing film at the time, and highest-grossing film of 2008; it also set the record for highest-grossing domestic opening with $158 million, a record it held for three years. At the 81st Academy Awards, the film received eight nominations; it won the award for Best Sound Editing and Ledger was posthumously awarded Best Supporting Actor.
In 2020, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”, becoming the second superhero film after 1978’s Superman to earn the honor. The Dark Knight Rises, the final film in the trilogy, was released in 2012.
Taking place roughly 9 months after the first film. The film begins with the psychopathic Joker (in disguise as Bozo) and 5 of his clown-masked henchmen (Grumpy, Chuckles, Happy, Dopey and a nameless-masked bus driver) robbing the mob-owned Gotham National Bank, during which each henchman systematically double-crosses. And he kills the other for a larger slice of money.
Eventually the only survivor is the Joker, who reveals himself from under the Bozo mask to the bank manager. And then he takes the money for himself.
Taking on the Mafia
That night, multiple Batman impersonators, armed with guns interrupt a drug deal. Meeting involving the Chechen and his gangsters and the Scarecrow and his henchmen. The real Batman shows up and manages to subdue everyone. However, he is hit multiple times and brutally bitten in weak spots of his armor by Rottweiler dogs. And the Chechen manages to get away.
Harvey Dent, the new district attorney, begins to place more and more criminals behind bars. Even he defending himself successfully against an assassination attempt from mob boss Salvatore Maroni during the crime lord’s trial. Batman and Lieutenant James Gordon contemplate bringing Harvey in on their plan to eradicate the mob. And the possibility that Harvey will become the hero to the people that Batman cannot be.
Harvey is nicknamed the ‘White Knight of Gotham City,’. Although Harvey mentions in argument with Gordon that he had a different nickname in Internal Affairs. At the same time, Bruce Wayne and Harvey are both competing for the love of Rachel Dawes; however, Rachel and Dent are romantically involved in a relationship.
Attack on the bank
Maroni, the Chechen, Gambol, and the other mob bosses see the combined effort of Dent, Batman and Gordon as a threat. And they decide to meet and discuss how to handle it. Their Chinese accountant, Lau, informs that he has secretly relocated the mob’s money to Hong Kong to prevent the police from seizing it with an imminent bank raid.
The Joker arrives and after killing Gambol’s crony by way of a “magic trick” (involving sticking a pencil into the table. And then he slamming the crony’s head onto the pencil, sending it through his eye socket). He proposes to kill Batman for half of their money. And he also tries to convince the mob bosses that Lau will give them all up to the police if he is caught.
The Joker then makes an example of the problem’s anti-crime result about Gambol, who takes it as an insult. And he offers $500,000 for the Joker dead and $1,000,000 alive so he can “teach him some manners first.”. The mob bosses don’t accept the Joker’s offer, who leaves his ‘card’ behind for them to contact him.
Realizing the threat and the need of taking down Lau and finding the mob money, Bruce is given highly more adjustable. And he maneuverable equipment for his suit by Lucius Fox. Also included in Batman’s new armor is a newly designed helmet, allowing Wayne to turn his head and arm gauntlets that are able to project the defense spikes.
Meanwhile at Gambol’s headquarters, three men arrive saying they’ve killed the Joker. They say laying his body wrapped in garbage bags on the pool table. Their ruse works and the Joker emerges alive from the bags, inserting a knife in Gambol’s mouth and killing him. He subsequently forces Gambol’s men to fight to the death for a place alongside him.
Taking the suit with him, Lucius then travels with Bruce to Hong Kong. And he gives him a sonar-device that can lock onto cell phones. And he emit a visual image of the phone’s surroundings. It will look like they’ve come to cancel negotiations between Lau’s investment firm and Wayne Enterprises. That night Batman, donning his new suit, manages to infiltrate Lau’s office, take out the protection and escape with Lau.
Who’s making The Dark Knight: Crew List
A look at the The Dark Knight behind-the-scenes crew and production team. The film’s director Christopher Nolan last directed Tenet and Dunkirk. The film’s writer Jonah Nolan last wrote Interstellar and Hell and Gone.
What’s the story about?
Batman (Christian Bale) raises the stakes in his war on crime in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.”. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective. But they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker (Heath Ledger).
5 Surprising Facts About The Dark Knight
Christopher Nolan didn’t set out to make sequels. As the director of hit thrillers like Memento and Insomnia, his personal style never seemed to mesh with the idea of helming a mega-franchise. After reenvisioning the Caped Crusader with 2005’s Batman Begins, though, Nolan couldn’t stop thinking about how his version of Batman would respond to the introduction of The Joker.
The result was The Dark Knight, a hyper-real exploration of how chaos shakes up the mission of the righteous, complete with huge stars, incredible stunts, and an Oscar-winning performance by the late Heath Ledger. To revisit this landmark movie, which was released 10 years ago, here are 19 fascinating facts about The Dark Knight.
1. IT HAS MANY COMIC BOOK INSPIRATIONS.
While it doesn’t adapt any one specific story to the screen, The Dark Knight did draw inspiration from several specific Batman stories in the pages of DC Comics. When researching and writing the film, director Christopher Nolan and his brother, co-writer Jonathan Nolan, specifically went back to The Joker’s very first appearance in 1940’s Batman #1 in search of how best to introduce the character.
Co-writer David S. Goyer, himself a DC Comics contributor, also cites the classic stories The Long Halloween, The Dark Knight Returns, and The Killing Joke as keys to his research, with elements from each making their way into the film.
2. THE JOKER ALSO HAD DIVERSE INSPIRATIONS.
In addition to classic Joker stories like The Killing Joke, Nolan and star Heath Ledger drew on a diverse array of influences both in and out of comics to craft the film’s version of the Clown Prince of Crime. Before attempting to write the character, the Nolan brothers revisited Fritz Lang’s classic film The Testament of Dr. Mabuse as a study in how to write supervillains.
As for Ledger, he famously locked himself away in a hotel room for weeks, experimenting with voices. And he mannerisms until he developed something he was satisfied with. Among his inspirations: Sex Pistols icons Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious and the anarchist character Alex from Stanley Kubrick’s classic film A Clockwork Orange.
3. NOLAN WAS INITIALLY RELUCTANT TO MAKE A SEQUEL.
Nolan and Goyer had ideas for how a trilogy of films would happen, of course, but after Batman Begins hit big, Nolan instead went off to make magician drama The Prestige. Ultimately, the lure of telling a Joker story proved too enticing for Nolan to pass up, and he eventually re-teamed with Goyer to begin mapping out the story that would become The Dark Knight.
4. HEATH LEDGER WAS THE FIRST CHOICE TO PLAY THE JOKER.
Though other stars like Adrien Brody expressed an interest in playing the film’s key villain, Heath Ledger was the only name on Nolan’s wish list.
“When I heard he was interested in the Joker, there was never any doubt. You could just see it in his eyes,” Nolan told Newsweek. “People were a little baffled by the choice, it’s true. But I’ve never had such a simple decision as a director.”
5. YES, HEATH LEDGER REALLY DID KEEP A JOKER DIARY.
Because of the actor’s untimely death in January 2008, at the age of just 28, Ledger’s performance as The Joker has been somewhat mythologized by fans. So the idea that he kept a secret “Joker diary” while getting into character might sound apocryphal. In fact, Ledger really did make a diary while preparing to play the character.
It included various clipped art (Alex from A Clockwork Orange figures heavily), stylized notes, and even lines from the script recopied in his own handwriting. In 2013, Ledger’s father Kim revealed the diary in a documentary. And he noted that his son did immersive work like this for every role. But “really took it up a notch” for The Joker.
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