Ledger/Joker pictures: What’s a WB to do?


First OFFICIAL photo right here!

When it comes to movies, the one I’m living for more than any other is next summer’s Batman Begins sequel, The Dark Knight.

It’s filming now in Chicago, and you can see plenty of set photos right here on Bill “Jett” Ramey’s awesome Batman movie site, Batman on Film. Jett will be updating the page as photos come in, so keep checking back often.

(Yeah, yeah, I know what I said. But I’m not reading the spoilers, and believe me, there are plenty of them out there. Especially on the Superhero Hype! Boards, which I’m avoiding despite the unbearable urges I’m having to read all of the script excerpts and other goodies lurking inside.)

Of particular interest is this article on The Hype! that features a really blurry photo of Heath Ledger lurking around on set as The Joker.

This, of course, puts Warner Bros. in an interesting position. Do they go ahead and release a publicity photo of Ledger as The Joker now, so that the first really good glimpse we get of him comes from an official source rather than another blurry mess like the photo linked above?

Or, do they say “amateur bootleg photos be damned” and wait as long as they can before revealing a high quality photo of Heath in his makeup and costume? (Batman on Film reports that rather than the typical chalk-white face, Ledger’s Joker will have more of an ashen, grayish tone to his skin that’s more consistent with actual chemical burns and bleaching. It’s going to be disturbing as all hell, much like that shot of The Scarecrow in Begins where the camera just lingers on his mask for a few seconds while Cillian Murphy’s creepy, ice-blue gaze stares out like maniac through the burlap eye slits.)

I think I’d almost argue on the side of making us wait. Let Christopher Nolan and his team do what they do, and let them reveal The Joker on their own terms when they feel the time is right. Because quite frankly, even the best spy photos tend to be of terrible quality. When we finally see Heath as The Joker in all of his insane, scary glory, it’ll make the moment that much sweeter.

I’ll post the first official photo here as soon as Warner Bros. lets it loose. Which, according to the buzz on all the forums, might be sooner than we think.

Either way, Ledger is going to own the role. He’ll be the dangerous, devastatingly intelligent, seductive and utterly terrifying Joker from the comics. And given all the twists in Begins, I can’t wait to see what they do with the character in this movie. Whatever it ends up being, I know the fearless Mr. Ledger will knock it out of the park.

The Dark Knight will give the theater near you a new front door the hard way when the Batmobile puts it on the receiving end of a jet-fueled ramp-less jump on July 18, 2008. I’ll see you there. About 17 times.