The untimely death of Heath Ledger was shocking and sad not least because he was so young but also because he impressed so much in his work. Whether it was industry insiders or fans, like myself, who’d grown up with him as a reliable hartthrobby leading man and were eager to watch him take the Joker to places we’d never seen the character before in cinema, there were a lot of people who felt that a historic acting career had been cut short just as it was starting to hit its stride.
And, okay, I’m a little ashamed to say that one of my other immediate thoughts was to wonder how this would affect The Dark Knight and the movies that came after it, and how Christopher Nolan‘s uncompromising commitment to his stories and their thematic arcs would conflict with the desire to do right by a colleague now gone. Nolan himself talked to Empire about how the Joker will affect The Dark Knight Rises, and the rest is going behind the cut for those who don’t want that question answered until they actually see the movie. So if you’re one of those people don’t read past this point.