This article is about the film. For the Caped Crusader nicknamed "The Dark Knight", see Batman.
|The Dark Knight|
|Directed by:||Christopher Nolan|
|Produced by:|| Charles Roven|
|Written by:|| Characters:|
Bill Finger (uncredited)
Jerry Robinson (uncredited)
David S. Goyer
|Music by:|| Hans Zimmer|
James Newton Howard
|Release Date:|| July 14, 2008 (New York City)|
July 18, 2008 (United States)
|Previous Film:||Batman Begins|
|Next Film:||The Dark Knight Rises|
- "You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
- ―Harvey Dent[src]
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman, it is the sequel to the 2005 release, Batman Begins. The film is directed by Christopher Nolan and stars Christian Bale as Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Heath Ledger as The Joker, Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent / Two-Face, Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes, Gary Oldman as James Gordon and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. The Dark Knight was released July 18, 2008 in the United States.
The Dark Knight proved to be successful, and a sequel titled The Dark Knight Rises was commissioned for a 2012 release with both Nolan and Bale returning.
- "Because he's the hero that Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight."
- ―Excerpt from end of the film's novelization.[src]
Taking place roughly 9 months after the first film, The film begins with the disguised Joker and various clown masked henchmen robbing a mob-owned bank, and systematically double crossing each other, killing each other for a larger slice of money. Eventually the only survivor is the disguised Joker, who reveals himself to the bank manager and then takes the money for himself and drives away in a school bus (after shoving and detonating a smoke grenade into the bank manager's mouth), joining a line of other busses just as the cops arrive.
Taking on the Mafia
That night, multiple Batman impersonators, armed with guns, interrupt a drug deal/meeting between the Chechen and his gangsters and the Scarecrow. The real Batman shows up and manages to subdue everyone. However, he is hit multiple times and is brutally bitten in weak spots of his armor by Rottweiler dogs. Sustaining such injuries suffered during the confrontation force Bruce to make the decision of acquiring a new, more versatile suit of armor. With the rise of Gotham's criminal underworld, D.A. Harvey Dent begins to place more and more criminals behind bars, even defending himself successfully against an assassination attempt from mob boss Maroni during the crime lord's trial. Batman and Lieutenant James Gordon contemplate bringing Dent in on their plan to eradicate the mob, and the possibility that Dent will become the hero to the people that Batman cannot be. Dent is nicknamed the ‘White Knight of Gotham,’although Dent mentions in argument with Gordon that he had a different nickname in internal affairs (revealed later in the story). At the same time, Bruce Wayne and Dent are both competing for the love of Rachel Dawes; however, Dawes and Dent are romantically involved in a relationship.
The mob bosses see the combined effort of Dent, Batman and Gordon as a threat and decide to meet to discuss how to handle it. Their Chinese accountant, Lau, informs that he has secretly relocated the mob's money to prevent the police and the district attorney from seizing it in an imminent bank raid.
The Joker arrives and after killing a hostile mobster's crony by way of a "magic trick" (involving sticking a pencil into the table, and then slamming the crony's head onto the pencil, sending it through his eye socket), proposes to kill Batman for half their money, and also tries to convince them that Lau will give them all up to the police if he is caught. The Joker insults one of the mob leaders named Gambol, who offers $500,000 for the Joker dead and $1,000,000 alive so he can "teach him some manners." The mob bosses don't take 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 bosses money, Wayne is given highly more adjustable and maneuverable equipment for his suit by Lucius Fox. Also included in Batman’s new armor is a new 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 telling they killed the Joker, laying a corpse wrapped in garbage bags on the pool table.
The ruse works and the Joker emerges alive from the bags, inserting a knife in Gambol's mouth and kills him. Taking the suit with him, Fox then travels with Bruce Wayne to Hong Kong and gives Wayne a sonar-device that can lock onto cell phones and emit a visual image of the phone’s surroundings. It will look like they've come to cancel negotiations between Lau's investment firm (which Bruce thinks is illegal based on their profits) and Wayne Enterprises. That night Batman, donning his new suit, manages to infiltrate Lau’s office, take out the protection and escape with Lau.
An Ultimatum for Gotham
After Batman successfully returns to Gotham he delivers Lau to the Gotham City police. Lau makes a deal with the D.A. and Rachel Dawes to give the name of all of his clients in return for being placed on county watch. The mob bosses are all placed under arrest. However, a few mobsters manage to evade the prison system and agree to pay the Joker half of their money in return for helping them. The Joker broadcasts a message to all of Gotham stating that if the Batman does not turn himself in to the police, then he will kill innocent people every day. The Joker gives various clues as to who he plans to kill next (based on three traces of DNA found on a Joker card): Commissioner Loeb, Judge Surillo and Harvey Dent.
Gordon makes emergency preparations to protect them, but in the cases of Surillo and Loeb, he fails. Surillo is seen being taken into protective custody, and the men leading her to her car say that they don't know where she is going, but where she is going is in the envelope. As soon as Surillo gets in the car and opens the envelope, she finds only a single word: "UP." Sure enough, the car blows up. Meanwhile, Gordon is trying to convince Loeb about the seriousness of the situation, and Loeb drinks a bottle of whiskey. Gordon figures that perhaps the DNA on the Joker card in question came from someone lifting a sample from a tissue or glass in Loeb's possession. He wheels around, only to see Loeb collapse from severe poisoning.
At a fund raising party thrown for Dent by Wayne, Harvey asks Rachel, in a private area, if she will marry him. Before she can give a full answer Harvey is locked in a secure room by Bruce just as the Joker interrupts the party, demanding to know where Harvey Dent is. When the Joker cannot find Dent, he goes to Rachel and assumes she is Dent's romantic interest (after threatening a guest that, according to him, resembles his hated father), Batman eventually arrives and takes on the Joker and his henchmen. The confrontation eventually ends with the Joker escaping by dropping Rachel out the building while Batman saves her life.
The next day, at a public service memorial for the late Commissioner, the Joker, disguised as an police honor guardsman (the Joker and his henchmen stripped the actual Ceremonial arms of their uniforms, as well as tied them up, blindfolded and gagged them in Melvin White's apartment prior to the funeral), shoots at Mayor Garcia. Gordon jumps in front of and is shot in the chest, saving the mayor. Dent manages to capture and interrogate a thug working for the Joker whose name is Thomas Schiff. Meanwhile Sal Maroni is captured in a club and interrogated by Batman for the Joker's location.
As Batman holds him off the side of a building on a fire escape landing, Maroni arrogantly points out the fall would be non-fatal. Batman simply replies, "I'm counting on it" and drops him, injuring Maroni's legs. Maroni claims not to know the Joker's location, and that no one will cross him for Batman (because the Joker has no rules; whereas Batman will not kill), he tells Batman that the only way he'll find the Joker is if he gives in to his demands and lets him come find him.
Meanwhile Dent, after seeing the thug's name tag which read "OFFICER RACHEL DAWES", calls Rachel and tells her that the Joker has named her "next", and to go to anyone she can trust, which turns out to be Bruce. However, his interrogation is interrupted by Batman. Realizing what is happening, Bruce (as Batman) states to Dent that he needs to reveal who he truly is in order to save Gotham and stop the killings. At a press conference the next day, held by Dent, Wayne is about to step forth but before he can do so, Dent publicly claims that he is Batman, as part of a ruse to draw the Joker out of hiding. Rachel is upset with Bruce not interfering and admitting that Harvey is not Batman and that he is. She leaves Alfred a note to give to Bruce ‘when the time is right’.
Arrested and in route to re-location, Dent’s transport is ambushed by a garbage truck and a semi trailer driven by the Joker and his henchmen and thugs (the semi-truck, which has the word LAUGHTER in the side, has an S spraypainted before the L to make the word SLAUGHTER, and has HA-HA-HA painted all over it). But Batman arrives in the Batmobile, crashing the garbage truck and driving to the rescue. The Joker attempts to kill Dent during transport, and using an RPG, hits the approaching Batmobile causing it to crash with irreparable damage.
Here, Batman takes on his ‘secondary’ transportation, the Batpod which bursts out the front of the self-destructing Batmobile. Batman successfully causes the Joker's truck to stop by flipping it over with cables. But as the Joker stands in the middle of the road yelling "HIT ME" at the fast approaching Batpod, Batman is forced to crash in order to avoid killing the Joker (honoring his no kill policy) and lays wounded on the ground. Suddenly, Gordon, who faked his death and had been driving Dent's transportation van, sneaks up behind the Joker and arrests him.
The Joker's Game
Dent is released and applauded by the press for his bravery before being driven home by Detective Wuertz. Gordon is promoted to commissioner by Mayor Garcia for his efforts. With the Joker in custody, everything seems to be safe. Unfortunately, a bit later, it is revealed that Dent never made it home.
When questioned as to what he did to him, the Joker hints that Detective Wuertz was the one responsible for Dent's predicament (which later turns out to be true.); then Gordon, desperate to save Dent, leaves the Joker in Batman's hands. Batman then interrogates the Joker in a brutal fashion until the Joker intentionally reveals that Rachel and Dent have been taken to opposite sides of the city, far-enough apart that Batman does not have time to save both of them. Bruce speeds off to save Rachel, while Gordon and the police head after Dent.
Unknown to them, the Joker has switched the locations, sending Batman after Dent and Gordon after Rachel. Rachel and Harvey, tied to chairs, are able to communicate through an intercom. The two reassure each other that everything will be okay. As Dent attempts to escape he falls getting the left side of his face doused in gasoline. The Joker provokes a police-officer to attack him and manages to hold him as a hostage and walk out of the room and into the main lobby.
Then, with the help of a pre-planted phone bomb, the Joker escapes with Lau in tow. Rachel tells Dent that she will marry him just as Batman arrives at the location that was supposed to be Rachel’s location and rescues Dent. Then both buildings explode; the left side of Dent's face ignites during the explosion due to the oil he fell into earlier, severely disfiguring that side.
Gordon does not reach Rachel in time; she dies in the explosion. Alfred reads the letter Rachel left which says that she was going to marry Harvey and couldn't wait anymore for Bruce. He was going to give it to Bruce but seeing him in grief he decides not to. Bruce feels guilty for the death of Rachel and for what has happened to Dent stating he is "Gotham's true hero" and Alfred tells him that Gotham will have to make do with Batman; Bruce also states he knew Rachel would have waited for him to stop being Batman and they would have been together.
In Gotham General Hospital, Dent is driven to madness over the loss of Rachel, which he blames on Batman, Gordon and the Joker. Gordon is curious as to why Dent, despite the massive injuries, refused to have skin grafts or medication. When Gordon asks if he knew who took him captive he asks him why would he listen to him now and then demands the nickname the cops gave him which Gordon reveals to be "Harvey Two-Face," Dent then replies "Why should I hide who I am?".
The Joker publicly states that he no longer cares about killing Batman because he is ‘too much fun’ and that if the Wayne employee, Coleman Reese, who supposedly knows who Batman really is, is not killed to prevent the secret from slipping, then he will blow up a hospital. All hospitals begin immediate evacuation. At Gotham General, Joker arrives disguised as a nurse to corrupt Dent.
Dent, unable to move due to bed restraints, is convinced by the Joker to exact revenge on the cops, mobsters, Gordon and Batman for killing his love (Also, Dent decides the Joker's fate with his half scarred double head coin. While not shown in the movie, it's implied that Joker got the clean side of the coin, as the Joker walks out alive as the hospital blows up.). Dent leaves taking the name of Two-Face and the Joker blows up the hospital while kidnapping a bus of hospital patients.
While Two-Face confronts the corrupt cops and the mobsters one by one, flipping his coin to decide their fates, the Joker burns Lau at the top of the clown's share of mob money and double-crosses the mob telling them "this city deserves a better class of criminal and I'm gonna give it to to them." The Joker then declares on T.V that he will rule the streets and that anyone left in Gotham at nightfall will be subject to his rule. Eventually the city attempts to leave, although, all road ways and bridges have been cut off due to the Joker's threat. However, two ferries remain and each one becomes full. One carries prisoners and the other, regular citizens.
At Wayne Enterprises, Fox discovers that Batman has expanded on the sonar technology and developed an advanced surveillance system that can listen in and track the movement of anyone from the thousands of cell phones in the city; Fox agrees to help by monitoring the sonar, but says he will resign if the machine is not destroyed after the Joker is gone since this essentially contradicts what Wayne believes in.
An Ace in the Hole
The Joker plants explosives on the two ferries of evacuees and gives the passengers on board the chance to destroy the opposing vessel, in order to save their own lives but warns them that unless a decision is made, he will blow up both ferries at midnight. With his ‘sonar-vision’, Batman tracks the Joker to an uncompleted skyscraper. The building is called the Prewitt building. Elsewhere Two-Face forces Detective Ramirez into getting Gordon's Family out of their home and lead them to him. He then phones and tells Gordon of the situation. When Gordon asks where his family is, Two-Face replies "Where my family died".
At the Joker's hideout the SWAT team move in to take out the Joker's henchmen and save the hostages, but the Joker has ironically disguised his henchmen as the hostages and the hostages as the henchmen, who are gagged with duct tape, and have clown masks shoved over their faces (which Batman discovers). While Batman takes down the real criminals, he is forced to temporarily take down the SWAT team from harming the real hostages. Batman succeeds and moves to face the Joker. The Joker and Batman have one final confrontation. The Joker sends Rottweiler dogs at Batman, who manages to get rid of them. However, Batman is repeatedly hit by the Joker, who uses a steel pipe. The Joker manages to subdue Batman under a column and forces him to watch as midnight approaches but nothing happens as neither the citizens or the convicts are willing to kill the other. The Joker looks on in confusion as Batman says to him "What were you trying to prove, that deep down, everyone’s as ugly as you? You’re alone."
The Joker is unphased by this remark and pulls out a detonator preparing to blow up both ships. However, he is caught off guard when Batman projects the steel spikes from his gauntlet at the Joker causing him to release his grip on Batman and the detonator. Batman then throws the cackling man off the building but, to the Joker's annoyance, Batman refuses to kill him, instead grabbing him with his grapple gun and leaves him hanging upside down. With this act, the Joker acknowledges that Batman really is incorruptible but that Dent is no longer the "White Knight"; he's unleashed the scarred man on the city and dubbed him his "Ace in the hole". Batman leaves to find Two-Face while the SWAT team moves in and arrests the Joker.
As Gordon arrives at the place where Rachel died, Two-Face beats down Gordon and is angry to see cops outside the building, Gordon tells him that they only know there is a situation and know nothing about what is happening. Dent then decides to kill Gordon's son and stands at the edge of the building. Batman finds Two-Face, along with Gordon's family, at the building where Rachel died. He tells Two-Face not to hurt the boy, so the former D.A. judges those people he believes are responsible for Rachel's death who were Batman, Gordon and himself.
Two-Face proceeds to judge Batman, himself, and Gordon's son through the chance of a coin flip, which he sees as the only fairness left in the world and seeing it as that everyone will have a 50/50 chance just like Rachel. Two-Face flips for (bad heads) Batman and shoots Batman in the stomach. He flips the coin again to decide his own fate (good heads), but before he can determine the boy's fate, Batman tackles him (survived Two-Face's shot due to his body armor) over the side of the building, saving Gordon's son (the third coin flip for Gordon's Son was shown to be the Good Heads).
As Two-Face lies dead from a broken neck, Batman and Gordon decide that the Joker would win if anyone found out about Dent's corruption and madness because people would lose hope. Batman convinces Gordon to tell Gotham that he, not Dent committed the murders in order to preserve Dent's image as Gotham’s ‘White Knight’ and to give the city hope.
Gordon is reluctant to do so, but Batman explains he's whatever Gotham needs him to be while future events show: Gordon destroys the Bat-Signal in-front of the police and the press, a manhunt is issued for Batman; Alfred burns the note Rachel left knowing that Bruce will be heartbroken if he reads it; while Lucius (unknowingly but pleased) destroys the 'sonar vision' using a self-destruct code as told by Batman: and Gotham has a funeral for the "White Knight".
Batman takes off into the night but Gordon’s son does not understand the reasoning for why Batman must be hunted. But Gordon explains "because he can take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a silent guardian; a watchful protector; a Dark Knight."
The Dark Knight received a PG-13 rating for intense sequences of violence and some menace by the MPAA. The film is rated 12A by the BBFC for moderate violence and sustained threat.
- Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman
- Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth
- Heath Ledger as The Joker
- Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent/Two-Face
- Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes
- Gary Oldman as James Gordon
- Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox
- Colin McFarlane as Gillian Loeb
- Chin Han as Mr. Lau
- Michael Jai White as Gambol
- Ritchie Coster as The Chechen
- Eric Roberts as Sal Maroni
- Sarah Jayne Dunn as Sal Maroni's Mistress
- Nestor Carbonell as Mayor Garcia
- Anthony Michael Hall as Mike Engel
- Joshua Harto as Coleman Reese
- William Fichtner as Manager of Gotham National Bank
- Cillian Murphy as Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow
- Bruce Wayne/Batman
- The Joker
- Harvey Dent/Two-Face
- Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow
- Lt. James Gordon
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Rachel Dawes
- Lucius Fox
- Sal Maroni
- Commissioner Gillian Loeb
- Judge Janet Surillo
- Mike Engel
- Coleman Reese
- Manager of Gotham National Bank
- The Chechen
- Wilmer Rossi
- The Joker's bus driver
- The Joker's truck driver
- The Joker's black bounty hunter
- The Joker's white bounty hunter
- The Joker's second white bounty hunter
- Barbara Gordon
- James Gordon, Jr.
- Gordons' Daughter
- Detective Anna Ramirez
- Detective Michael Wuertz
- Brian Douglas
- Gerard Stephens
- Detective Murphy
- Thomas Schiff
- Sergeant Raphael Mayer
- Jeremy Polk
- Willy Davis
- Kirk Packer
- Ronald Coburgh
- Nurse of Gotham General Hospital
- Judge Freel
- John Stone
- Kelly Peck
- Richard Patterson
- Raymond Patterson
- Sal Maroni's Mistress
- Unintimidated Gentleman at Party
- Passionate Woman at fundraising party
- Passionate Man at fundraising party
- Pencil Trick Thug
- Surrillo's Killers
- Drug Dealer
- Drug Buyer
- Fear Toxin Junkie
- Italian Crime Boss at summit
- Black Crime Boss at summit
- Teller of Gotham National Bank
- LSI Security Guard
- LSI VP
- Hong Kong Detective
- Patrick Harvey
- Richard Dent
- Carmine Falcone (mentioned only)
- Melvin White (mentioned only)
- Burmese Bandit (mentioned only)
- O'Brien (mentioned only)
- Richards (mentioned only)
- Burns (mentioned only)
- Zachary (mentioned only)
- The Joker's Father (mentioned only)
- The Joker's Mother (mentioned only)
- The Joker's Wife (mentioned only)
- Gotham City Police Department
- Major Crimes Unit
- The Joker's Thugs
- Sal Maroni's Thugs
- The Chechen's Thugs
- Gambol's Thugs
- Lau's Thugs
- Scarecrow's Thugs
- Moscow Ballet
- Falcone Crime Family (mentioned only)
- Bruce Wayne's MV Agusta F4 1078
- Bruce Wayne's Lamborghini Murciélago LP640
- Korean Smugglers' C-130 cargo plane
- Moscow Ballet Yacht
- The Joker's Semi Truck
- International 4300 (Armored truck)
- Gotham (State)
- Hong Kong
- The Joker's Robbery of Gotham National Bank
- Mob Summit
- Capturing Lau
- The Joker's Video Threat
- Attempted Assassination of Harvey Dent
- Attempted Assassination of Mayor Garcia
- Stand-Off in the Streets
- Ferry Threat and Prewitt Building Rescue
- Two-Face's coin
- The Chechen's rottweilers
- The Gotham Times
- Scatterin' Monkey
- 4 A Moment of Silence
Before the release of Batman Begins, screenwriter David S. Goyer had written a treatment for two sequels, introducing the Joker and Harvey Dent. On July 31, 2006, Warner Bros. Pictures officially announced the initiation of production for the sequel, titled The Dark Knight. The title makes The Dark Knight the first live-action Batman film without the word Batman in its title. Christian Bale noted, "This take on Batman of mine and Chris' is very different from any of the others and everything else always had Batman in the title." Christopher Nolan described the sequel's theme as escalation, continuing how Batman Begins ended, with "things having to get worse before they get better." Nolan indicated that The Dark Knight would also continue the themes that Batman Begins had, such as justice vs. revenge and Bruce Wayne's father issues, while Jonathan Nolan has indicated that the film will show more of Batman as a detective. The Dark Knight is also based on The Long Halloween and Dark Victory.
The story was co-written by Christopher Nolan and screenwriter David S. Goyer, while the Nolan brothers took turns each month to revise the screenplay. The Dark Knight's interpretation of the Joker is based primarily on the character's first two appearances in the Batman comics, as well as Alan Moore's one-shot comic book Batman: The Killing Joke, which was given to Heath Ledger in order to prepare for his role. Jerry Robinson, one of the co-creators of the basic concept for the Joker in the comics, is involved as a consultant on the portrayal of the character. The Nolan brothers were highly secretive, with Christopher Nolan refusing to let Ledger leave his house with a copy of the script.
In October 2006, film location manager Robin Higgs visited Liverpool to scout locations, mainly along the city's waterfront, for filming The Dark Knight. Other scouted locations included Yorkshire, Glasgow, and parts of London. Producer Charles Roven originally stated in August 2006 that principal photography would begin in March 2007, but filming was pushed back to start in April. For its IMAX release, Nolan had four major action sequences, including the Joker's introduction, shot in the format. Nolan admitted he wished he could have shot the entire film in IMAX, and felt, "I figured if you could take an IMAX camera to Mount Everest or outer space, you could use it in a feature movie."
Warner Bros. chose Chicago as a filming location with a plan to film there for 13 weeks, due to Nolan having had a "truly remarkable experience" filming there for part of Batman Begins. The crew shot there from April 18–24, 2007 for the film's prologue involving the Joker. The crew returned to shoot there from June 9, 2007 to early September. Production of The Dark Knight in Chicago will generate $45 million in the city's economy and create thousands of jobs. According to actor Michael Caine, the film will also be shot in London, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Hong Kong. Hong Kong's walled city of Kowloon had been an influence on the Narrows in Batman Begins.
In an October 2006 interview, composer Hans Zimmer confirmed he and James Newton Howard would be returning to score The Dark Knight, teaming up as they did on Batman Begins. Zimmer said that the main Batman theme was purposely introduced at the end of Batman Begins and be fleshed out in the sequel as the character develops. On January 22, 2008, Heath Ledger, who played the Joker, died of an accidental overdose.
In May 2007, the studio launched a teaser page for The Dark Knight. Later in the month, a second teaser page was launched, featuring an image from the fictional political campaign of Harvey Dent, portrayed in the film by Aaron Eckhart, that was captioned, "I Believe in Harvey Dent". Soon after, a mimmick site appeared called IBelieveinHarveyDentToo. It showed a Jokerized version of Harvey Dent's campaign poster. Little by little, the pixels diminished into the first official photo of the Joker. Joker then set up a website called WhySoSerious.com, where he left updates on his recent criminal activity and interactive games.
The Dark Knight Novel
- Main article:The Dark Knight (Book)
The Dark Knight Video Game
- Main article:The Dark Knight (Video Game)
The Dark Knight Soundtrack
- Main article:The Dark Knight (soundtrack)
- "Why So Serious?
- "Welcome to a world without rules."
- "Out of the darkness...comes the Knight."
- "What doesn't kill you makes you stranger!"
- "The night is darkest before the dawn."
- "I Believe In Harvey Dent."
The Dark Knight was open to universal acclaim among critics, audiences, and culture alike. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 94% overall approval of 277. The film also rated 82% on Metacritic. Roger Ebert describes The Dark Knight as a "haunted film that leaps beyond it origins and becomes an engrossing tragedy." He praises the performances, direction, and writing, and says that the film "redefines the possibilites of the comic book movie." Ebert states that the key performance is by Heath Ledger, and pondered whether he would become the first posthumous Academy Award-winning actor since Peter Finch in 1976. Ledger ultimately won the Oscar. Ebert named it one of his twenty favourite films of 2008. The Dark Knight was ranked the 15th greatest film in history on Empire's 2008 list of the "500 Greatest Movies of All Time", based upon the weighted votes of 10,000 readers, 150 film directors, and 50 key film critics. Heath Ledger's interpretation of the Joker was also ranked 3rd on Empire's 2008 list of the "100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time."
The film also received a welcome from comic book fans and writers. Emanuel Levy wrote Heath Ledger "throws himself completely" into the role, and that the film represents Chris Nolan's "most accomplished and mature" work, and the most technically impressive and resonant of all Batman films.
Box Office Performance
The Dark Knight opened on July 14, 2008 in the United States in 9,200 screens at a then-record 4,366 theatres, accumulating $158.4 million over its opening weekend. The film went on to gross $1,001,921,825 worldwide. The Dark Knight is the highest grossing Batman film ahead of the 1989 Batman and 2005 Batman Begins. The Dark Knight was the highest grossing film of 2008 in the US.
Awards and Nominations
Just months after its release, The Dark Knight was voted by Empire readers as the 15th greatest film of all time. The Dark Knight was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won two:
- Best Supporting Actor - Heath Ledger
- Best Art Direction
- Best Cinematography
- Best Film Editing
- Best Makeup
- Best Sound Editing
- Best Sound Mixing
- Best Visual Effects
Note: Awards in bold are the awards The Dark Knight won.
The Dark Knight DVD and Blu-ray was put out on December 9, 2008.
Various Versions include:
- DVD Single Disc.
- DVD 2-Disc Steelbook.
- Blu-ray with the Joker cover.
- Blu-ray 2-Disc set with Bat-Pod stand.
- Blu-ray with clown bobble-head
- A special DVD package will come with a graphic novel of the film.
- The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray
Behind The Scenes
- According to court documents on Judge Surrillo's desk, Gotham City is located in the fictional US state of Gotham, a homage to New York, New York.
- These documents also reveal that the RICO case was held on July 25, 2008, likely placing the film's events between the beginning of July and the end of August 2008, setting the events in the immediate present based on when the film was released.
- During the events of this film, the population of Gotham City is roughly 30 million.
- The Bat symbol rising through a fire ball in the film's opening seems to indicate a running theme throughout the story. The Joker blows up a hospital, Judge Surillo, Lau, and Rachel are all destroyed by fire. Harvey Dent is transformed by fire burns. The Burmese Bandit was successfully captured by Alfred's unit burning the forest down. Alfred indicates that the Joker just wants to watch the world burn. The Joker lights Lau's money on fire. Before he announces that he will blow up a hospital, he says "Everything burns".
Following rumors that as with the DVD release for Batman Begins, The Dark Knight will not include any deleted scenes, which scenes may have been in the shooting script but unfilmed, filmed but cut, or developed by the novelization's author, Denny O'Neil, will remain ambiguous and left to speculation until official word comes from the film makers. The following are just a few of the known examples:
- Numerous alternate takes, notably differences of Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker between the film and its trailers.
- A great deal of backstory for Harvey Dent, including his parents, Harry and Lucy, and how Harvey came to meet Rachel.
- The Joker, while posing as Bozo before his robbery of Gotham National Bank, stood on the sidewalk waiting for his men to pick him up. An elderly woman stood near him and he slipped her a hundred dollar bill, either to walk away or keep silent about seeing him there.
- The Chechen had a lackey named Burton who told him about Scarecrow, and set up the meeting for them.
- Scarecrow sold his drug to a junkie for little money, then after he took the drug was killed by Scarecrow, with the intention of learning its effects.
- Apparently originally a knife held the note to Brian Douglas' chest, but an alternate scene was filmed showing the note held by a pin.
- Following the charity event in Bruce's penthouse, the following scene takes place: The Joker looks back toward the penthouse as his getaway car speeds away. He breathes hard, exhilarated even as a stream of blood runs down his face. He smacks the back of the driver's seat. Driver: "What do we do about Dent?" The Joker: "I'm a man of my word."
- Instead of saying he's going after Rachel, Batman says "Dent knew the risks."
- Rachel's last words before dying: "Bruce. Harvey. I love you."
- Gordon makes it clear that the Joker switched the locations of Rachel and Harvey in his directions.
- After blowing up the hospital and getting in the bus, a small excised scene takes place in the bus as it escapes, with particular attention going towards the fact that the Joker doesn't look back at the exploding hospital.
- "He thinks he can sit out and still take a slice? I know why they call him "the Joker"." - Grumpy
- "I believe whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you... stranger." - the Joker
- "I told you my compound would take you places. I never said they'd be places you wanted to go." - Scarecrow
- "Aha ha ho hee hee a-ha a-ha ho hee ha ha. And I thought my jokes were bad." - the Joker
- "How 'bout a magic trick?" - the Joker
- "You wanna know how I got these scars?" - the Joker
- "Why so serious?" - the Joker
- "You think you can steal from us and just walk away?" - Gambol
- "Yeah..." - the Joker
- "Let's put a smile on that face!" - the Joker
- "I make my own luck." - Dent
- "Heads, you keep yours. Tails - not so lucky." - Dent
- "Endure. You could be the outcast, you could make the choice that no one else will face. The right choice. Gotham needs you." - Alfred Pennyworth
- "You remind me of my father. And I hated my father." - the Joker
- "Let me get this straight: You think that your client, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world, is secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands. And your plan is to blackmail this person? Good luck." - Lucius Fox
- "A little fight in ya, I like that." "Then you're gonna love me." - the Joker and Batman
- "You know that day you once told me about, when Gotham would no longer need Batman? It's coming." - Bruce Wayne
- "Come on, I want you to do it, I want you to do it. Come on, hit me. Hit me!" - the Joker
- "To them you're just a freak...like me." - the Joker
- "You wanna know why I use a knife? Guns are too quick. You can't... savor all the little emotions. Yo-You see, in their last moments, people show you who they really are. So in a way, I knew your friends better than you ever did. Would you like to know which of them were cowards?" - the Joker
- "It's all a part of the plan." - the Joker
- "This town deserves a better class of criminal. And I'm gonna give it to 'em." - the Joker
- "It's a funny world we live in. Speaking of which, do you know how I got these scars?" "No, but I know how you got these!" - the Joker and Batman
- "You just couldn't let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You truly are incorruptible aren't you? You won't kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness, and I won't kill you, because you're just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever." "You'll be in a padded cell forever." "Maybe we can share one. They'll be doubling up, the rate this city's inhabitants are losing their minds." - the Joker and Batman
- "I took Gotham's white knight, and brought him down to our level. It wasn't hard. See, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little...push. Ahahahaha!" - the Joker
- "Sometimes, truth isn't good enough, sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded." - Batman
- "Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now... and so we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector... a dark knight." - Gordon
- "Well, according to the time, he could be in one place or several!" - The Joker
- "You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Dent
- "The night is always darker just before the dawn, and I promise you, the dawn is coming."- Dent
- "We're going to find him, and we're going to make him squeal." - The Joker
- Production Notes
- Official Teaser Page
- The Joker Why So Serious? Page
- Harvey Dent Political Campaign
- Gotham City Police Department site
- Gotham City Police Department Major Crimes Unit site
- Gotham City Police Department Internal Affairs Division site
- Gotham City National Bank site
- The Gotham Times newspaper site
- Gotham City Cable TV site
- Blog against corruption and political abuse
- Concerned Citizens for A Better Gotham site
- Gotham City Rail site
- Gotham City Ferry System site
- ↑ "Premiere Features Batman Begins", SuperHeroHype.com (2005-05-09). Retrieved on 2006-11-02.
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- ↑ Stax (2006-08-04). "Dark Knight Talks Dark Knight", IGN. Retrieved on 2006-10-03.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Josh Horowitz (2006-08-23). "Exclusive! Dirt on The Dark Knight!", Better Than Fudge. Retrieved on 2006-08-23.
- ↑ Stax (2006-10-03). "Exclusive: Nolan's Dark Knight Revelations", IGN. Retrieved on 2006-10-23.
- ↑ Robert Sanchez (2007-04-19). "Interview: IESB Gets the Skinny On All Things Comic Book from David Goyer!", IESB. Retrieved on 2007-04-19.
- ↑ Stax (2006-09-25). "Nolans Talk Dark Knight", IGN. Retrieved on 2006-10-03.
- ↑ Jonah Weiland (2006-09-06). "1-on-1: David Goyer Talks "Blade" The TV Series", Comic Book Resources. Retrieved on 2006-09-10.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Cindy Pearlman (2006-10-25). "Caped Crusader may alight here next year", Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved on 2006-10-25.
- ↑ Daniel Robert Epstein (2006-11-07). "Heath Ledger Talks Joker", Newsarama. Retrieved on 2006-11-08.
- ↑ "Updates On The Dark Knight Plus Our Own Exclusive On The Involvement Of Joker Creator Jerry Robinson In The Batman Sequel!", InsomniacMania.com (2006-08-24). Retrieved on 2006-08-28.
- ↑ "Heath Ledger Knows Little About 'Batman Begins' Sequel", Starpulse (2006-11-09). Retrieved on 2006-11-09.
- ↑ Catherine Jones (2006-10-13). "Batman film may swoop into Liverpool", icLiverpool. Retrieved on 2006-10-13.
- ↑ Heather Newgen (2006-08-12). "Producer Chuck Roven on The Dark Knight", SuperHeroHype.com. Retrieved on 2006-08-23.
- ↑ Rob Lowman (2007-02-19). "TRICKS OF THE TRADE (second article)", LA Daily News. Retrieved on 2007-02-20.
- ↑ Scott Bowles (2007-05-29). "First look: Enter the Joker — in the IMAX format", USA Today. Retrieved on 2007-05-29.
- ↑ Terry Armour (2007-01-28). "Quiet on the set? Not in this town", Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on 2007-01-30.
- ↑ "Batman's Back In Chicago", NBC (2007-04-18). Retrieved on 2007-04-19.
- ↑ Carolyn Giardina (2007-05-29). "'Dark Knight' heeds Imax signal", The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on 2007-05-29. Archived from the original on 2007-05-31.
- ↑ Lorene Yue (2007-06-08). "Batman movie filming to start Saturday", Chicago Business. Retrieved on 2007-06-08.
- ↑ Army Archerd (2007-01-04). "Don't Call it a Remake", Army Archerd. Retrieved on 2007-01-10.
- ↑ Jeff Otto (2005-06-05). "Interview: Christopher Nolan", IGN. Retrieved on 2007-01-10.
- ↑ Dan Goldwasser (2006-10-07). "Breaking the Rules with Hans Zimmer, Part 2", SoundtrackNet. Retrieved on 2006-10-07.
- ↑ Dan Goldwasser (2006-11-02). "Breaking the Rules with Hans Zimmer, Part 3", SoundtrackNet. Retrieved on 2006-11-03.
- ↑ "The Dark Knight Teaser Page Up", SuperHeroHype.com (2007-05-12). Retrieved on 2007-05-17.
- ↑ "Vote Harvey Dent for District Attorney!", ComingSoon.net (2007-05-17). Retrieved on 2007-05-17.
|Nolan Film Series|
|Films: Batman Begins • The Dark Knight • The Dark Knight Rises|