The Dark Knight (2008)

 ●  English ● 2 hrs 26 mins

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Based on the DC comics character Batman, this sequel to Batman Begins (2005) opens at a time when Gotham's new district attorney has just been elected. His name is Harvey Dent, and he has a radical new agenda that threatens to take down Gotham's organized crime underworld once and for all with an iron fist. But the emergence of the rogue vigilante known as Batman has caused problems for Dent and his agenda. A new criminal mastermind known only as "The Joker" has arrived and aims to take Gotham out from under Harvey Dent's iron fist. The Joker stages a masterfully planned bank robbery and robs the Gotham mob blind. He uses this money to stage a series of horrific and strategic attacks against the city and its' people - each one carefully planned and aimed at Dent and Batman while causing the rest of the city to enter panic mode. Meanwhile, Batman thinks he might have found a lead to The Joker thanks to Wayne Enterprises' dealings with a shady Chinese banker, and that takes Batman and Alfred to Hong Kong. The Joker has no rules, but Batman has only one, and the Joker aims to make Batman break his only rule. But who will be the one to take him out - will it be rogue vigilante Batman or will it be elected official Harvey Dent, the new hero with a face?
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger

Crew: Christopher Nolan (Director), Wally Pfister (Director of Photography), Hans Zimmer (Music Director), James Newton Howard (Music Director)

Rating: U/A (India)

Genres: Action, Crime, Drama

Release Dates: 18 Jul 2008 (India)

Tagline: I Believe In Harvey Dent.

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Did you know? Elaborate, interactive marketing campaigns were launched in the months leading up to the release of this film. One of these was an event at the 2007 San Diego Comic-con called Why So Serious, which involved fans following clues hidden around the city. The legions of Joker-painted fans ended up congregating in the street across from the convention center, where one of their numbers was welcomed into a black Escalade (with Gotham license plates) that had just pulled up. After a moment the fan started screaming and the SUV sped away. Later that day, a Gotham City newspaper was circulated reporting that a man believed to be the Joker was found beaten to death. Included were crime scene photos of the fan who had gotten into the Escalade, and a mention that he was found with a playing card in his hand, on which was scribbled "See you in December." Read More
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Direction

Distribution

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Screenplay Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography

Music

Sound

Sound Designer
Sound Re-recording Mixer
Sound Effects Editor

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Set Decorator

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Casting Director

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Stunt Coordinator
Film Type:
Feature Film
Language:
English
Colour Info:
Color
Sound Mix:
Dolby Digital, DTS, Sony Dynamic Digital Sound
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1
Stereoscopy:
No
Taglines:
I Believe In Harvey Dent.
The night is darkest before the dawn.
Out of the darkness...comes the Knight.
Welcome to a world without rules.
Goofs:
Audio/Video Mismatch
When Alfred first meets Bruce Wayne in the "Batcave" they are talking. Bruce says, "That isn't exactly what I had in mind when I said I wanted to inspire people." The shot has already cut to another angle and Bruce's lips aren't moving, but he is still saying "inspire people."

Audio/Video Mismatch
In their final confrontation, when Batman struggles to get off the net, and the Joker tries to stab him with something, you hear the Joker's voice saying "All the old familiar places", but his lips never move.

Audio/Video Mismatch
When the school bus smashes through the wall during the bank heist, the goon that's supposed to get killed flies backward before the bus even gets near him, even thought there's a sound effect to suggest it hit him.

Audio/Video Mismatch
When Bruce is lounging on the cruise ship scene, he says, "You look tired, Alfred." In the next shot he puts down his cup and says, "You'll be alright without me?" but his lips don't move.

Audio/Video Mismatch
In the early vault scene, Lt. Gordon's speaking voice is also altered by mistake when he follows Batman, as Gordon says "we'd have to hit all the banks simultaneously, SWAT teams, backup": his voice is accidentally audio-"soured" as well.

Character Error
While planning to get into Hong Kong, Wayne says that he will use Korean smugglers who will fly under the radar the entire way there, and HALO jump out of the plane to get to the ground. HALO stands for High Altitude/Low Opening and the jumps are around 30,000 feet, well within radar range.

Character Error
When talking to Lucius about the cell phone surveillance device, Bruce says that "The database is null-key encrypted. Only one person can access it." In reality, null key encryption is an encryption scheme that doesn't change data at all, and is for when plaintext data is mandatory.

Character Error
Reese meets with Fox and shows him the Tumbler blueprints he's discovered. What is clearly the right side of the vehicle is marked on the print as the left elevation.

Continuity
As Batman interrogates the Joker, you can see that the amount of make-up on the Joker's forehead changes between the shots from almost fully covered to nearly disappeared (because of the slam on the table).

Continuity
When Lucius Fox is showing Bruce Wayne the new Batman armor, Wayne picks up a wrist-guard with plates that are designed to separate at the press of a button. Wayne launches the plates by mistake, but when he places the wrist-guard back into place, the plates are still there.

Continuity
During the bank heist scene, The Joker's hair changes from a natural brown color, to green right when he walks past the bus after it just crashed through the bank's wall.

Continuity
Two ferries are shown leaving Gotham just as the sun is going down. Later, it is established to be just shy of midnight, which would mean the ferries have been traveling for at least a few hours. Yet, the ferries are still shown as though they have just departed the harbor.

Continuity
In the scene that Bruce is taking care of the injury in his arm and Alfred starts to help him, he says: "There were more copycats last night, Alfred, with guns." When he says that, he is looking straight, directly to Alfred. But when Alfred speaks, Bruce is already looking down. This happens several times during this scene.

Continuity
During the SWAT chase scene, the joker fires several rockets at the SWAT caravan. The final rocket is intercepted by the tumbler after it jumps over a car. In the shot where the tumbler gets hit, the SWAT truck is present and right next to the airborne tumbler. In the next shot when the tumbler hits the ground, the SWAT truck is not there.

Continuity
During the bank heist, one of The Joker's men grabs a security officer in the bank lobby, who is clearly wearing a white shirt. In the next scene when the bank manager shoots one of The Joker's men holding the security officer - the officer is wearing a blue shirt.

Continuity
In the scene where Alfred hands Bruce a glass of champagne, there are three glasses left on the tray from which Alfred serves. When the camera changes angles, there are four glasses visible as Alfred passes Bruce.

Continuity
When the three robbers in the car (Grumpy, Chuckles, and Bozo/The Joker) enter the bank, Grumpy fires a shot in the air. Watch closely when Grumpy grabs a male teller saying "Let's go pal, I'm making a withdrawal here." In the background, Chuckles grabs the police officer standing near the entrance, drags him to a counter, and hits him in the back, which causes the cop to collapse. Apparently one hit to the back isn't enough, because just before the manager shoots Chuckles, the hit on the back is repeated.
Trivia:
This film is the first Batman movie to not have 'Batman' in it's title.

In preparation for his role as The Joker, Heath Ledger hid away in a motel room for about six weeks. During this extended stay of seclusion, Ledger delved deep into the psychology of the character. He devoted himself to developing The Joker's every tic, namely the voice and that sadistic-sounding laugh (for the voice, Ledger's goal was to create a tone that didn't echo the work Jack Nicholson did in his 1989 performance as the Joker). Ledger's interpretation of The Joker's appearance was primarily based on the chaotic, disheveled look of punk rocker Sid Vicious combined with the psychotic mannerisms of Malcolm McDowell's character, Alex De Large, from A Clockwork Orange (1971).

In Sir Michael Caine's opinion, Heath Ledger beat the odds and topped Jack Nicholson's Joker from Batman (1989): "Jack was like a clown figure, benign but wicked, maybe a killer old uncle. He could be funny and make you laugh. Heath's gone in a completely different direction to Jack, he's like a really scary psychopath. He's a lovely guy and his Joker is going to be a hell of a revelation in this picture." Caine bases this belief on a scene where the Joker pays a visit to Bruce Wayne's penthouse. He'd never met Ledger before, so when Ledger arrived and performed he gave Caine such a fright he forgot his lines.

During the scene where the Joker crashes Bruce Wayne's party for Harvey, when he first appears in the elevator Alfred was meant to have some lines, however this was the first time Michael Caine had seen Heath Ledger with the Joker make up on, you can even see the shocked expression on his face as the Joker walks past him.

In an interview, Heath Ledger said that the Joker was his favorite role.

After the Joker exits the hospital, the pause in the explosions was scripted, but Heath Ledger's actions while it was stopped were unscripted.

The first comic book movie to ever win an Oscar for achievement in acting, specifically to Heath Ledger (posthumously) for his supporting role as The Joker.

Heath Ledger designed the Joker make-up himself, using white clown makeup and cosmetics from a drugstore, reasoning that since the Joker himself would design and apply it, Ledger should do so as well. Once his design was approved, the makeup team was responsible for replicating the look each day for filming.

In the early minutes of each film in the trilogy the main villain (Ra's Al Guhl, Joker, Bane) disguises himself as one of his own henchmen and there is a conversation about said villain in each scene.

The Joker's distinctive tongue flip grew out of Heath Ledger's own habit of doing that.

While filming the chase scene with the Joker and the SWAT vans, one of only four IMAX cameras in the world at that time was destroyed.

Heath Ledger directed both homemade videos that the Joker sends to GCN himself. The first video involving the fake Batman was done under Nolan's supervision. Nolan thought Ledger had done so well with that sequence, he felt there was no need for him to be there when it came time to film the scene where reporter Mike Engel reads the Joker's statement. He put his trust in Ledger and let him do whatever he wanted, ultimately pleased with the result after he'd seen the outcome.

Heath Ledger's sudden death on January 22, 2008 prompted immediate speculation over the film's state. Soon after Ledger's tragic passing was announced, Warner Bros. Pictures issued a statement that verified that Ledger had finished all of his scenes in principal photography, as well as post-production fulfillments (i.e., looping), thus making The Joker his final, completed film role.

While the movie was filming a chase scene on Lake Street, the Chicago Police Department received several calls from concerned citizens stating that the police were involved in a vehicle pursuit with a dark vehicle of unknown make or model.

Trouble arose during a PR campaign before the movie's release,when a website related to the film sent out several cakes purportedly from The Joker, containing a cell phone inside which made the cake vibrate, and had wires sticking out, making the cake look like a bomb. One such news station which received one of the cakes, believed it to be an actual terrorist act, and the entire building had to be evacuated.

The first film to be ranked #1 on the IMDb within two days of its theatrical release.

Heath Ledger posthumously won a total of 32 Best Supporting Actor awards for his work on this film, including the Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG and Critics' Choice award. The only awards he was nominated for but didn't win were the Satellite Award (which went to Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road (2008)) and the London Film Critics' Circle Award for actor of the year (which went to Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler (2008)). Both Michael Shannon and Mickey Rourke would later go on to play comic book villains in films of their own; Shannon as General Zod in Man of Steel (2013) and Rourke as Ivan Vanko in Iron Man 2 (2010).

Blood is only ever seen three times on-screen: on the face of the civilian Batman that the Joker hangs, on Harvey's pillow in the hospital, and on Batman's arm due to the dog attacking him; most of the violence either occurs off-screen or is obscured by camera angles.

Christopher Nolan and his co-writers, Jonathan Nolan and David S. Goyer, made the decision very early on not to explore The Joker's origins. This was so the character could be presented as an "absolute".

The character of Reese is an allusion to The Riddler, who attempts to reveal the identity of Batman. Much like Edward Nygma whose name sounds like "enigma" (as in E. Nygma), Mr. Reese sounds like "mysteries".

While the film is dedicated to Heath Ledger, it also bears a dedication to Conway Wickliffe, a stuntman who was killed when the car he was driving crashed.

Bruce Wayne drives a Lamborghini Murcielago in the movie. The Spanish word for "bat" is "murciélago".

This is the first Batman movie where Batman operates outside of Gotham.

Heath Ledger came up with the idea that the Joker should have white makeup on his hands, implying that the Joker would have applied his facial makeup himself and gotten his hands dirty in the process.

The infamous growl performed by Christian Bale was much rougher in this film than Batman Begins (2005) and has been parodied countless times due to its extreme nature, however the common misconception is that Christian Bale was fully responsible for this voice. The real voice during filming was more toned down and then heightened to a rougher, grittier vibe during post-production under the decision of director Christopher Nolan.

Made more money than Batman Begins (2005)'s entire domestic run in only 6 days of release.

According to Christopher Nolan, Bruce Wayne's reasons for needing a new Batsuit (to be faster and more agile) were, in fact, the real reasons why Nolan wanted the Batsuit to be redesigned for this film.

Despite endless speculation on which actor had been chosen to portray The Joker, Heath Ledger had always been among Christopher Nolan's foremost choices for the role. Ledger & Nolan had met during the Batman Begins (2005) casting process for the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, but both the director and the actor agreed Ledger was wrong for the part. When casting the part of the Joker, Nolan met with several other actors before Ledger but found them reluctant to take the role because of the popularity of Jack Nicholson's performance in the original Batman (1989). Upon meeting with Ledger again, Nolan recognized him as the perfect choice for the part. When asked the reason for this unexpected casting, Nolan simply replied, "Because he's fearless."

Christian Bale got to keep the Batman mask from the movie, after filming. He wanted to keep the entire uniform but he did not have enough room for it.

Heath Ledger's posthumous Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor as the Joker was coincidentally announced on the first anniversary of his death.

Bruce Wayne wears a new Batsuit in the film. This Batsuit was an improvement on the outfit from Batman Begins (2005), and made Christian Bale more comfortable and agile in his performance. It was constructed from 200 unique pieces of rubber, fiberglass, metallic mesh, and nylon (producing an impression of sophisticated technology), with elastic banding added for tightening the costume to fit Bale. The gauntlets had their razors made retractable and able to be fired. The suit's cowl was based on a motorcycle helmet and separated from the neck piece, allowing Bale to move his head left/right/up/down, and comes equipped with white eye lenses for when Batman turns on Bat-sonar.

Elaborate, interactive marketing campaigns were launched in the months leading up to the release of this film. One of these was an event at the 2007 San Diego Comic-con called Why So Serious, which involved fans following clues hidden around the city. The legions of Joker-painted fans ended up congregating in the street across from the convention center, where one of their numbers was welcomed into a black Escalade (with Gotham license plates) that had just pulled up. After a moment the fan started screaming and the SUV sped away. Later that day, a Gotham City newspaper was circulated reporting that a man believed to be the Joker was found beaten to death. Included were crime scene photos of the fan who had gotten into the Escalade, and a mention that he was found with a playing card in his hand, on which was scribbled "See you in December."

Whilst filming in Chicago, Wanted (2008) was the neighboring production, and Morgan Freeman worked concurrently on both films. At one point, Wanted comic book writer Mark Millar visited the set but without permission. The security and Lauren Shuler Donner (who also visited the set at that time) caught Millar sitting on the Batpod. Millar was escorted away from the set.

The bus crashing backwards into the bank in the opening sequence was much harder to pull off than was anticipated. The bus had to be taken apart and reassembled inside the building (a disused post office), concealed behind a large false wall, and then propelled backwards with an air cannon.

Heath Ledger's Best Supporting Actor Oscar win marks the first time an Academy Award has been awarded in a major category to a comic book movie.

During the Hong Kong action scene (to bring Lau back), Batman shoots time-bombs on the glass which has a time of 2:22 minutes. The bombs explode almost exactly after 2 minutes 20 seconds in real time, which shows that the action could happen in almost 2 minutes.

Cillian Murphy reprises his role as Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow from Batman Begins (2005) in this film. This makes him the first actor to reprise the role of a Batman villain in the whole film series.

During the chase scene, when the Joker takes over driving the semi after his driver is killed, the bullet holes on the windshield form a smiley face.

The Batman theme is heard only twice in the film, as composers Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard decided that a heroic theme that a viewer could hum would ignore the complexity and darkness of the character. Hearing the tune only twice would create what Zimmer calls "a musical foreshadowing."

When Harvey Dent disarms the witness in court, he removes the magazine from the stock and holds it in his small finger. This is actually the correct procedure for emergency reloads and correcting malfunctions.

David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan collaborated on the story of the film. The script itself was written by Nolan and his brother Jonathan Nolan. After watching 'The Dark Knight', Goyer stated "I can't believe my name is on a movie this good".

Even though Christopher Nolan offered her the part, Katie Holmes decided not to reprise her role as Rachel Dawes. Instead, she opted to co-star with Diane Keaton and Queen Latifah in Mad Money (2008) that same year. Sarah Michelle Gellar, Isla Fisher, Emily Blunt and Rachel McAdams were all considered for the role before Maggie Gyllenhaal stepped in.

Many believe that one of the key reasons why the Academy moved from five Best Picture nominations to 10 was because two of the best received films of the year - The Dark Knight (2008) and WALL·E (2008) - were not among the five nominees.

Jerry Robinson, one of the original creators of the Joker back in 1940, was hired as a consultant on the film (the Joker is to be portrayed according to his first two appearances in the comics, which Robinson was involved in). His "Batman" co-creator Bob Kane had earlier been hired as a consultant for Batman (1989).