The superhero film, Batman: The Dark Knight, based on Batman, a DC comic character was released in 2008. Upon its release, The Dark Knight was a big box office success. The film received very good reviews from the critics. It was called the best film of the year, and around 287 critic’s top 10 lists included it. The Dark Knight was also loved, and admired by the public. People loved the story, the music, and the Joker’s character played by Heath Ledger. The Library of Congress included Batman: The Dark Knight in the United States National Film Registry for preservation, for being historically, culturally, or aesthetically significant.

The Batman and the Joker meeting in The Dark Knight
Joker and Batman

The Dark Knight earned around $1.005 billion on box office, with its budget of $185 million. At the time it became the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time, and it was the highest-grossing film of the year 2008. With its earning of $158 million on its domestic release, it became the highest-grossing domestic opening film of all time, and it held this record for three years. The Dark Knight was nominated for eight Academy Awards (Oscar) in different categories at the 81st Academy Awards, of which it won two; Best Supporting Actor (Heath Ledger), and Best Sound Editing.

The Dark Knight (2008)

Production Company:                   Warner Bros. Pictures, DC Comics, Legendary Pictures, Syncopy

Producer(s):                       Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan

Director(s):                         Christopher Nolan

Release Date:                    July 14, 2008 (United States), July 18, 2008 (United Kingdom)

Film Duration:                  2 hours 32 minutes

Batman: The Dark Knight Official Trailer

Cast of Batman: The Dark Knight

Christian Bale as Batman/ Bruce Wayne

A billionaire socialite who operates as a batman hailed as Gotham City’s “Dark Knight”

Heath Ledger as the Joker

A psychopathic criminal mastermind who poses as an “agent of chaos”.

Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth

Bruce’s confidant and trusted butler.

Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox

Wayne Enterprises’ newly appointed CEO, who is now well aware of his employer’s double life.

Gary Oldman as James Gordon

One of the city’s few honest cops and a lieutenant in the Gotham City Police Department.

Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent

The district attorney hailed as the “White Knight” of Gotham.

Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes

One of the few people who knows Batman’s real identity, and Gotham City’s assistant district attorney and Bruce’s childhood friend.

Awards and Nominations

  • The Dark Knight was nominated for eight Academy Awards(Oscars) in several categories. It won two awards in the Best Supporting Actor category, and in the Best Sound Editing category.
  • It was nominated for nine BAFTA awards, of which it won one award, in the Best Supporting Actor category, which was posthumously given to Heath Ledger.
  • Heath Ledger was also won a Golden Globe Award in Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture. It was the only Golden Globe nomination or a win of the film.

The film was nominated for many major, international and domestic awards and it won several.

Plot of Batman: The Dark Knight

Christopher Nolan directed, made, and co-wrote The Dark Knight. The film’s story begins a year after the events of Batman Begins (2005), Batman, Lieutenant James Gordon, and new District Attorney Harvey Dent succeed in apprehending the criminals that haunt Gotham City, before a mysterious and sadistic criminal mastermind known only as “The Joker” arrives in Gotham, causing a new wave of chaos. The mobs recruit the Joker, a psychopathic criminal genius who offers to kill Batman and bring the city to its knees after Gordon, Dent, and Batman launch an attack on Gotham’s organized crime. The fight between Batman and The Joker becomes intensely personal, causing him to “confront everything he believes” and improve his technology in order to beat him. Between Bruce Wayne, Dent, and Rachel Dawes, a love triangle emerges.

The Batman in The Dark Knight

Story

The film starts with the scene when a gang of criminals robs a mob bank in Gotham City, murdering each other for a larger share of the loot until only the Joker is left; he flees with the cash.

Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight

To rid Gotham of organized crime, Batman, District Attorney Harvey Dent, and Lieutenant Jim Gordon form an alliance. Dent’s idealism impresses Bruce Wayne, who agrees to help him further his career; he hopes that with Dent as Gotham’s protector, he will give up becoming Batman and live a normal life with Rachel Dawes, despite the fact that they (Rachal and Dent) are dating.

Gordon meeting The Batman in The Dark Knight

Sal Maroni, Gambol, and the Chechen have a videoconference with their crooked accountant, Lau, who has concealed their funds and fled to Hong Kong for safekeeping. The meeting is broken up by the Joker, who informs them that Batman is above the law and offers to kill him in return for half of their money. The mob finally accepts the offer after Joker kills Gambol and takes over his gang.

Dent is able to arrest the entire mob after Batman locates Lau in Hong Kong and takes him back to Gotham to testify. The Joker threatens a series of murders unless Batman exposes his true identity, and begins by assassinating Police Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb and Judge Surillo, who is overseeing the gang trial. Gordon sacrifices himself to avoid the assassination of Mayor Anthony Garcia, who is also attacked by the Joker. Dent discovers that Rachel is the next victim. Bruce makes the decision to disclose his real identity. Dent, however, interrupts him by announcing that he is Batman. so Dent is taken into protective custody The Joker emerges and attacks the convoy. Dent is saved by Batman, and Gordon, who pretended to die, arrests the Joker, he is promoted to Commissioner for his bravery and sacrifice. Rachel and Dent are escorted away by Maroni’s hitmen, and Gordon discovers later that they never made it home.

The Joker holding a Joker card

When Batman interrogates the Joker at the police station, he reveals that they were both imprisoned in different locations with explosives. Batman tries to save Rachel, Gordon tries to save Dent. When Batman arrives at the crime scene, he discovers that the Joker had sent him to Dent’s place. Rachel is killed and half of Dent’s face is disfigured as both buildings explode. The Joker makes his getaway with Lau, whom he kills later alongside the Chechen.

The Batman beating up The Joker in the 2008 film The Dark Knight

Coleman Reese, a Wayne Enterprises accountant, knows Batman’s true identity and wants to make the details public. The Joker threatens to ruin a hospital unless anyone kills Reese within the hour, not wanting his plans to be disrupted by Reese’s revelation. Gordon orders the evacuation of all Gotham hospitals and heads to Reese’s place to secure him. The Joker offers Dent a gun and persuades him to seek vengeance for Rachel’s death but dent could not, after that the Joker destroys the hospital and flees with a busload of hostages.

The Joker rigs two evacuating ferries with bombs, one for civilians and the other for prisoners, after declaring that Gotham will be under his control by nightfall. He threatens to blow up both ferries by midnight but will spare one if the passengers blow up the other with the detonator given to them by the Joker. With the reluctant assistance of Lucius Fox, Batman locates the Joker by using the sonar capabilities of all phones in the area. The civilians and the inmates refuse to kill each other, and Batman catches the Joker after a brief fight.

The Batman Vehicle

As Gordon and Batman arrive at the building where Rachel died, they run into Dent, who is keeping Gordon’s family hostage. Dent shoots Batman and threatens to kill Gordon’s son, alleging that Rachel’s death was caused by Gordon’s negligence. Batman, who was wearing body armor at the time, tackles Dent off the building to his death before flipping his coin for Gordon’s kid. Gordon is persuaded by Batman to keep him accountable for the killing spree in order to maintain Dent’s heroic profile. The police start a manhunt for Batman after Dent is hailed as a hero.

Gordon destroys the Bat-signal, Fox stands by as the sonar system self-destructs, and Alfred Pennyworth burns a letter from Rachel stating her intention to marry Dent.

Amazing Facts about Batman: The Dark Knight

  • Heath Ledger drew on a wide variety of comic-book and non-comics influences to create the film’s version of the Clown Prince of Crime. In preparation for his character Ledger locked himself in a hotel room for weeks, playing with different voices and body language before he found something he liked.
  • Many big stars wanted to play the role of the Joker in “The Dark Knight”, but Christopher Nolan chose Heath ledger when he heard that he was interested in the role. “When I heard he was interested in the Joker, there was never any doubt. You could just see it in his eyes” Nolan stated.
  • Michael Caine thought that the film would not be a big success, as he thought that no one could do the role of the Joker as well as Jack Nicholson did, but when he learned that Heath Ledger was cast to play the Joker, he got some confidence.
  • Heath Ledger kept a diary which he made during his stay at the hotel room while preparing for the role of Joker. In this diary, he wrote everything from Joker’s perspective. Diary is rumored to have some dark and horrific content written by Heath Ledger. He scrawled the words “BYE BYE” on the last page of the chilling “Joker diary.”
  • In the part when Joker goes to blow up a hospital while dressed as a nurse, if you look closely enough you would find that his name-tag says the name “Matilda”, which is the name of Ledger’s daughter. Quite a tribute to his daughter.
  • In the film, Ledger directed the two homemade videos that the Joker sent to GCN. Nolan oversaw the first (which included the assassination of the fake Batman), and he was so pleased with Ledger’s performance that he simply let him direct the second.
  • Remember when the Joker came out of the hospital with a detonator switch in his hand, but the bomb didn’t go off for a second? That wasn’t the intention. The bomb was supposed to detonate as soon as he pressed the button, but a pyrotechnics malfunction caused the blast to be delayed, so Ledger’s scene was just a brilliant improv.
  • If Ledger thought it was something the Joker might actually do, he went off-script during shooting, leading to famous moments like that one. When the Joker gives Commissioner Gordon the eerie slow clap, it wasn’t the part of the script, he was also improvising.
  • Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger won 32 best actor/supporting actor awards for this role including the Academy Award in the Best Supporting Actor category, t was the first time that anyone portraying a comic book character won an Academy Award.
  • The production team destroyed an IMAX camera, one of only four in the world at the time while shooting the chase scene with the Joker and the SWAT vans. The camera had to be replaced, which cost $500,000.

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