‘The Dark Knight Rises’ to Resurrect the Joker with CGI

An animated Heath Ledger could still make an appearance in Christopher Nolan’s third Batman sequel.

The Joker may return in The Dark Knight Rises
The Joker may return in The Dark Knight Rises
The notion of Christopher Nolan incorporating unused footage of Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker from The Dark Knight in The Dark Knight Rises is not a new one. In fact, we revealed this information way back in October of 2008. Its been known for a long time that there were deleted scenes Nolan had saved for possible later use. The beloved villain is left dangling at the end of a rope during his climactic parting scene in The Dark Knight, and the character is in no way dead.

As production ramps up, so are new rumors that The Joker may actually be making an appearance in The Dark Knight Rises via this old footage and a little CGI manipulation. Director Christopher Nolan is keeping mum about this potential spoiler, and he refused to comment on this particular subject in a recent interview. Around the time of The Dark Knight's release, Nolan insisted that Heath Ledger wouldn't be making an appearance in the final chapter of his Batman trilogy, CGI or not. Maybe it was too close to the death of Ledger at the time of that decision, or Nolan simply wanted to keep it a secret and make it a surprise for the fans.

Now, sources close to the production team responsible for creating Clu 2.0 in Tron: Legacy, which enabled Jeff Bridges to play a younger version of himself, are saying that The Dark Knight Rises will pay a fitting tribute to Ledger's Oscar winning performance utilizing a mix of excised footage and new motion capture technology employing a look-a-like double. Don't expect a long exchange between Batman and the Joker, though. Heath Ledger's screen time might be on par with Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator Salvation cameo, which was completely animated and only lasted for a few minutes.

Showbiz Spy has new information on this old story, which has made many fans frown in the past. Their source states, "The idea is to use these fragments of cut scenes and use CGI to have The Joker appear one last time. Chris wants some continuity between movies and for the franchise to pay tribute to Heath and his portrayal of the Joker. It would only be a fleeting moment in the movie and would only be included with the full consent of Heath's family."

Is this right? Is this wrong? Is this what the fans want to see? It really depends on how much saved footage there truly is, and how much of it will be spooky CGI Heath as opposed to real Heath. It seems enough time has passed since the actor's death for this subject to not be such a sensitive issue.

The Dark Knight Rises was released July 20th, 2012 and stars Tom Hardy, Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Liam Neeson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman. The film is directed by Christopher Nolan.

Sources: Showbiz Spy

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Comments (121)

  1. Bane5000

    @J_A_OTTLEY...ok man, imma have to check it out on my computer and read the script...

    ...hmmm main character may be dead in the trailer, oh this i gotta find out now :D... i just hope its not Optimus again or Sam dies and talks to the spirit of the Primes like last time....

    4 years agoby @bane5000Flag

  2. The Boondock Saint

    @buriblazing haha, not until you mentioned that did i ever notice how much he looked like the joker, minus the make up and scars!!!!

    4 years agoby @combatmadness360Flag

  3. Aamiros

    I somehow agree with Joseph Gordon Lewitt having a little resemblance with Heath Ledger...the only thing is that he is too young to do a joker's role....i believe we have to wait for him 2 turn 35 or something...lol

    4 years agoby @aamirosFlag

  4. bud2fresh

    If his family is ok with it then i say bring it on

    4 years agoby @bud2freshFlag

  5. OhTheFilmNerd

    Sounds Exciting And Quite Clever-But if they do use the CGI Model shade him in dark, just higlhight glimpes of his makeup, and encoparate a voice over, but unused footage, here we come

    4 years agoby @ohthefilmnerdFlag

  6. ed_wood

    I'm for this only if they don't use mocap. If it's unused footage and it can work, fine. But thats it.

    4 years agoby @ed-woodFlag

  7. bruce_ha

    Joseph Gordon Levitt or this is a no show, the only thing i think would hinder Levitt is maybe the voice, Heath had a dark voice at times when he was joker and that's hard to find.

    I don't think Nolan will use CGI motion capture. He'll either use the old unused scenes with Heath or he'll cast Levitt.

    4 years agoby @bruce-haFlag

  8. Remy72883

    ive said this before and i will say this again, have him pulling the strings so to speak from jail, have his crew or whatever leave little killing practical jokes around town for bats and have bats talk to him while he is sitting on the floor of his glass covered door cell not revealing his face and ONLY USE voice over technology of heath ledger, that i would be fine with but with a face id be mad

    4 years agoby @remy72883Flag

  9. JasonKat

    i want these clips of him in batman 3,depending on wat they r.. it would only make sense to have it in there since we all know joker didnt die and we wanna know wat happened to him. and i dont mean Heath Ledger. but ya. 1 last time would b kool.as long as it doesnt look fake or weird.

    4 years agoby @jasonkatFlag

  10. The Real Lex Luthor

    HELL YEAH!!! Hell i'd be for them re casting the role with a look a like... But this sounds pretty darn cool.

    4 years agoby @thajackalFlag

  11. moviegeek

    I have confidence that Nolan won't use the footage if it looks tacky and unnecessary.

    I just can't wait for the dumb users to post reviews of the movie after it comes out: "Heath Ledger was in this movie!?!? OMG OMG" sigh...

    4 years agoby @moviegeekFlag

  12. Buriblazing

    cast the actor from son's of anarchy

    4 years agoby @buriblazingFlag

  13. Buriblazing

    that would be awesome

    4 years agoby @buriblazingFlag

  14. Buriblazing

    yes good idea and here we GO!

    4 years agoby @buriblazingFlag

  15. Ensigndesign

    I like the idea of having a Heath cameo. It's paying respect and a tip of the hat to an amazing job in the last film.

    4 years agoby @ensigndesignFlag

  16. Pjwolsker

    @JA yeah i heard that Cameron said he liked it more then he thought he would. he said he thought he was going to hate it. i havent heard that though. i know there having problems with ownership rights i guess but not that

    4 years agoby @pjwolskerFlag

  17. Jay.A.Ottley

    I'm not sure if you can find it online I've not checked yet, but if you have the 2 disc version special edition version of T2, pop the 1st disc in the computer and it will have the full-length script of up to like 500 something pages :)

    And as for the trailer, a nice opening, a sh*tload of explosions, and a nice WTF moment leaving the auidence in anticipation of figuring out weather a main character is DOA. :)

    4 years agoby @jayaottleyFlag

  18. incmob

    AMAZING.... just a year ago there were forums supporting this idea but alot of people now are not. I for one if it is done well and with the original footage of ledger am not dissapointed if this happens. the trend they started with the last film was to have one of the villians start out the beginning... more than likely it will be the joker in arkham and not some action sequence ala TDK. on top of that they are willing to forgo it if ledgers family dissaproves which i think shows alot of respect for ledger and his family. i for one am up to this like i said if it is done tastefully and very well.

    4 years agoby @incmobFlag

  19. Spongebob_Boxofficepants

    weird an animated villiain as ahis villain

    4 years agoby @spongebob-boxofficepantsFlag

  20. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    I can do without another Potter Book, cause I want her to write something fresh, other than wizardry, Like Meyer when she wrote Host, which was pretty good, not that I'm comparing, since J.K is far better

    4 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  21. SpaceCowboy

    @Daveactor7 Alot of characters might be a good thing for Batman...Arkham Asylum was terrific...I realize that was a game, but still...it worked!

    4 years agoby @SpaceCowboyFlag

  22. Daveactor7

    @ejk1 i really hope so. Thing is thats a lot of new characters lol

    4 years agoby @daveactor7Flag

  23. Daveactor7

    @OTTLEY same here message me on my page about the trailer

    4 years agoby @daveactor7Flag

  24. Dr.Carter

    From what the article is saying Heaths Joker scene will only be a matter of minutes. It can possibly be for an opening cinematic scene where they fill in the gap between TDK and this new film or if rumors are right and Hugo Strange is in the movie, then he may possibly show up in a scene when he is in a cell in Arkham. I don't really see a big problem with this only if they do gain the consent of the family and they are some how recieving reperations of his apperance. But I seriously doubt Nolan would do this. Still a great and intresting concept.

    4 years agoby @dr-carterFlag

  25. Bane5000

    @J_A_OTTLEY...no my friend i havent read the original and final draft for T2, where can i find it at...

    Oh and how does the Transformers 3 preview go, message me on my page instead of posting it on here if u like to share :D

    4 years agoby @bane5000Flag

  26. ejk1

    She can always pick up from where she left off--19 years later.

    4 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  27. Daveactor7

    @OTTLEY lol. I hope Rowling writes another book though.

    4 years agoby @daveactor7Flag

  28. Jay.A.Ottley

    @Dave I'm only playing with him :) J.K can write a Potter film after all, that isn't based on a book

    I think Deathly Hallow Pt.2 was by far a better novel though xD

    4 years agoby @jayaottleyFlag

  29. Daveactor7

    @OTTLEY dont blame dude it was my fault for bringing harry potter up. I agree Deathly Hallows was superb :)

    4 years agoby @daveactor7Flag

  30. Jay.A.Ottley

    The other 2 Terminator films got dropped unfortunately :'(
    Really Cameron said he liked the movie, i heard in an interview that he hated it and place it on bar with T3:ROTM.

    I agree it should be finished, especially by Cameron, he should finish what he started and created.
    Have you read the amazing original and final script draft to Terminator 2?

    I got your point but its irrlevant, and to take note J.K.Roeling stated she has enough ideas to make 3 more Potter books, but Radcliffe, Grint and Watson have already stated they wouldn't return.

    And I loved reading Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt.1, was the best read of my life, Thumbs up :)

    4 years agoby @jayaottleyFlag

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