Here comes one of those moments to make you feel old: The Dark Knight turns 10 years old on July 18th.
That’s right. One of the greatest comic book films ever made has reached a decade. While this writer’s personal favorite of Christopher Nolan’s epic trilogy is Batman Begins (I love a well-done origin story… and Ra’s Al Ghul!), there is no denying the impact its sequel made on the filmgoer and comic fan alike. Fueled by Heath Ledger’s incomparable performance as The Joker, Christian Bale’s perfectly balanced delivery as Bruce Wayne/Batman, and the direction and story telling of Christopher and Jonathan Nolan, the film went on to set the standard for comic book film adaptations.
In an interview, The Hollywood Reporter sat down with actor Michael Jai White, who played the vicious gangster Gambol who dared to step up to The Joker and paid for it. He went into detail on what it was like on the set working with Ledger, the impact the film had on him and about that death scene. Gambol mentions that there were script changes regarding his character:
“It was the kind of thing where they had deeper intentions for Gambol; it was a character who was written for future use, I think. There were other plans to do stuff with that character and some things that were cut out. I think it’s because of unfortunately losing Heath Ledger… “I think that people can tell by the strange cut that I never shot a death scene. The character wasn’t supposed to be gone. That is something that happened in editing later.”
Regarding sharing screen time with Ledger:
“So the first half of the day, until lunch, Heath is in full makeup, but the camera is shooting toward us. So, Heath is not on camera. And I asked Christoper Nolan what we were shooting after lunch and he said we would finish up with our half of the room. And I said, ‘So, you mean, Heath has gotten into makeup knowing that he is not going to be shot today?!’ And he said, ‘Yeah, that’s right.’ And I said, ‘Oh, wow.’… “And that was a testament to who Heath Ledger was, that this man would go through hours of makeup for the benefit of his fellow actors. He could have been in a T-shirt and jeans, but that’s the kind of guy he was.”
White went on to state his love for the film and his appreciation for comic book stories that go the dark route, delving deep into the protagonist’s complex psyche. It’s a method that made not only this film but the entire trilogy so well received by the public and critics alike. The Dark Knight can be viewed as both a comic book film and as an intense, twist-filled crime drama epic. One that still to this day succeeds in keeping you on the edge of your seat, frozen in stunned silence at a legend’s portrayal of a chaotic villain and inspired by the sacrificial devotion of Gotham City’s watchful protector.
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Source: The Hollywood Reporter.