The Dark Knight Rises: Nolan’s last Batman film, Heath Ledger’s Joker to digitally appear?

Could The Dark Knight Rises see the return of Heath Ledger’s Joker, thanks to CGI and unused footage from The Dark Knight? Plus, Christopher Nolan confirms it’s the last chapter of his Batman story…

Two pieces of news have popped up with regards the next Batman adventure, The Dark Knight Rises. One is confirmed, the other you can class very firmly as a rumour.

The obvious one, first. It’d widely been expected that The Dark Knight Rises would be Christopher Nolan’s last directorial trip to Gotham City, and he’s confirmed this in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

The director reveals that The Dark Knight Rises is “the last chapter of our Batman saga”. He went on to add, “I feel very glad that I’m doing another Batman film. I think it would have been daunting to sit down and write an original script after Inception. I love working within the realm and rules of our Batman world. It’s kind of nice to have someplace to go that I’m super-excited about.”

And here’s the story that you can firmly file under ‘unconfirmed rumour’. (we’d not had many of those where The Dark Knight Rises is concerned!) For is reported that Nolan may use unused footage of Heath Ledger in the third Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises.

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Ever since Ledger’s death, there have been rumours that there may have been unused footage that was left on the cutting room floor. Of course, it is not enough to have The Joker as the main villain in the new film, but there might be the footage there to provide a nice bridge between The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.

According to, “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.”

While some may argue it is in bad taste, it makes sense to some degree. Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker was widely praised, with the late actor even winning a posthumous Oscar for the role. The inclusion of lost footage would be a sure-fire way to recapture the box office magic of The Dark Knight, as well as draw in the morbidly curious.

“It would only be a fleeting moment in the movie and would only be included with the full consent of Heath’s family,” the unnamed source said.

Treat all of this with the requisite level of salt until you hear it from Mr Nolan, though…


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