The Joker was supposed to feature in the Dark Kight Rises
Before Heath Ledger’s tragic passing, Christopher Nolan had intended the final film in the trilogy to be about the Joker going on trial.
Heath Ledger was always going to be the Joker
Despite public expressions of interest from several well-known actors, including Robin Williams and Steve Carell (?!), Nolan always envisioned Ledger for the role of Clown Prince Of Crime. Director and actor met even before a script for Batman Begins was written, with Nolan attracted to Ledger’s casting by his ‘fearless’ nature.
There is a very specific trope enacted in ever film.
In each film of the trilogy, the main antagonist disguises themselves as one of their own henchmen, with the characters discussing the main villain before their surprising reveal. Ra’s Al Guhl as an apparent disciple of the League of Shadows, the Joker as a member of a bank heist team, and Bane as a captured associate.
Every film in the trilogy has a theme.
Batman Begins is about fear, The Dark Knight is about chaos, and The Dark Knight Rises is about pain.
The Dark Knight was the first non-documentary film to employ IMAX cameras
Although IMAX had previously been used in documentary and nature films, Christopher Nolan was the first director to shoot scenes in a narrative film using the technology. Six action scenes and various altitude shots in The Dark Knight utilized the tech, while a full hour of The Dark Knight Rises employed the use of the cutting-edge cameras.
There is more to the Joker card at the end of Batman Begins than meets the eye.
The card itself is a direct copy of a joker card seen in 1989 graphic novel Arkham Asylum, and the booking officer on the evidence bag is “J. Kerr”, which is an alias of the Joker in the comics (Get it?).
The Dark Knight was the first comic film to win an Oscar.
Heath Ledger posthumously won Best Supporting Actor for his role as the Joker.
A drunk driver thought the Batmobile was an alien spacecraft.
During the filming of Batman Begins, an inebriated Chicagoan crashed his vehicle after witnessing the filming of a chase scene. He claimed he thought the Batmobile was an invading spacecraft from another world. Sure thing, buddy…
Christian Bale was the youngest person to play the Caped Crusader.
At just 30 years old, Bale was a full six years younger than Val Kilmer and Geroge Clooney (both 36 and the next youngest) when they donned the cape. By contrast, Ben Affleck was 43 during the filming of Batman vs Superman.
Bruce Wayne’s Lamborghini is a clue to his secret identity.
The high-end sports car Bruce Wayne drives in The Dark Knight is the Lamborghini Murcielago. The Spanish word for bat is, yep, you guessed it, “murciélago”.
I mean, it’s not even subtle.
Blade Runner was a massive influence
Before shooting on Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan gathered the entire production team together to watch the sci-fi classic. He imparted upon his team the visual effects, atmosphere, and production design of Ridley Scott’s film as being exactly what he wished to replicate throughout the trilogy.
Anthony Hopkins turned down the role of Alfred
Hopkins was Nolan’s first choice but turned down the role, much as he had turned down Joel Schumacher when he approached him to play Mr.Freeze in Batman and Robin (seriously).
(Fake) Ra’s al Ghul is talking nonsense
Ra’s al Ghul, or at least the fake version played by Ken Watanabe, speaks what appears to be either Tibetan or Japanese. In fact, the seasoned actor was just making up words that sounded cool.
There were some interesting suggestions for the role of Scarecrow.
Before settling on Cillian Murphy, both Christopher Eccleston and Ewan McGregor were considered for the role of the deranged Dr. Crane.Yet perhaps the most bizarre proposition for the role was none other than Marylin Manson, the Shocker-in-Chief himself.
There was a long list of potential Batmen.
Keanu Reeves, Joshua Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Henry Cavill, and even Heath Ledger were all considered for the role.
A U.S President inspired Nolan’s take on Bruce Wayne.
In the words of the former president of DC Comics Paul Levitz, when asked by Christopher Nolan how to approach the character of Bruce Wayne/Batman, he said the best way to understand the dark knight’s story arc is to compare him to non-other than Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States.
Both men were born into New York power families, both experienced tragedy in their youth, and both went off on crazy adventures into the wilderness, only returning to reinvent themselves as crime busting madmen.
Now that will change the way you see Batman…
The Joker is never mentioned in The Dark Knight Rises.
Despite previous plans, and out of a sign of respect to the late Heath Ledger, the Joker is never mentioned or even referenced in the final installment of the trilogy.
The Joker’s bank heist mask was a pleasingly obscure tribute
In The Dark Knight‘s epic opening sequence, the Joker and his unwitting henchman all wear similar clown masks. These are a reference to the campy 1960’s Batman TV show and the Joker in that series, Cesar Romero. In the 1960’s production, the Joker is introduced in a very similar manner, wearing an identical mask to that of Heath Ledger. Both Jokers reveal their ‘true’ clown faces to the audience by removing their clown masks
There is an entirely unintentional easter egg in The Dark Knight Rises.
During the football stadium scene, the camera pans over the crowd to unveil a line of fans holding up letters to spell out “ROGUES” (the Gotham football team). The ‘R’, however, looks identical to the ‘R’ used to identify Robin in the comic books and would appear to be some fairly cool foreshadowing of John Blake’s transformation at the end of the film. Except it’s nothing of the sort! Instead, an extra (and probably die-hard Batman fan) had brought the sign himself, totally unbeknownst to the film crew.