Action Movie Anatomy hosts Ben Bateman and Andrew Ghai break down 2008’s The Dark Knight!
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero thriller film directed, produced, and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Featuring the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the second part of Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy and a sequel to 2005’s Batman Begins, starring an ensemble cast including Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Morgan Freeman. In the film, Bruce Wayne/Batman (Bale), James Gordon (Oldman) and Harvey Dent (Eckhart) form an alliance to dismantle organised crime in Gotham City, but are menaced by a criminal mastermind known as the Joker (Ledger) who seeks to undermine Batman’s influence and create chaos.
Nolan’s inspiration for the film was the Joker’s comic book debut in 1940, the 1988 graphic novel The Killing Joke, and the 1996 series The Long Halloween, which retold Two-Face’s origin. The nickname “the Dark Knight” was first applied to Batman in Batman #1 (1940), in a story written by Bill Finger. The Dark Knight was filmed primarily in Chicago, as well as in several other locations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. Nolan used IMAX 70 mm film cameras to film some sequences, including the Joker’s first appearance in the film. The film is dedicated to the memory of Ledger, who died on January 22, 2008, some months after the completed filming and six months before the film’s release, from a toxic combination of prescription drugs, leading to intense attention from the press and movie-going public. Warner Bros. initially created a viral marketing campaign for The Dark Knight, developing promotional websites and trailers highlighting screenshots of Ledger as the Joker.
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