The big news this morning for Batman geeks such as myself is yesterday’s announcement that Heath Ledger will play the Joker in Batman Keeps Going, or whatever the fuck they’re calling it. Actually, I believe the official name for the picture at this point is The Dark Knight, which would be a great title if I thought there was a chance in hell they would keep it. You just know some know-nothing executive at Warner Bros. is firing off memos even as we speak asking, “Can’t we make sure ‘Batman’ is in the title?” So, look for Batman: The Dark Knight (Starring Batman) at a theater near you in 2008.
Heath is a terrific choice for the Joker. Before Brokeback Mountain, I never would have thought so, but he was so brilliant that now I’d cast the motherfucker in anything. Who knew the dude from A Knight’s Tale, for Christ’s sake, was such a great actor? As good as Phillip Seymour Hoffman was in Capote, I would have given Best Actor at the Oscars to Heath. I think the Aussie bastard was robbed.
But in truth, the casting doesn’t matter. The title, even if they keep it, doesn’t matter. Batman Begins had a great cast, and the movie still blew because of Goyer’s total shit script. Goyer collaborated on the story for the sequel with Chris Nolan, but the screenplay for The Dark Knight is being written by Nolan’s brother, Jonathan, who also co-wrote Memento, so maybe there’s some hope in that area. My suggestion: no cockamamie 1950’s super villain plots to destroy the city or take over the world. Just let the Joker be the Joker. And give Batman an IQ higher than Forrest Gump’s this time.