Will Heath Ledger’s Ghost Haunt The Next Batman Flick?


It’s now the second highest grossing film of all time, and yet WARNER BROTHERS still hasn’t announced a follow-up to this past summer’s THE DARK KNIGHT, nor have they signed CHRISTOPHER NOLAN to direct it. What are they waiting for? Is some moronic studio exec hoping to see HEATH LEDGER jump out from behind the black curtain wearing a smile and a t-shirt that reads, “I Faked My Own Death, Helped Warner Bros. Make Ridiculous Amounts of Money and All I Got Was This Stupid T-Shirt!”?

Or is Nolan the one holding things up? In a recent three-part interview with the LOS ANGELES TIMES, Nolan — who had to take a long vacation to distance himself from the sequel’s post-release firestorm (and fans convinced he was the “messiah”) — claims Warner Bros. has been “extremely gracious” while he “figures out” what he wants to do next. In another section of the interview, the man goes so far as to ask “How many good third movies in a franchise can people name?”

Well, we can name more than one, so we’ll ask again: Why aren’t you signed on to help write and direct Batman 3 yet?

Something tells us Ledger’s untimely death will act as a blessing and a curse for what may eventually become this decade’s greatest movie franchise sequel. The blessing came when the moody superhero flick scored $992 million worldwide (and counting), not to mention the Oscar nominations that should (and probably will) follow.

The curse? Living up to the hype. Ledger’s brilliant performance was the icing on a cake that wasn’t finished yet, and while they search for replacement villains and female leads who aren’t boring, everyone involved with this beast will have to come to terms with the fact that whatever they shovel out next will inevitably be compared to that film with the dead guy.

So what do you do if you’re Warner Bros. and Christopher Nolan? Well, for starters, both parties need to sit down and iron out a deal soon so that fanboys (and girls) have something to anticipate and obsess over for the next couple of years. Next, you bring in a villain who’s about as nuts or nuttier than the Joker (Riddler, Deadshot) and cast a name that trumps Ledger (we recommend JOHNNY DEPP). Then you get freakishly creative, begin marketing the thing two years out and slowly build that sucker up to the point where we just kinda forget.

Wait, what’s The Dark Knight again?

– Eric Davis