BATMAN ON FILM, 'The Dark Knight Fansite!' Est. 1998. 10 Years, 1998-2008

BATMAN ON FILM, since June 1998!
OPINION

Hold Off On That Joker Pic!

Author: Bill Ramey, Founder of BOF
Email: BATMANONFILM@MSN.COM
Posted: Sunday, April 22, 2007

I’m just like most of y’all in that I desperately want to know what The Joker -- as played by Heath Ledger -- is going to look like in THE DARK KNIGHT. With that said, I’ve got a big “BUT” coming that I’ll get to in a minute.

When I found out that Heath was in Chicago for the “pre-shoot” filming on TDK, I figured it was a matter of time until someone snapped a crappy picture of him on the set and it showed up online. And guess what, Nostradamus would be proud as that is exactly what happened late last week.

I had mentioned on the site that I thought Warner Bros. should release a picture of Ledger as The Joker prior to any filming to dilute the affect of any, ahem, “unauthorized” and poor photos that were sure to materialize. And once it happened, I even was arrogant enough to pull the ‘ol “I told y’all so” card. Of course, BOF did not display that picture due to our stance on those sorts of things. Not that it mattered as that picture spread across the Net like a fire accelerated by gasoline.

Hey, it was the principle of the thing that mattered. Anyway….

So what about that “BUT” thing? OK, here goes: I’m just like most of y’all in that I desperately want to know what The Joker -- as played by Heath Ledger -- is going to look like in THE DARK KNIGHT. BUT, I was dead ass wrong with my semi-demand that a picture of Heath should be released. That grainy-ass shot from Chi-Town didn’t show nada.

Basically, we now know that The Joker in TDK is going to have slicked-back hair that’s green. And at some point, he’s going to wear a dark jacket with big shoulders.

Wow.

If it was up to me, I’d hold out as long as possible. And when it comes time to release a pic, I would show hardly a damn thing. Screw the “I want it NOW” attitude that many have. Chris Nolan and Warner Bros. owes us nothing but a damn good film -- one that is respectful of the Batman character -- in exchange for our money that buys that movie ticket. If Nolan wants to play it close to the vest and keep the look of The Joker -- arguably the greatest comic book villain ever created -- a secret until we walk into that theater on July 18, 2008, more power to him.

It’s not haughtiness on his part at all. Perhaps, just maybe, he’s doing YOU and ME a favor. In a weird sort of way, it’s kind of like seatbelt and motorcycle helmet laws. People will (and have) bitched about them, but aren’t they there for our own best interest?

Here's another analogy: Opening Christmas presents early. When I was a kid, I’d ask and ask and ASK my Mom to let me open my presents early -- you know, the ones that were not from “Santa.” Every once in a while, she let me tear into one and the minute I had that last piece of wrapping paper off, I regretted opening it in the first place.

Plus, it’s all about marketing baby! Keep it a secret as long as possible and drive ‘em into a frenzy! Isn’t the marketing of BATMAN BEGINS one of the things fans (wrongly) bitched about the most back in ‘05? You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

You want an example, OK, I’ll give you one: Venom. Sony has yet [As of this writing; and SPIDER-MAN 3 is being released in 2 weeks] to release a publicity still of a full-on Venom. There's been a single one-sheet, but it doesn't reveal squat. Do I know what he’s going to look like? Kinda sorta due to the toys, statues, and brief shots of him on the SPIDER-MAN 3 trailers. And you know what? I’m friggin’ glad that my first real look at Venom will come when I go see the movie in a theater in a few weeks.

So keep teasing us Mr. Nolan with Mr. J. Don’t cave in and reveal nothing. Despite all the complaining, we Batman fans want to be surprised and we’ll thank you for it when it’s all said and done.

"Jett" is the founder and editor-in-chief of BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM.

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