BATMAN ON FILM, 'The Dark Knight Fansite!' Est. 1998.

Roven on #3, TDK Marketing
Posted by: Jett
Thursday, January 24, 2008

First up, VARIETY speculates that Heath Ledger’s death will change the way Warner Bros. markets THE DARK KNIGHT. “Warner execs are still determining how to adjust their marketing campaign on ‘The Dark Knight,’ which is keyed to Ledger's Joker character in its early stages.” The trade continues:

“Warners has a different predicament with ‘The Dark Knight.’ Production on Christopher Nolan's ‘Batman Begin’ sequel is believed to largely completed -- principal photography concluded in the fall -- but the initial marketing campaign focuses on the ghoulish Joker character.

To complicate matters further, the studio has just restructured its marketing operation. International marketing topper Sue Kroll now oversees all marketing for the studio in the wake of the exit of former domestic marketing president Dawn Taubin, who developed the ‘Dark Knight’ campaign.

Kroll will likely have to move quickly to re-jigger the studio's current phase of the marketing campaign for ‘Dark Knight,’ focusing on Ledger's Joker character. This phase of the campaign had been set to run until March.”

I guess if they decide to end The Joker-centered marketing campaign -- which was all the viral stuff actually -- that did sort of have a conclusion with the release of the TDK PROLOGUE and first trailer in December.

In regards to a sequel, we all know that Chris Nolan is very coy about his intentions when it comes to helming a third BATMAN. He works on one film at a time and puts all of his focus on that one individual project.

With that said, it’s been longed rumored -- strongly rumored that is -- that Nolan and David Goyer has long planned three films to tell their Batman story. In fact, it’s pretty well known that Chris wasn’t too hip on WB’s planned JUSTICE LEAGUE film that would have its own version of Batman.

So if Mr. Nolan didn’t intend to do a third BATMAN, why would he care if there was a film with another version of Bats after THE DARK KNIGHT?

Here’s what TDK producer Chuck Roven had to say about the possibility of a third film (via IESB.NET):

“The thing about Chris is that he just makes his films one at a time. When we were doing The Dark Knight and everyone was hoping will there be another one? A sequel or another installment or whatever, Chris was just saying do this one, finish this one and get this one. Then we’ll see. The card at the ending of the first one notwithstanding, the story was worked out while he was in pre-production on The Prestige. He worked it out with David Goyer and then Jonathan Nolan wrote the script while he was filming The Prestige. He didn’t even read the script until he was in post-production on The Prestige. So while I’m sure there’s definitely interest in being involved in a third one somehow, he’s not thinking about it.”

Mr. Roven also commented about “cross-pollinating” the various DC-based properties at Warners:

“I know that if we’re fortunate enough for their to be another installment of Chris Nolan’s BATMAN, I don’t know if I would want to bring another DC character into that. I don’t know if that’s where I would take it, necessarily.”

The only thing I wonder is if Heath’s death will affect Nolan’s decision to do a third film. Was The Joker going to be part of a potential third film? And if so, how integral was he to the story? I do not think that he’s recast The Joker if the character was going to be in the film.

I have a feeling that once it is all said and done and Mr. Nolan has a chance to get away from Gotham for a year or so, he’ll return to finish what he started.

I hope.

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