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Rumor: Joker Scene From The Dark Knight Getting Cut?!

by
April 10, 2008
Source: Cinema Blend

The Dark Knight

I hate to be the bearer of even more bad news, but this time its affecting one of our most anticipated movies - The Dark Knight. Reports have started to spread on the internet of a particular scene, involving Heath Ledger as The Joker, being cut from the film due to Ledger's tragic death in January. While details are sketchy, this seems to have all stemmed from a Portuguese review of The Dark Knight written a few days ago (that we are not going to link to) - one that I hardly believe. It's a really rough review and doesn't seem all that legit, which is why I'm not too sure this entire rumor is real to begin with. However, whatever the case may be it's worth bring up just in case.

As Cinema Blend reports, the "scene involves Ledger's Joker character pretending to be dead and being pictured in a body bag. Apparently the aftershocks of Ledger's unfortunate death are such that many in the screening reacted rather badly to this moment and now execs are considering excising the scene altogether." I completely agree with Stuart Wood - this is an atrocity of the utmost proportions and (despite Where the Wild Things Are and I Am Legend) not something I would expect Warner Brothers to do!

If this turns out to be true, it would be disastrous decision on the part of Warner Brothers. It's entirely unnecessary to cut scenes from a movie just because of a few overly sensitive screening attendees. This is all part of why I don't believe the screening process works that well anyway! The countless fans and supporters of The Dark Knight will understand the true vision of the film and the importance of every last scene that Christopher Nolan put in. Apparently the early screening reports also claim that The Dark Knight is a more superior film than Batman Begins and that Ledger's role is as profound (and even Oscar worthy) as originally thought. Don't risk screwing that up Warner Brothers!

It seems one of the biggest problems in Hollywood nowadays is studios taking control of a movie and changing it to their liking, despite what the original filmmaker had created. This is why there is a small movement in support of "keeping true to the vision" of the filmmaker. It's art - the studios should know what they're getting into when they hire certain screenwriters and directors. If you get Spike Jonze, you're going to get a Spike Jonze movie. If you get Christopher Nolan and Heath Ledger, you're going to get a brilliant movie. And don't change The Dark Knight just because of some emotional complainers! This is Christopher Nolan's true vision!

Whether this is true or not, I hope that the impact these articles have is enough to convince Warner Brothers to not even try. Like we did with both Where the Wild Things Are and I Am Legend before, its time we get all of your support. Voice your opinion below if you're in support of keeping the film the way it is!

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  • Stefano
    I can't believe that they want to put their hands where it doesn't go, the would spoil the director's work. All my support to keeping the original scene!
  • Daniel Silva
    The final decision should be made by Nolan himself. If he wants to leave it then the studios should respect his choice. But sadly that's not how it works. The studios paid for the picture and they have final cut. I'm really looking forward to this movie with or without that scene.
  • Eric
    DON'T GO SEE IT if you are sensitive. The whole movie will spark emotions concerning his death, not just this one scene. Keep it in.
  • Brian
    He would have wanted it in. We want it in. They should leave it in. Even though art imitates life, the must go on. Heath would want it in.
  • Ryan
    This movie should go untouched, the way the director intended I think. Heath Ledger did the performance, he died tragically, but those two things are unrelated. Just PLEASE leave the performance the way he thought the world would see. CRAZY AWESOME
  • Ledger's death is a sad one yes. But that should not affect Nolan's final vision. I hope the scene stays.
  • Boo-Yah
    Nolan (and everyone involved on the movie for that matter) all pledged that they wanted to honor Ledger by capturing every nuance of his performance and putting it on the big screen. WB would be best to keep their hands off. I agree that it seems like studios are putting their hand into the cookie jar too often nowadays. Then they wonder why these movies tank at the box office? Maybe because they came in and took all that was good and removed it so it could be "more marketable to families" or more marketable to kids or whatever BS. Hopefully this remains a rumor...
  • alex
    keep the movie intact!! Honor Heath's work
  • Eric
    I wouldn't listen to the screeners when it comes to being "offended" and making descions based on that alone... but seeing as they are offended I would show the movie to the Ledger's family and see thier reaction... and if it's really that bad I would try to find a way to take it out with it making a big impact on the movie... but
  • marco
    I say leave it alone and don't mess with it, but I wonder what his imediate family would want???
  • Fish
    The studios should leave it alone, because what does the studios know about film making, thats why you hire and trust a director. I hope Ledger's work is Oscar worthy. This movie is going to be fantastic. Just leave is alone to the director.
  • Frame
    As #5 plainly put it Ledger would have wanted it in and I hope Warner Bros. isn't stupid enough to not realize that. That said, I don't believe the rumor anyway and I'll be damned if I'm to wait for a Director's Cut in Blu-ray.
  • Scorpio
    I think it is Nolan's call, and only his call. I would hate to see it removed only to be added as a morbid extra on the Special Edition DVD.
  • Anthony
    I would definitely leave the scene in the film just for the sake of the film and art. Heath would probably the scene left in anyway. However, if the scene does not play an important role it should be removed for the sake of Heath's family. We shall find out in July. RIP Heath.
  • Spencer
    I don't believe in censorship, of any sort, for media that you purchase (which discludes public television of course). If someone feels uncomfortable that is their problem, not mine. The general public should not miss out because of a complaining few.
  • florencio
    Out of respect for Heath's work they should leave all scenes the director deems necessary for the story. after all, Heath did entrust his performance to the director Nolan. His family should understand that this is the craft and work of Heath and he would not wanted it any other way.
  • pd
    Heath would "probably" want the scene left in? Remove the scene for the sake of his family? So you really think Heath Ledger's family would want his final onscreen performance cut down?? Or that he himself would ever want his role diminished? This is a ridiculous conversation. Honor the man and honor the work. Looking forward to the movie..
  • Jojo
    Do it as heath's family want it to be.
  • Spider
    Nothing like a good rumor to grab people's attention!!!!!1
  • Darrin
    get the clip and let us decide.
  • cornholio_by_the_sea
    I think you said it as best it can be said, Alex...they most certainly should LEAVE THE FILM ALONE!!! I dont believe the studio should have the right to make changes to another persons work....period...they contracted him to make a movie, he did, now leave it alone and let it be seen as it was intended...if it is discovered that they in fact ordered scenes cut out, I think a major boycott would be in order to get the original version released...jmo...
  • Joel
    Leave the film as it was meant to be!
  • Keith
    Where to even begin... One scene from this film is not going to spurn people to NOT see this movie. From the trailer and marketing, audiences (and rational people in general) can tell that this is going to be a dark film, especially Ledger's role as The Joker; with that being said, I'm going to walk into the midnight screening with the expectation of seeing some very dark scenes involving Ledger, and would not be put-off in the least by seeing The Joker die/pretend to die in the film. After all, this is a batman movie, right? Christopher Nolan's version of Batman, none the less. My point is that the audience will suspend disbelief, as they always do, when they go to see this film, and will think nothing less of it if they see The Joker in a body bag. No box office will be lost by leaving this scene intact, guaranteed; in fact, anyone who truly enjoys film will love this one even more because of it.
  • IDK, I really never liked Heath but if it is non-essential to the plot (this is coming from a huge Batman friend) I would leave it out but at the same time I would leave it up to Nolan. Anyway I really think that this rumor is false. WB is EXTREMLY lock and key on this (knowing b/c my friend works for WB studios) and I doubt espically I blogger from Portugal would get his hands on this one first.
  • Chris Henry
    I personally think that editing the Dark Knight because a few people were offended would disrespect Heath Ledger's memory. I didnt know him but i know that editing the movie would not be what he would want. Warner Brothers knows that right thing to do. THe only thing that the fans have to worry about is if Warner Bros. has the balls to leave the scene in the movie. The way it is supposed to be
  • Adam
    IT MUST STAY IN THE FILM! People must ask themselves, what would HEATH want?
  • sam
    I agree with the spirit of the article, let the directors alone. Trust Chris Nolan to do his job and the true fans to appreciate Ledger's work in full. That is what needs to be done, I want to true product.
  • Dennis M.
    I say who cares what his family wants. He signed a contract to play a part and he did that. The movie did not in any way contribute directly to his death. After all, they didn't cut out the showdown scene in the Crow where B. Lee got creamed FOR REAl, now did they? I say let it be.
  • Sinner
    I say who cares what Dennis wants. You are talking about a contract being more important than the Ledger family wishes. You're a serious bonehead Dennis; & I'm being nice. If this one scene has no part in how the movie ends, then personaly I don't want to see Heath in another bodybag. I've already seen it & I didn't like it the first time.
  • bltzie
    I doubt this rumor is for real. And if it is it should be in the movie cause it's going to be a part of what this joker's all about, every little scene of the joker is going to be important and this is the first and the last movie with heath's joker, so the more on screen time the merrier. But I do agree that the family should have some kind of voice in the whole thing.
  • harrison
    they just have to think, wwhld(what would heath ledge do)? i tell ya what he'd do, he'd leave that fucking scene in there and tell them to put that oscar in the bag with him so they can be buried together because he deserves that damn oscar
  • Curtis
    I say leave it in this is the last movie everyone will see Heath in and his amazing Joker give the man the respect he deserves and don't mess around with the movie.
  • xpgeek
    I say leave it in. It might upset some people, but, hes playing a whacked out psycho joker like we've never seen before, if that one scene is gonna be too much for you so soon after his real death, then, don't see the film at all. Don't screw with the final product the way the director, n heath himself, probly wanted it.
  • Leave it alone
  • David
    I Totally agree
  • Dar-El
    If you do this not only are you insulting Heath himself but you are not treating his last work of art with both the dignity and respect it deserves. In his life time Heath was well known to choose his roles carefully and with a lot of consideration. He choose this part and as he always does put his life and soul into the character, things should be left as they are so that the Dark Knight goes down in history as Heaths greatest accomplishment and he also gets the Oscar that we all know he deserves. He was a great man in life so lets not blemish this after he is gone just because a few overly sensitive assholes get above themselves.
  • Mark
    I hope it is a buch of BS. I am sure the way rumors go, in a week we will hear that the screeners were vomiting it was so horrific to watch Heath in a body bag. Warner Bros has a long history of making wrong decisions. First it was to drop HD-DVD as a format, now change a movie because of some overly sensative people from a screener?
  • Joe Potochar
    I agree. Leave the film alone. This is Ledger's last film and should be seen as it was meant to be. I think that is how he would have wanted his art portrayed. I hope they do not touch it. Thank You.
  • Nico
    Minority reactions can be very loud. It doesn't mean they should be pampered and fed. Hope they do the right thing. Leave his final performances intact please!
  • smo
    my support - don't touch the vision!!!
  • TCox
    Leave it alone Warners.
  • Viperstrike
    It would disrespect Heath more to remove it, than to keep it because of what happened. He was an artist and wouldn't want the vision to be warped. WB do the right thing. Leave it in for Heath. Show some respect for a fallen star.
  • Thats complete BullSh!t.............. If they do cut it maybe we can get a Death sceen of him jumping off a buiding and landing flat with his legs all distorted
  • DJ
    Keep the film the way it is
  • DCompose
    I don't want any scene of the Joker to be taken out. Not one. This is the only time we're going to get to see him like this.
  • Rob G
    Oh my freaking god... I'm sorry but I don't give a damn, I'm hardy going to be effected by dead character Heath Legder is playing in a movie. To be honest I really wasn't that effected by his death in the first place. The entertainment industry as a whole needs to stop pandering to namby-pamby idiots...
  • Chris
    seriously. if u have a problem with this scene dont see the movie. it's that's simple. dont let a few stupid whiny sensitive pricks ruin it for the true fans. LEAVE THE DARK KNIGHT ALONE! I'M SERIAL!
  • Garrett
    I'm not gonna say that i'm a HUGE Heath Ledger fan, but I did respect him as an actor and loved him in every movie that he was in. I did actually cry when I found out he died..just way too fuckin' soon. but come on...I wanna see the Dark Knight and watch his awesome final portrayal the way that it was meant to be. He filmed it, he loved it. I want to see it. Not like we won't anyway, even the overly sensetive will get curious and watch that part of the deleted scenes on the DVD when it comes out. Heath Ledger's death was a complete tragedy...but this isn't about him..it's about his performance. Keep it in.
  • Andrew
    Leave it alone. Nolan and Ledger knew what they were doing when they shot it in the first place.
  • craziemutant
    i also say leave it alone. the characters in the film should not be confused with the great people that portray them. see the Joker when you watch the film, not Ledger. if you keep thinking about Heath while watching him perform the role of the Joker, then you'll be putting his work to waste and miss all that he has worked for.
  • Conrad
    I wholeheartedly agree with you. There's of course going to be SOME controversy with the Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker. Its bound to happen, but don't touch the movie!! give it bad review if want to be so tied up in it, but do cut the up the vision of Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight"! Warner Brothers, leave it alone!
  • Steve
    If people are so silly and sensitive, they should go back and cut out EVERY scene from EVERY movie that Heath Ledger's character died in!! Go back and re-do the Patriot! He survived! This is just so f***ing stupid!!!!
  • Robert Der Arakelian
    i certainly hope they do not cut out anything from the film. would be stupid. heads gone, very sad, but get some balls eh?
  • Andre
    The movie should remain true to the vision of the filmakers and not fall prey to oversensitive moviegoers or corporate cowardice. It seems that some people fear being labeled "insensitive" is as bad as being considered a racist and corporations try to prove that they are as sensitive as the most sensitive person out there.
  • chris
    take it out, put it in the deleted scenes in the extras menu on dvd.
  • luciferules
    in 1979 peter sellers lost the oscar coz of the stupid decision taken by the studio to add retakes at the end credit now the same stupidity vice versa
  • Dobbs
    My belief is that Heath Ledger did the part and acted every scene out. Not only should we embrace this scene as Heath Ledger's work but we should appreciate it. There should be no remorse or mourning or censorship of any sort. This was Ledger's art work. This was his job and it should be left the way it was intended to be received. If Ledger didn't want to do the scene he probably wouldn't have. But he did and in so we should respect his decision in his art form.
  • Harley E. Quinn
    If Heath was still alive, the scene would not have been touched. It adds to the movie, he worked for it, so why hide it? Shouldn't you be more upset over people trying to hide his work than showcase it? I understand people's feelings, but I know he'll be amazing. Leave it in.
  • John Nonymous
    Warner Brothers, this video soley encompasses my reaction and disgust for this decision. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X6VoFBCE9k
  • Keaton
    Keep the scene in for artistic integrity!! Would you take out an instrument from an orchestra and expect the same sound?
  • Don't know if anyone else has brought this up yet or not but that's just like if some bastard went back and cut the gunshot scene from the original (and the only respectable) Crow film. They already switched around things on us in E.T. let's just hope this doesn't become habit forming
  • Tori
    Keep the scene. Please, don't mess up the movie because of some sensitives with too much matter given to their opinion. Leave the scene!
  • Dave
    I remember when The Crow came out after Jason Lee got killed by an accidental bullet not being a blank in the actual shooting of the movie. He was being shot at the whole entire movie and being killed and coming back from the dead and then dying again. If we can handle that, I am sure we can handle a scene with Heath Ledger. I don't want to sound unemotional because yes his death was a tragedy but its not like we personally knew him and its only a movie.
  • Isaac
    I wish I wouldn't have read this, now if that scene isn't in the movie i'm going to be very depressed. keep this scene. awesomely jokerish.
  • Larry King
    Not to worry the scene is in the movie. Having seen the Dark Knight, I just have to say it is the greatest Batman film EVER made. The Film is superb. Even if your not a fan of the Batman franchise, you will like this movie, it's that good. Unless you hate yourself go and see the Dark Knight. It's not just a movie, it's an Event. Don't miss it. PS The Joker shows how to make a pencil vanish. Very Jokerish. This movie will " Put a smile on that face"
  • sss

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