The Sunday edition of The New York Times included a special bonus for comic book and movie fans: a great in-depth article with Christopher Nolan, director of Batman Begins and its upcoming sequel, The Dark Knight.
Feeling grim that you missed it? As the Joker would say in The Dark Knight promo poster "Why so serious?" You can read the article on the Times website.
Highlights from the article include:
The Dark Knight cost $180 million
Nolan on the previous Batman films: "If the people who are making the film aren’t taking it seriously, why should we?"
The cast and crew commenting on the late Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker
Gotham will have a new bright, shiny look to contrast when the city is thrown into chaos
Nolan’s home is just down the street from 1960s TV Batcave entrance
30 minutes of the movie were shot with IMAX cameras, including the entire opening (a first for any major motion picture)
In spite of the recent, tragic death of actor Heath Ledger, the New York Post is reporting that plans are still in effect to release a new action figure in his Dark Knight character’s likeness to coincide with the upcoming release of the film.
According to the article, the Joker action figure will come in two different versions, both of which will hit store shelves in May.
One smaller version will feature a rocket launcher that can be put in the figure’s hand. The other, designed by well-known team the Four Horsemen, will be slightly larger, more detailed and come with a toy knife. Some might question the timing, or good taste, of releasing the action figure so close to Ledger’s death — or in releasing it at all.
However, according to the article, Ledger’s family supports the decision. "Heath was very proud of his work in the film, and his family is aware and supportive of Warner Bros. and its partner’s plans for the movie," said a family spokesperson. In addition, Mattel, the company behind the figure, are sensitive to the situation but still plan to go forward.
"It’s not exactly a marketing point," said Mattel’s P.J. Lewis of Ledger’s death. "But kids are going to buy the toy if they like the movie."
As promised in our earlier announcement, we have a ton of photos from the ComicMix tour of Mattel’s showroom.
You might have already heard about "Infinite Heroes", Mattel’s new line of 3.75-inch figures based on a wide assortment of characters from the DC Universe, but have you actually heard about it? Check out today’s installment of ComicMix Radio for an interview with Mattel’s "Infinite Heroes" guru, P.J. Lewis.
We’ve also included photos of Mattel’s upcoming line of toys based on The Dark Knight, including figures based on Heath Ledger’s character, Joker, as well as Christian Bale’s Batman. Oh, and for those of you who’ve always wanted a Bat-suit of your own, we’ve got something for you, too.
Finally, we have some photos of Mattel’s line of superhero-incpired toys for their youngest demographic — but we won’t make funof you if you buy a couple for yourself.
So enough with the introduction, check out the full gallery of photos after the jump…
Calling movie actors “stars” was appropriate when I was a midwestern lad, long ago, because they seemed as distant and unattainable as those celestial twinklers that speckled the summer sky. None of my friends or relatives were movie stars — they were butchers or clerks or drivers or printers — and what the stars did, acting, wasn’t a real job and so those who did it weren’t real people. They were…stars. But if you knew someone who knew, or at least had spoken to, one of these distant beings who lived in places you never expected to visit, the stars became somehow real — or maybe realer, anyway. They were, if not people, then some sort of demi-people.
Clark Gable was a star. But Rock Hudson was both more and less than a star because I knew a girl who had worked as an extra on one of his films. Julia Adams…heck, she was a person, because she did a personal appearance at the grocery co-op my father belonged to when she was co-starring with Tyrone Power in Mississippi Gambler and people I knew actually saw her in the flesh. And didn’t that make Power a demi-person, too, by association?
Which brings us to Heath Ledger. I was never in a room with him, never saw him on the street, spoke to him on the phone, none of that. But when a heard about his death a few days ago, I felt just a tiny bit worse than I usually feel when someone whose work I admire passes. Why? Mr. Ledger and I lived in two of the same neighborhoods, one in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan, though not at the same time, and my big 2007 project was writing a novel based on the script of a movie Mr. Ledger performs in. Somehow, all this makes me feel a dim and distant connection to him.
Last weekend, we finally caught up with I’m Not There, the brilliant Todd Haynes movie about the myths of Bob Dylan. The director intertwines the lives of six men, each symbolizing a stage of Dylan’s artistic development and public persona. They include a wide range: a young black boy, played by Marcus Carl Franklin; the protest singer, played by Christian Bale; the walking, talking enigma played by Cate Blanchett; the egomaniacal prick, played by Heath Ledger; the romantic, Ben Winshaw; and the lonesome recluse, played by Richard Gere. I don’t know if you’d like it if you aren’t a Dylan fan, but, if you are, it’s an amazing narrative.
On Monday, Brian Williams reported on the NBC Nightly News that the Monday of the last full week of January is known as “Blue Monday,” because it’s the single day that the most people are depressed, and has the highest suicide rate.
On Tuesday, Heath Ledger was found dead in his apartment.
I don’t mean to imply that he committed suicide. His body was found by a masseuse, with whom he had an appointment, and people planning suicide don’t usually get a massage first. As I write this, there’s not a lot of information about what caused his death. The autopsy didn’t reveal anything, nor was there a suicide note. Police found prescription drugs in the apartment, but they’d find prescription drugs in my apartment, too. There was no evidence that these drugs had been taken in anything other than the prescribed dose.
He was only 28 years old, and he had a daughter, Matilda, age two. And now he’s gone.
We know and grieve over Heath Ledger because he was famous. We knew his face. We sat in the dark of movie theaters, and projected our own emotions into his eyes. He was young and handsome and talented, and it’s a loss for all of us.
Those of us who love comics felt a special kinship, because he was playing The Joker in The Dark Knight. The trailers and the early teasers indicate that he gave a brilliant performance, one that understands the complicated character created by Jerry Robinson and further sculpted by dozens of writers and artists over the past 50 years.
Exclusive To ComicMix Radio: Heath Ledger On Taking On The Joker
The untimely death of any celebrity leaves a lot of questions and speculation. In the wake of Heath Ledger’s passing, some are looking at his overly dark portrayal of The Joker in Warner Bros’ upcoming Dark Knight Batman film. In a ComicMixexclusive, Heath Ledger tells us just why he took on such a demanding part.
There’s been a lot of talk about how the death of Heath Ledger will affect The Dark Knight, but there hasn’t been much response from the studios or producers thus far. Will million-dollar plans get scrapped? Will posters featuring The Joker be removed and/or discontinued? Will they scrap the entire film and just start all over again from scratch??
Okay, so the last question was never really an issue, but you get the idea.
Well, we wish we had all of the answers for you, but we don’t. Instead, we have this article from The Wall Street Journal that manages to get a few quotes from powerful people about the marketing plans for The Dark Knight. However, what really caught our eye about this article was the comprehensive look it provides at the marketing timeline for the film and how all of the bits and pieces fit into a much grander puzzle.
At the defaced Harvey Dent Web page, fans could get a code that allowed them to remove a piece of the overlying image. As more fans participated, Mr. Dent disappeared pixel by pixel, displaying the first official photo of Mr. Ledger’s Joker: a grim white face appearing out of the darkness with dead eyes and an erratic, ruby smile carved into his cheeks.
Not only does it have a long list of sites you can visit for all of the film’s viral-marketed fun, but it also places the information in semi-chronological order – so you can trace the course of the viral campaign at your own pace.
The untimely death of actor Heath Ledger has put the future of Warner Brother’s Batman sequel, The Dark Knight, in question. ComicMix Radio has the latest on this growing story.
• You know him from Power Pack and Franklin Richards – now find out what writer Marc Summerac is reading these days
• Start the search: there are two rare variants coming from Marvel, including one for X-Force
• Image goes for round two with Frank Frazetta
On Saturday, catch ComicMix Radio for our exclusive interview with the late Heath Ledger, where just weeks ago, in his own words, he explains his reasons for taking on the role of The Joker -–a part that some Hollywood insiders feel was just too dark.
Meantime, just Press The Button and we’ll hit your speakers!
According to SciFi Wire, the sudden death of actor Heath Ledger has thrown at least one film into a state of limbo. Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus recently wrapped filming in London, but Ledger was expected to play one of the lead roles in the film.
According to the SciFi Wire report, Ledger’s involvement was a key factor in raising the money necessary to produce the film. Imaginarium‘s producers have yet to issue a statement regarding the film’s future.
As much as sites like TMZ are picked on for being media whores, they’ve got nothing on Fred Phelps. Fred Phelps’s Westboro Baptist Church announced that it would picket the funeral of Heath Ledger, presumably because he starred in Brokeback Mountain.
"God hates fag-enablers," the WBC proclaimed in a news release issued yesterday, concluding with: "Heath Ledger is now in Hell and has begun serving his eternal sentence – beside which, nothing else about Heath Ledger is relevant or consequential."
Phelps and his followers are known for other fun picket-sign messages such as: