The Dark Knight (2008)

PG-13 | 152 mins | Drama | 18 July 2008

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HISTORY

The end credits include an acknowledgment of thanks to "Mayor Richard M. Daley and The Citizens of Chicago," and "The Government and Citizens of Hong Kong.” As noted in the end credits, the film was shot on location in Chicago, London, Hong Kong, and Cardington and Pinewood Studios, England. Interiors for the film were shot in Pinewood Studios, outside London, as well as in the Cardington Airship Hangers, in Bedfordshire, England, which have been used as huge soundstages for high profile projects such as the James Bond films. Many exteriors for The Dark Knight , including the city streets and water sequences, were shot in Chicago. Although the setting of the story is the fictitious American city of Gotham, the characteristic look of downtown Chicago, with its elevated train, bridges and intersecting waterways, was not obscured in any way or made to look like any other city.
       Specific Chicago locations used for the film included, among others, The Old Chicago Post Office (used for several scenes, including the opening bank heist sequence), the Navy Pier (used for the city evacuation and ship sequences) and the Chicago Convention Hall. Chicago’s Trump Tower, which was under construction during filming, was used for the climactic confrontation between Batman (Christian Bale) and the Joker (Heath Ledger). According to the pressbook, interiors for Trump Tower were recreated at Pinewood studios for other aspects of the confrontation. The 110-story Sears Tower, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, was used for the iconic exterior shot of Batman atop a skyscraper.
       According to a LAT news item on 8 Nov 2007, when the production was filming ... More Less

The end credits include an acknowledgment of thanks to "Mayor Richard M. Daley and The Citizens of Chicago," and "The Government and Citizens of Hong Kong.” As noted in the end credits, the film was shot on location in Chicago, London, Hong Kong, and Cardington and Pinewood Studios, England. Interiors for the film were shot in Pinewood Studios, outside London, as well as in the Cardington Airship Hangers, in Bedfordshire, England, which have been used as huge soundstages for high profile projects such as the James Bond films. Many exteriors for The Dark Knight , including the city streets and water sequences, were shot in Chicago. Although the setting of the story is the fictitious American city of Gotham, the characteristic look of downtown Chicago, with its elevated train, bridges and intersecting waterways, was not obscured in any way or made to look like any other city.
       Specific Chicago locations used for the film included, among others, The Old Chicago Post Office (used for several scenes, including the opening bank heist sequence), the Navy Pier (used for the city evacuation and ship sequences) and the Chicago Convention Hall. Chicago’s Trump Tower, which was under construction during filming, was used for the climactic confrontation between Batman (Christian Bale) and the Joker (Heath Ledger). According to the pressbook, interiors for Trump Tower were recreated at Pinewood studios for other aspects of the confrontation. The 110-story Sears Tower, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, was used for the iconic exterior shot of Batman atop a skyscraper.
       According to a LAT news item on 8 Nov 2007, when the production was filming in Hong Kong, local citizens and environmental groups protested when producers sent a letter to tenants of high-rise buildings near the waterfront asking them to keep their lights on all night for a week to highlight “Hong Kong’s glittering skyline.” A 24 Dec 2008 LAT article reported that The Dark Knight would not be receiving an official release in China because of “pre-release conditions” and “cultural sensitivity to some elements of the film,” possibly because of fears by Warner Bros. that the film might bring offense in the way that the Chinese characters were portrayed.
       Among the film's highlights, as mentioned in reviews, was a spectacular chase sequence that included, among other things, an eighteen-wheel semi-truck being catapulted into the air. The film's pressbook noted that The Dark Knight was the first major feature film production to have been "even partially shot" by IMAX cameras. The six IMAX sequences included the chase and the approximately six-minute-long opening scenes of the elaborate bank robbery. Shortly after the film's theatrical release, a full IMAX version was exhibited at specially equipped IMAX theatres.
       The makeup for the Joker, designed by Peter Robb-King and executed by John Caglione, Jr., differed significantly from the makeup created for the character on television and in earlier films. Unlike the precisely drawn, cartoonish greasepaint look of the makeup worn by Cesar Romero in the television series and Jack Nicholson in the 1989 Batman film, the makeup created for Ledger's Joker had a grotesque, partially smudged look, which made the character appear more menacing.
       Some other aspects of the production also set it apart from earlier Batman films and television shows, thus making the completed film, like its predecessor, Batman Returns , much darker and less comically self-reflexive than its predecessors. In interviews and in the pressbook for The Dark Knight , Nolan and others related that a decision was made not to use iconic terms such as "the Batcave," "The Batsuit " or “The Batmobile" within the film. There were two vehicles used by Batman in The Dark Knight . The first was a more traditional Batman vehicle, which filmmakers nicknamed “the Tumbler.” The second was an all-terrain, heavily armed motorcycle-like vehicle known as “the Bat-pod,” which was featured in some of the key art for the film.
The Dark Knight was the last motion picture completed by Australian-born actor Ledger (1979--2008), who died of an accidental drug overdose in his New York City apartment on 22 Jan 2008. As noted in many news articles at the time, because principal photography had been completed on The Dark Knight , the actor's death did not cause re-shoots or recasting, as was the case on the film which he was shooting at the time of his death, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus . As noted in a 24 Jan 2008 DV article, the main problem for Warner Bros., the distributor of The Dark Knight , was the film's marketing campaign, which was beginning to take shape with a major emphasis on "the Joker" character portrayed by Ledger. When the film was released on 18 Jul 2008, Ledger's intense performance was universally praised by critics and led to his posthumous selection for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, as well as a Golden Globe and a SAG award, both in the Supporting Actor categories.
       Conway Wickliffe (1966—2007) a New Zealand-born special effects technician who had worked on a number of high profile films, died on 25 Sep 2007 while operating a camera for a test run of a high speed stunt being blocked for the movie. Although some news reports stated that Wickliffe died during filming, his death actually occurred on a racetrack track in Longross, near Chertsey, England and was not filmed. The deaths of Ledger and Wickliffe were acknowledged in the end credits, on a separate title card that bore the following written dedication: "In memory of our friends Heath Ledger & Conway Wickliffe."
       Noted Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy made a brief appearance in the film as a party guest who has a verbal confrontation with the Joker. According to a 12 Jul 2008 NYT article, the scene was filmed in a Chicago restaurant. As the article pointed out, unlike most other movie cameos of well-known politicians, Leahy's character actually spoke some lines and was involved in the action. Leahy, who was quoted as saying that he had been a life-long fan of the Batman comics, also appeared, but did not speak, in the 1997 Warner Bros. release Batman and Robin , as well as provided a voice-over for a Batman cartoon. According to the NYT article, the senator donated his earnings for the film to his local library in Montpelier, VT.
       Although the "Batman/Bruce Wayne" persona remains relatively true to the character's mythology in the Batman comics, the storyline of The Dark Knight was not tied to any specific Batman story. The back stories of several of the main characters, including Harvey Dent/Two-Face (Aaron Eckhart), Commissioner James Gordon (Gary Oldman), Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) and butler Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine) also generally follow the established mythology, but the character of Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal) never appeared in the comics. Some plot points within the film were at variance with the comics. For example, in the comics, Lucius Fox is not aware that Bruce Wayne is Batman, and in the comics, Harvey Dent is scarred in a courtroom when "Salvatore Maroni" (Eric Roberts in the film), throws acid in his face.
       As reported in DV on 13 Nov 2008, the score for The Dark Knight , written by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard, initially was disqualified for Academy Award consideration, a situation similar to what had occurred in 2005, when the score for Batman Begins was disqualified from Academy Award consideration. The issue, according to the article, was based on the fact that three additional names, music editor Alex Gibson, ambient music designer Mel Wesson and additional music composer Lorne Balfe, also were listed on the cue sheets submitted to the Academy's music committee. Although Gibson, Wesson and Balfe offered affidavits signifying that Zimmer and Howard had written "more than 60% but less than 70%" of the score, the committee did not relent at that time.
       According to a 17 Dec 2008 article posted on the LAT 's TheEnvelope.com website, the committee later reversed the decision, making Zimmer and Howard eligible for Oscar consideration. However, when the Academy Award nominations were announced in Jan 2009, the film's score did not receive a nomination.
       Although, according to a 23 Jan 2009 LAT article and other contemporary articles, The Dark Knight was widely thought to be a likely Best Picture nominee for an Academy Award, it did not receive a nomination in the category. However, it did receive nominations in seven other categories, and earned two awards, Ledger's as the Best Supporting Actor and Richard King's for Achievement in Sound editing. Other nominations were for Art direction (Nathan Crowley, Art director and Peter Lando, Set decoration), Cinematography (Wally Pfister), Makeup (John Caglione, Jr. and Conor O'Sullivan), Sound mixing (Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo and Ed Novick) and Visual effects (Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber and Paul Franklin).
       As reported in a LAT article on 1 Sep 2008. The Dark Knight became only the second film in history (after Titanic ) to make more than $500,000,000 at the North American box office. By early 2009, according to a 23 Feb 2009 DV article, the picture became the fourth to bring in over $1,000,000 world-wide. The eventual domestic box office gross of the $180,000,000 production was over $520,000,000, according to various sources.
       The Batman, alter ego of industrialist Bruce Wayne, first appeared in Detective Comics [later known as DC Comics], issue # 27 (May, 1939), written by Bob Kane. Like many popular comic book characters, Batman, often called "The Caped Crusader," has appeared in several different series since his inception and gone through various changes. In 1986, famed comic writer and artist Frank Miller wrote a mini-series entitled Batman: The Dark Knight Returns , which featured the more hardened character that has remained since that time, although the mini-series was not directly related to the film The Dark Knight . A feature film, the 1966 Twentieth Century-Fox release Batman , was directed by Leslie H. Martinson, and starred Adam West and Burt Ward, who respectively had portrayed "Batman" and "Robin" [a character who did not appear in Batman Returns or The Dark Knight ] in a popular mid-1960s television series. The series and feature were noteworthy for colorful, almost comic book-like art direction and camera-work, the deadpan performances of West and Ward and the famous guest stars who took on some of the recurring characters in the comics, including Catwoman, the Joker and the Riddler.
       There have been many other television series based on Bob Kane’s characters, beginning with a 1949 series entitled Batman and Robin , starring Robert Lowery as Batman and Johnny Duncan as his sidekick, “Robin/Dick Grayson." Among the animated series, the most recent, The Batman began in 2004, featuring the voice of Rino Romano as Batman.
       Among the feature film adaptations, the 1989 Warner Bros. release, Batman , directed by Tim Burton, was the first to present a darker characterization of Batman. That film starred Michael Keaton, who recreated the role of Batman in Batman Returns (1992), which also was directed by Burton. Val Kilmer took over the role in Batman Forever (1995), directed by Joel Schumacher, who also directed Batman & Robin (1997), which starred George Clooney. Another feature film, Batman Begins (2005), was also directed by Christopher Nolan and co-written by Nolan and David S. Goyer. Bale, Oldman, Freeman and Caine all reprised their roles from the 2005 film for The Dark Knight . As of late 2009, another installment in the series, as yet untitled, was in development, tentatively with Nolan set to direct and Bale to star. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
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DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
24 Jan 2008
p. 1, 31.
Daily Variety
6 Jul 2008.
---
Daily Variety
13 Nov 2008.
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Daily Variety
23 Feb 2009.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 2007.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Sep 2007.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jul 2008.
---
Los Angeles Times
8 Nov 2007.
---
Los Angeles Times
18 Jul 2008
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
1 Sep 2008.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 Dec 2008.
---
Los Angeles Times
24 Dec 2008.
---
Los Angeles Times
23 Jan 2009.
---
New York Times
26 Sep 2007.
---
New York Times
22 Jan 2008.
---
New York Times
9 Mar 2008.
---
New York Times
12 Jul 2008.
---
New York Times
18 Jul 2008.
---
Newsweek
21 Jul 2008.
---
Screen International
28 Sep 2007.
---
Time
21 Jul 2008.
---
Variety
7 Aug 2006.
---
Variety
14-20 Jul 2008.
---
WSJ
18 Jul 2008.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Passegers:
Prisoners:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Film by Christopher Nolan
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
Addl 2d asst dir
Visual eff addl 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
3rd asst dir
3rd asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
Line prod, Hong Kong
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Aerial dir of photog
Visual eff dir of photog, US plate unit
Dir of phog, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Chief lighting tech
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Key grip
Key grip
Visual eff key grip, US Plate unit
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
IMAX consultant
A cam op/Steadicam op
A cam 1st asst
Visual eff 1st asst cam, US Plate unit
B cam 1st asst
Cam 1st asst-IMAX
A cam 2d asst
B cam 2d asst
B cam focus puller
A cam clapper loader
B cam clapper loader
Cam tech-IMAX
Ultimate Arm cam op
Ultimate Arm cam op
Cam op, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Still photog
Video assist op
Video assist asst
Key video assist/Computer coord
Addl video assist/Computer op
Computer and video supv
Computer eff tech
Aerial ground coord
Best boy/Rigging gaffer
Rigging gaffer
Chargehand elec
HOD elec rigger
Supv elec rigger
Best boy rigging elec
Standby elec rigger
Chargehand rigging elec
Photog crew, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Photog crew, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Photog crew, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Photog crew, New Deal Studios, Inc.
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Supv art dir
Supv art dir
Art dir
Art dir
Art dir
Art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Standby art dir
Standby art dir
Art dept coord
Art dept coord
Concept artist
Concept artist
Storyboard artist
Graphic artist
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Asst set dec
Leadman
On set dresser
Prod buyer
Prod buyer
Prop master
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Props supv
Changehand stand by props
Stand by props
Armourer
Armourer
Armourer
Const mgr
Asst const mgr
Const coord
Const coord
Const coord
HOD carpenter
Supv carpenter
Stand-by carpenter
HOD painter
Paint supv
Stand-by painter
HOD plasterer
Stand-by plasterer
HOD rigger
Stand-by rigger
HOD stagehand
Stand-by stagehand
Loc foreman
COSTUMES
Cost des
1st asst cost des
Asst cost des
Asst cost des
Cost supv
Cost supv
Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne tailored ward handmad
Aaron Eckhart's ward supplied by
Cost set supv
Ward mistress--crowd
Cost--Batman/Wayne
Cost--Michael Caine
Cost--Morgan Freeman
Set cost
Set cost
Cost coord
Key breakdown/Dyer
Asst breakdown/Dyer
Cost maker
Cost concept artist
Cost FX supv
Bat suit shop
Bat suit shop
Bat suit shop
Bat suit shop
Bat suit shop
Bat suit shop
Bat suit shop
Bat suit shop
Bat suit shop
Bat suit shop
Bat suit shop
Bat suit shop
MUSIC
Addl mus
Ambient mus des
Mus ed
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Tech score eng
Tech score eng
Tech score eng
Tech score eng
Tech score eng
Digital instrument des
Synth programming
Synth programming
Synth programming
Orch cond
Orch cond
Orch cond
Supv score coord
Score coord
Score rec
Score mixed by
SOUND
Sd des/Supv sd ed
1st asst sd ed
1st asst sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Addl re-rec mixer
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Boom op
Dial ed
Dial ed
ADR supv
Sd ef rec mixer
Sd ef rec mixer
Sd eff ed
Addl sd des
Foley supv
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual eff supv
Visual eff supv, Double Negative Ltd.
Visual eff supv, Framestore
Visual eff supv, Buf Compagnie
Visual eff supv, Buf Compagnie
Visual eff supv, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Visual eff prod
Visual eff prod, Double Negative Ltd.
Visual eff prod, Double Negative Ltd.
Visual eff prod, Framestore
Visual eff prod, Buf Compagnie
Visual eff prod, Buf Compagnie
VFX prod, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Spec eff supv
Spec eff coord
Spec eff coord
VFX prod coord, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Floor supv
Prep supv
Workshop supv
Workshop supv
Workshop supv
Wire SPX supv
Animatronic des
Animatronic des
Animatronic des
Animatronic des
Spec eff foreman
Spec eff foreman
Senior spec eff tech
Senior spec eff tech
Senior spec eff tech
Senior spec eff tech
Senior spec eff tech
Senior spec eff tech
Senior spec eff tech
Senior spec eff tech
Senior spec eff tech
Senior spec eff tech
Senior spec eff tech
Senior spec eff tech
Senior spec eff tech
Senior spec eff tech
Senior spec eff tech
Senior spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff eng
SFX storeman
SFX wireman
Modeller
Modeller
Modeller
Model maker, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Model maker, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Model maker, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Model maker, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Model maker, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Model maker, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Model maker, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Model maker, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Sr visual eff ed
Visual eff ed
Visual eff ed, Double Negative Ltd.
Visual eff ed, Double Negative Ltd.
Visual eff ed, Framestore
Visual eff ed, Framestore
Visual eff ed, Framestore
Visual eff asst ed
Visual eff prod supv
Visual eff coord
Visual eff coord
Visual eff coord
Visual eff coord, Framestore
Visual eff coord, Framestore
Visual eff coord, Framestore
Visual eff coord, Buf Compagnie
Visual eff digital coord
Visual eff digital coord
Visual eff digital coord
Visual eff matchmover
Visual eff
Visual eff
Visual eff assoc prod, Double Negative Ltd.
Visual eff assoc prod, Double Negative Ltd.
VFX coord, Double Negative Ltd.
CG supv, Double Negative Ltd.
CG supv, Double Negative Ltd.
CG supv, Double Negative Ltd
CG supv, Framestore
CG seq supv, Double Negative Ltd.
CG seq supv, Double Negative Ltd.
CG seq supv, Double Negative Ltd.
CG seq supv, Double Negative Ltd.
CG seq supv, Double Negative Ltd.
Lead CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Lead CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Lead CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Lead CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Lead CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG lighting artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Lead CG eff artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Lead CG eff artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Lead CG eff artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Lead CG eff artist, Buf Compagnie
Lead CG eff artist, Buf Compagnie
Lead CG eff artist, Buf Compagnie
Lead CG eff artist, Buf Compagnie
CG eff artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG eff artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG eff artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG eff artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG eff artist, Double Negative Ltd.
CG eff artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Char rigger, Double Negative Ltd.
Char rigger, Double Negative Ltd.
Char rigger, Double Negative Ltd.
Matchmove artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Matchmove artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Matchmove artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Matchmove artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Matchmove artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Matchmove artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Matchmove artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Matchmove artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Matchmove artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Matchmove artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Matchmove artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Matchmove artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Matchmove artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Matchmove artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Matchmove artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositing supv, Framestore
Compositing seq supv, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositing seq supv, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositing seq supv, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositing seq supv, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositing seq supv, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositing seq supv, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Compositor, Double Negative Ltd.
Rotoscope artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Rotoscope artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Rotoscope artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Rotoscope artist, Double Negative Ltd.
Matte painter, Double Negative Ltd.
Matte painter, Double Negative Ltd.
Matte painter, Double Negative Ltd.
Matte painter, Double Negative Ltd.
Software development, Double Negative Ltd.
Software development, Double Negative Ltd.
Software development, Double Negative Ltd.
Software development, Double Negative Ltd.
Software development, Double Negative Ltd.
Software development, Double Negative Ltd.
Software development, Double Negative Ltd.
Software development, Double Negative Ltd.
Software development, Double Negative Ltd.
Software development, Double Negative Ltd.
Software development, Double Negative Ltd.
Software development, Double Negative Ltd.
Tech support, Double Negative Ltd.
Tech support, Double Negative Ltd.
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Framestore
Digital artist, Buf Compagnie
Digital artist, Buf Compagnie
Digital artist, Buf Compagnie
Digital artist, Buf Compagnie
Digital artist, Buf Compagnie
Digital artist, Buf Compagnie
Digital artist, Buf Compagnie
Digital artist, Buf Compagnie
Digital artist, Buf Compagnie
Miniature Effects and Photog
Mechanical eff supv, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Miniature eff supv, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Mechanical eff supv, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Mechanical eff supv, New Deal Studios, Inc.
Previsualization by
Previsualization by
Previsualization by
Previsualization by
Previsualization by
Previsualization by
Previsualization by
MAKEUP
Makeup & hair des
Key makeup artist
Makeup artist to Mr. Ledger
Makeup artist to Mr. Freeman
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hair dept head
Hair stylist to Mr. Freeman
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Prosthetic supv
Prosthetic make up artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
UK casting
Casting assoc
UK casting assoc
US casting assistant
UK casting asst
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Unit mgr
Unit mgr--Cardington
Prod mgr--Cardington
Prod mgr, Hong Kong
Post prod supv
Post prod coord
Scr supv
Prod supv
Prod supv
Financial controller
Supv loc mgr
Supv loc mgr
Visual eff loc supv
Aerial coord/Pilot
Aerial ground coord
Aerial ground coord
Aerial ground coord
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Prod assoc
Prod coord
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Loc accountant
1st asst accountant
1st asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Prod secy
Prod secy
Prod secy
Key set prod asst
Key set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Asst to Mr. Nolan
Asst to Ms. Thomas
Asst to Ms. Thomas
Asst to Mr. Roven
Asst to Mr. Roven
Asst to Mr. Ledger
Asst to Ms. Gyllenhaal
Asst to Mr. Oldman
Asst to Mr. Eckhart
Asst to Mr. Freeman
Unit pub
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Transportation coord
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Police vehicles coord
Police vehicles coord
Marine coord
Unit nurse
Medic
Birds and animals
Birds and animals
Birds and animals
Birds and animals
Birds and animals
Birds and animals
Birds and animals
Birds and animals
Dialect coach
Craft services
Prod services in Hong Kong provided by
Creative consultant to DC Comics
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Asst stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt rigger
Stunt rigger
Fight consultant
Fight consultant
ANIMATION
Anim, Double Negative Ltd.
Anim, Double Negative Ltd.
Anim, Double Negative Ltd.
Anim, Double Negative Ltd.
Anim, Double Negative Ltd.
Anim, Double Negative Ltd.
Anim, Double Negative Ltd.
Anim, Double Negative Ltd.
Anim, Double Negative Ltd.
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 July 2008
Production Date:
26 February--11 November 2007 in London, England and Chicago
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Copyright Date:
26 September 2008
Copyright Number:
PA1606857
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
152
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
44427
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In a perfectly timed and executed bank robbery in Gotham City, a grotesquely made-up criminal named the Joker comes to the attention of vigilante superhero Batman. Despite strong public support for Batman throughout Gotham, police consider his tactics illegal and seek his identity and whereabouts. On the evening of the robbery, Batman meets police Lt. Jim Gordon at the bank where detective Anna Ramirez has found security camera footage of the Joker. When Gordon, who is a secret ally, reveals that the bank housed mob money, Batman asks Gordon if he trusts new district attorney Harvey Dent. The next morning, wealthy playboy and business man Bruce Wayne, known only to a very few as the real identity of Batman, meets with his lifelong friend and valet, Alfred Pennyworth, in his secret control center underneath the Wayne Enterprises building. There they watch a video of Harvey with Bruce’s childhood friend and former love, assistant D.A., Rachel Dawes. After Harvey and Rachel spend the day in court prosecuting mob head Salvatore Maroni, Gordon meets Harvey, who demands to know why Batman remains at large and why Gordon’s team includes so many agents under investigation for corruption. Gordon asks for Harvey’s trust and praises the principled D.A. as Gotham’s “White Knight.” Across the city, at Wayne Enterprises, business manager and research head Lucius Fox confides to Bruce his unease with a venture between Wayne and Lau Security Investments. That evening, when Bruce and his date run into Harvey and Rachel, Bruce offers to throw Harvey a fund raiser. A few days later, mob leaders hold a teleconference with Mr. Lau, their ... +


In a perfectly timed and executed bank robbery in Gotham City, a grotesquely made-up criminal named the Joker comes to the attention of vigilante superhero Batman. Despite strong public support for Batman throughout Gotham, police consider his tactics illegal and seek his identity and whereabouts. On the evening of the robbery, Batman meets police Lt. Jim Gordon at the bank where detective Anna Ramirez has found security camera footage of the Joker. When Gordon, who is a secret ally, reveals that the bank housed mob money, Batman asks Gordon if he trusts new district attorney Harvey Dent. The next morning, wealthy playboy and business man Bruce Wayne, known only to a very few as the real identity of Batman, meets with his lifelong friend and valet, Alfred Pennyworth, in his secret control center underneath the Wayne Enterprises building. There they watch a video of Harvey with Bruce’s childhood friend and former love, assistant D.A., Rachel Dawes. After Harvey and Rachel spend the day in court prosecuting mob head Salvatore Maroni, Gordon meets Harvey, who demands to know why Batman remains at large and why Gordon’s team includes so many agents under investigation for corruption. Gordon asks for Harvey’s trust and praises the principled D.A. as Gotham’s “White Knight.” Across the city, at Wayne Enterprises, business manager and research head Lucius Fox confides to Bruce his unease with a venture between Wayne and Lau Security Investments. That evening, when Bruce and his date run into Harvey and Rachel, Bruce offers to throw Harvey a fund raiser. A few days later, mob leaders hold a teleconference with Mr. Lau, their Hong Kong financial adviser, who suggests they allow him to protect their money then admits that he already has stolen it. The teleconference is interrupted by the arrival of the Joker, who after accusing the mob leaders of being afraid of Batman, offers to rid Gotham of the masked crusader for fifty per cent of the mob’s funds. That night, as Gordon and Harvey meet with Batman to argue about Lau absconding with the mob’s millions and exchange accusations that their respective offices are corrupt, Batman vows to return Lau to Gotham City. Meanwhile, in order to frighten the mob, the Joker boldly kills a mob leader in his own territory. Soon after, Bruce secretly accompanies Lucius to Hong Kong where Lucius surreptitiously plants a sonar device in the Lau Security building, then meets with Lau to inform him that the co-venture has been canceled. That night, Batman uses the sonar device to locate Lau, then spirits him away in a daring escape. Back in Gotham, Rachel questions Lau, who agrees to reveal information on the mob members’ locations. Delighted, Harvey has Gordon arrest 549 mobsters. Later, while Harvey and Gordon meet Mayor Anthony Garcia in his office, a dead body dressed in a Batman costume slams against the outside window. Found on the body is a video showing the dead man’s murder by the Joker. The video ends with the Joker’s demand that until Batman turns himself in, someone will die every day. The next evening at the Wayne Enterprises penthouse fund raiser for Harvey, Bruce calls the D.A. Gotham’s “bright future.” Back at police headquarters, Ramirez tells Gordon that DNA tests on the joker playing card found on the Batman double’s body matches that of Judge Surillo, Commissioner Loeb and Harvey. Realizing that these are the Joker’s next victims, Gordon orders protection sent to the judge’s home and hurries to Loeb’s office to warn him, but he is too late. Within a few moments, Surillo dies in a car explosion, and Loeb unwittingly sips poisoned whiskey in front of Gordon. Back at Bruce's penthouse, after Rachel evades answering Harvey’s marriage proposal, Bruce drags the D.A. to a safe location before hurrying away to don his specially crafted Batman suit. After the Joker bursts into the fundraiser in search of Harvey, Batman appears and the men fight until the Joker grabs Rachel and flings her out the window. Using the powerful wings on his suit, Batman leaps after Rachel and breaks her fall. The next day, as Batman reflects upon the latest murders, Alfred cautions him that the Joker may not desire any tangible spoils, but rather glory in sowing chaos. That evening, the Joker tips off Gordon and Batman where to find two dead men in clown make-up and the crime scene contains clues indicating that Harvey and the mayor are future targets. Examining the scene, Batman removes a section of wall pierced by a bullet, and with Lucius's assistance digitally reconstructs the bullet's casing, complete with a fingerprint. The following morning, as the public funeral procession for Loeb commences, Bruce races to the address of the man matched to the casing fingerprint. At an empty apartment overlooking the funeral services, Bruce finds several bound and gagged policemen stripped of their uniforms. Just as Bruce realizes that the Joker and his henchman have taken the places of the police funeral escort, the officers, made up of the Joker without his trademark makeup, and his henchmen, fire a traditional rifle salute. When the shooting abruptly becomes random, Gordon throws himself protectively over the mayor, but is himself shot and killed. In the subsequent chaos, an outraged Harvey confronts one of the Joker's disguised men and finds his police name tag, which lists Rachel as the next victim. Later that evening, Batman locates Maroni in a nightclub and demands to know the location of the Joker. After Batman stops Harvey from attacking the henchman, he demands that Harvey give a press conference at which Batman will give himself up. At his penthouse, Bruce discusses his plan with Rachel, who has taken Harvey’s advice to hide there, but doubts Bruce’s sacrifice will stop the Joker’s rampage. When Bruce asks Rachel if she would resume their relationship once he gives up being Batman, Rachel says yes, but points out that circumstances would never allow them to be together. Although Alfred urges Bruce to “endure” as Batman, at the news conference the next day, Bruce remains determined to give himself up. When the crowd of spectators and reporters demand Batman’s surrender, however, Harvey abruptly declares that he is Batman and promptly is taken into custody. Watching the news in the penthouse, Rachel is angered that Bruce does not intercede, but Alfred suggests that Batman is attempting to be more than a hero. Before hurrying off to see Harvey, Rachel gives Alfred a note for Bruce and asks him to pass it on “when the time is right.” Despite Rachel’s pleas to Harvey not to serve as bait for the Joker, Harvey insists on going through with a transfer to the county jail facilities and leaves Rachel his lucky two-headed coin. As the van carrying Harvey drives through Gotham, the Joker and his men attack the police escort cars and fire on the police van. Batman, following the convoy in his specially equipped automobile, attempts to cut off the Joker's semi-truck but crashes and is forced to resume the pursuit in his distinctive motorcycle. After the Joker's men bring down a police helicopter, Batman shoots steel cables around the semi’s front axel and securing the line around several lamp posts, flips the truck. Dazed, the Joker survives the crash only to be arrested by Gordon, who is alive and had faked his death to lure the Joker into the open. After the mayor promotes Gordon to commissioner, Gordon and Batman interrogate the Joker, who implies that both the police and city hall are corrupt. The Joker then taunts Batman by insisting that Batman will always fail because he is restrained by an empty social and moral code. When the Joker reveals that he has kidnapped both Rachel and Harvey, and holds each at separate locations, he challenges Batman to make a choice of whom to rescue. The Joker then misdirects Batman and Gordon to the warehouse locations of Harvey and Rachel, resulting in Batman racing to Rachel, only to discover Harvey, who has been tied to a chair, surrounded by oil barrels and a timed explosive device. As Batman pulls Harvey away, the explosives detonate causing the left side of Harvey’s face, which has been covered by oil, to catch fire. Meanwhile, unable to reach Rachel in time, Gordon and his men watch in horror as the warehouse where she is bound, blows up. At the same time, the Joker, who has placed an explosive inside the body of one of his jailed henchmen, uses his allotted telephone call to trigger the device and escapes during the chaos of the explosions’ aftermath. The following morning at Wayne Enterprises, Alfred secretly reads Rachel’s note, which declares that she loves Harvey and intends to marry him as she believes that Bruce will never give up his Batman persona. When a grieving Bruce tells Alfred that he is certain Rachel would have returned to him in time, Alfred decides not to give him the note and destroys it. Some time later, at Gotham General hospital, Harvey awakens to learn of Rachel’s death when Gordon visits bearing his lucky coin which, like Harvey, is severely burned on one side. Gordon reveals that they have learned that the Joker blackmailed Ramirez and detective Wuertz into giving up Harvey and Rachel. A little later, the Joker interrupts a television news interview with Reese to declare that he will blow up one of Gotham’s hospitals if Reese remains alive. Although Gordon immediately orders all the hospitals evacuated and places Reese under protection, the Joker reaches Gotham General where, disguised as a nurse, he makes his way to Harvey’s room and goads him by pointing out the weakness of society to deal with brutal crime. Leaving the hospital, the Joker sets off numerous bombs, destroying the buildings. Nearby, Bruce, who has helped Gordon protect Reese, worries if Harvey was safely evacuated. The Joker then publicly announces his intention to take over Gotham and although urging the public to flee, hints that he has already sabotaged the bridges and tunnels leading out of the city. While Gordon, the police force and military investigate the bridges and tunnels, Harvey, demented by grief and pain after being set free by the Joker, locates Wuertz in a bar and shoots him. The mayor orders the city ferry system be used to evacuate Gotham residents, including prisoners, which include the mob’s men. While Harvey next confronts and kills Maroni, the Joker radios two ferry boats, one carrying regular citizens, the other carrying the prison’s criminals, and reveals that both ships have been wired to explode by midnight. Each ship also has a detonator to destroy the other ship and if used, the Joker vows to spare that ship. Continuing on his vendetta, Harvey uses Ramirez to take Gordon’s wife and son hostage. At Wayne Enterprises, Batman asks Lucius to help him locate the Joker, revealing that he has applied Lucius’ sonar technology to Gotham’s telephone system to create a vast sonar web. Although angered that his technology is being subverted, Lucius agrees to help. As the situation on the ferry boats becomes tense, Lucius and his sonar device locate the Joker in a building overlooking the harbor, after which Gordon, Batman and various SWAT teams convene on a neighboring high rise. As midnight approaches, Gordon and the others spot a group of kidnapped hospital evacuees positioned with clown masked guards in the windows of the building held by the Joker. Believing Harvey may be one of the hospital hostages, Gordon refuses Batman’s request to help, but Batman descends onto the top of the building using his costume’s wings as a glider. Then, using sonar goggles, Lucius is able to guide him remotely through the building which is now teaming with SWAT members, hostages and the Joker’s henchmen. While Batman incapacitates the SWAT members and gangsters, Gordon receives a call from Harvey revealing that he is holding his wife and son. Batman then confronts the Joker on the building’s top floor and the men battle. As midnight strikes, neither the prisoners nor the citizens will destroy the other ferry, forcing the disappointed Joker to struggle for his detonator, thus allowing Batman to throw him off the building. When Batman then catches the Joker with a cable and hoists him back up, the Joker reveals that he still has triumphed because he has corrupted the soul of Gotham’s White Knight by turning Harvey into a murderer. Meeting Harvey at the remains of the building where Rachel died, Gordon pleads with him to spare his wife and child, but Harvey blames him for Rachel’s death. Batman arrives as Harvey is threatening Gordon’s son. After flipping his defaced lucky coin, Harvey then shoots Batman. Despite Gordon’s fervent apology, Harvey is about to kill the boy, when Batman, saved by his new bullet-repelling suit, revives and tackles Harvey, sending them both over the edge of the building. After Gordon rushes below, he finds Harvey dead and Batman stunned. Gordon later thanks the battered Batman but laments that the Joker has indeed won as all Harvey’s good works will be forgotten when the people of Gotham learn of his murder spree. Batman however, declares that no one will ever know of Harvey’s actions, vowing to take the blame for the murders himself to maintain Harvey’s image as Gotham’s true hero and “White Knight.” +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.