Christopher Nolan had initially come to Heath Ledger with the role of Bruce Wayne during the early stages of Batman Begins. The news was revealed earlier this week at The Film Society of Lincoln Center where Nolan had been a guest speaker, and Gothamist.com unveiled Nolan’s words from the lecture:
Nolan originally sat down with Heath Ledger for a preliminary talk about possibly playing Bruce Wayne; Ledger said at the time that ‘he’d never do this kinda film.’ But when time came to cast The Joker, Ledger had warmed up to it. ‘He had a vision for something,’ Nolan said. He added that Ledger ‘didn’t like to work too much,’ so he was ‘hungry’ for the role when he was approached. Ledger was also cast before the movie was completely written, so he had a long time to prepare for it.
Nolan went on to reveal that he had Ledger read books such as A Clockwork Orange as well as the works of Francis Bacon to prepare for his role as The Joker.
It’s no secret that in preparing for the role the late actor had to travel to an excessively dark place within himself to portray his character accurately, and in hindsight one can only wonder what may have become of Ledger had he taken that first role.
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