Warner Bros. Wanted Joker’s Origin Story In The Dark Knight
David S. Goyer is an accomplished screenwriter who’s penned some big superhero movies including Batman Begins and Man of Steel. He has a story credit on The Dark Knight as well and during a [email protected] interview, he shared some details about the acclaimed Christopher Nolan crime epic.
According to Goyer, Warner Bros. wanted the sequel to flesh out Joker’s past, but Nolan and company went with a different approach that proved to be the right one.
“I do remember when we were talking about, ‘Well, what if the Joker doesn’t really have an origin story?” Goyer recalled. “Even after the success of Batman Begins, that was considered a very controversial thing, and we got a lot of push-back. People were worried.”
At 2.5 hours long, including how Joker came to be could have slowed the film down. Besides, The Dark Knight is Harvey Dent’s origin and for Mr. J, the ambiguity in his character is what makes him dangerous. Throughout the film, Heath Ledger is telling someone different how he got his scars. By doing this, Nolan and the other writers are keeping the audience in the dark as to his origin and why he is the way he is. As Alfred famously says, “he just wants to watch the world burn.”
As we know, the movie opens and Joker is already in the midst of a bank heist. There’s no time to explain. His only agenda is chaos and that leads to randomness and unpredictability, which are far more dangerous qualities than knowing where someone is coming from because it’s left to the audience’s imagination.
Of course, we eventually got a Joker origin story and not only did it win Joaquin Phoenix Best Actor, but it became the most successful R-rated movie in history. No wonder Warner Bros. was eager to give the character a backstory in The Dark Knight, then, as they obviously knew how popular and profitable he was.