On January 22nd, 2008, Ledger died due to a cardiac arrest brought on by a drug overdose. He was only 28 years old at the time of the incident, which left the entire entertainment industry in mourning at the loss of such a great, raw talent. If there’s one small solace to take away from Heath Ledger’s all-too-brief time on this Earth, though, it’s that he saved his best performance for last. Not only that, but if he hadn’t passed away, we could’ve even seen him reprise his iconic role.
That’s right, according to the late actor’s sister Kate, he had plans to make another Batman film with Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale. We’re not sure what shape that project would’ve taken – though it obviously would’ve been much different from The Dark Knight Rises – but this is certainly interesting to learn.
Speaking in a recent interview, Ledger’s sister said the following:
“I spoke to him the night before (he died) and we were laughing and joking. He was so proud of what he had done in Batman. And I know he had plans for another Batman.
Continuing on, Kate revealed how much fun Heath had making The Dark Knight, saying that he absolutely loved his time on set:
He loved working with Chris Nolan and Christian Bale and Gary Oldman. He just had the best time ever doing that film… When he came home at Christmas he couldn’t wait to tell us all about it and he was doing the voice and laughing, showing me all the rushes. We had a great time.”
Of course, back when The Dark Knight hit theaters, the rise of the cinematic universe hadn’t really begun yet and as such, there wasn’t really any chatter about what kind of role the Joker would hold in a potential sequel. Of course, we’ll now never know where the character’s arc could’ve gone, but as we said above, it’s interesting to learn that Ledger was planning to reprise the role and hearing about this only makes his death that much more tragic.
After all, just as Carrie Fisher was and forever will be Princess Leia, Heath Ledger will always be the Clown Prince of Crime. Because in The Dark Knight, the late, great actor delivered a tour-de-force performance that transcended the silver screen to become something more – something immortal. And that’s exactly what he achieved with his pitch-perfect Batman role, even if he didn’t know it at the time.
Thankfully, we’ll always be able to relive the actor’s groundbreaking work and now, we can even do so in glorious hi-def due to the recent 4K Ultra HD release of the film on Blu-Ray. It’s currently available on Amazon (order here) and for those wanting to revisit one of the greatest cinematic experiences of all-time, we highly suggest picking it up.