Behind the scenes of: The Dark Knight (2008)…kind of…
This picture of the late Heath Ledger doing a kick flip over Christian Bale on the set of The Dark Knight has circulated on the internet for years. The first time I saw it I totally bought into it and thought it was really cool!
However, it’s unfortunately just a really good photoshop.
The original picture (minus the skateboard) was actually used by Warner Brothers in their promotion of the film. It’s evidently from the scene where Batman falls off the Batpod after choosing not to plough into the Joker at the last minute.
In the scene, one of the Jokers minions attempts to remove Batman’s mask and gets electrocuted, which causes Joker to get excited and do a cheeky little jump over Batman’s incapacitated body before being accosted by Jim Gordon (jump to 4:09 of the video below).
It’s a fact that Ledger did skateboard around Chicago during the filming of The Dark Knight, but sadly this very convincing image is just an example of someone’s great imagination and impressive photoshop skills.
Although actors such as Adrien Brody, Paul Bettany, Steve Carell and even Robin Williams expressed an interest in playing the Clown Prince of Crime, director Christopher Nolan wanted Heath Ledger from the beginning.
In fact, Ledger had been approached by Nolan a few years earlier and was in the running to play Batman himself in Batman Begins (2005). Ledger apparently “graciously” turned down the opportunity to be involved saying, “I would never take a part in a superhero film”.
That all changed when he saw the movie and realised these weren’t going to be any ordinary superhero films.
The Dark Knight was the first superhero movie to gross $1 billion at the box office.