NEWS > ENTERTAINMENT > HEATH LEDGER DECLINES TO RETURN FOR NEXT BATMAN FLICK
HEATH LEDGER DECLINES TO RETURN FOR NEXT BATMAN FLICK
December 3 2010
Hollywood, CA – There is perhaps no greater blessing and no greater curse for and actor than being labelled with the age moniker of ‘typecast’. Even the word brings chills to the spines of many a performer who rightly fear that their one breakthrough
role will forever define them. Despite that fear, and the wide knowledge of such happenings, the typecast continues to persist and not just in limited talents, people who may only be able to perform one type of character. Actors both great and small have been trapped by characters, never to be free again.
Eventually many performers come to accept such a position even if their middle years are spent trying to break free and embrace the characters that made them successful. Whether that is Morgan Freeman playing the wise old man one more time or William Shatner playing Captain Kirk over and over again, eventually, grudgingly, acceptance comes. For some people however, some restless creative souls, rejection of those defining roles continues regardless of the good it might do for their bank accounts. Such a spirit is possessed by Heath Ledger who made his early career by playing varied and diverse characters and who has now more or less completely rejected the industry after his defining role, The Joker, made him a household name. Now comes word that Ledger will indeed not return to the legendary role and instead will remain in hiding.
“This has been more or less confirmed by Chris Nolan and Emma Thomas but there are no plans to bring the Joker back for the next movie. While they certainly had a story arc that would have fit the character but without Heath it just wouldn’t be the same,” said an insider. “We certainly would have liked to have him back but he put everything on the table the first time and we really can’t ask for much more than he gave in that movie. The movie will move on without The Joker.”
Ledger had apparently died of a drug overdose in early 2008 but persistent rumours suggest that he never died and is apparently secreted away somewhere in northern California.
“Whether Ledger is dead or not really isn’t the issue. That performance was stellar and really couldn’t be outdone. Someone like him never would have wanted to be seen repeating himself especially if he couldn’t do one better. That kind of dedication is what made him such a compelling presence on the screen and what made that character soar the way it did,” said Scrape TV Entertainment analyst Tracey Temple. “That and the fact that if he were to play the role again he would never escape it. He would show up at awards shows and play the Joker, show up at Comic Cons and everyone would be asking for iconic lines. He would never escape the role if he played it again. Frankly, he has limited ability to do so now.”
Ledger won an Academy Award for the performance in ‘The Dark Knight’ but was notoriously absent from the ceremony.
“From a pure story standpoint it would make sense for the character to return but the reality is without Ledger the character would suffer and potentially alienate audiences who would undoubtedly be coming to see that character,” continued Temple. “Since there is no way to tempt Ledger back, the best thing is to just let the character stay away, die off in a sense. I mean no other actor could take on that role, seriously.”
Representatives for Ledger hung up immediately, suggesting they are as unhappy about the decision as fans.
Samantha Dryden, Entertainment Correspondent