The Joker Will Not Appear in Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises”

One of the most anticipated films of summer 2012, “The Dark Knight Rises,” is set to hit theatres this July but will be missing a pivotal character and actor that established “The Dark Knight” as one of the greatest superhero movies of all time. Heath Ledger, who gave a chilling and Oscar-winning performance as the Joker, passed away in tragically in 2008 due to an accidental drug overdose and director Christopher Nolan said his character will not be referenced or featured in the upcoming film. “We’re not addressing The Joker at all,” Nolan told “Empire Magazine” in a new cover story.”That is something I felt very strongly about in terms of my relationship with Heath and the experience I went through with him on ‘The Dark Knight.’ I didn’t want to in any way try and account for a real-life tragedy. That seemed inappropriate to me.” Ledger’s death still hangs heavily over many “Dark Knight” participants and fans, a fact made evident by Christian Bale at the MTV Movie Awards Sunday evening. As clips of past Batman footage played on the screen, Bale had trouble maintaining his composure when it came time to introduce Nolan to the stage. “Man, great to remember Heath in that moment,” Bale said during the ceremony, holding back tears. “Wonderful to see Heath Ledger there.” The third and final installment in Nolan’s Batman trilogy will feature a whole new set of villains for the caped crusader to take down, including Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) and Bane (Tom Hardy). Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Marion Cotillard also star in “The Dark Knight Rises” which hits theatres July 20.