Heath Ledger to play Joker in upcoming Batman film

Aug 1, 2006 at 3:00 p.m. ET

Although not as evil looking as the 1989 film version of the Joker, Jack Nicholson, Aussie actor Heath Ledger has been tapped to portray the Joker in the second installment of the revived Batman franchise.

Christopher Nolan confirmed the choice of Ledger in a statement, and welcomed him aboard. "I'm excited to continue the story we started with Batman Begins," talented director Nolan, who will be directing the second film entitled The Dark Knight, said in a statement. "Our challenge in casting the Joker was to find an actor who is not just extraordinarily talented but fearless. Watching Heath Ledger's interpretation of this iconic character taking on Christian Bale's Batman is going to be incredible." Obviously Bale will be back as the Caped Crusader, as he makes for an edgy, sexy, intense superhero. Batman Begins has grossed 370 million since it's release last summer, and in the hands of Nolan, Bale and Ledger the upcoming film, which is expected to be released in the summer of 2008, will most likely follow suit as a box office blockbuster.

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