I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the way most of the media and fans have avoided turning The Dark Knight into an excuse to hump Heath Ledger’s corpse. Yes, we’ve all been raving about his performance, but it’s because it’s deserved, not because he’s dead. However, I’m a little worried that devolving the whole movie into a long, drawn out excuse to get soccer moms crying over Heath Ledger’s death may yet be on the horizon.

In the last day or two, more and more stories around the film have started focusing on Ledger’s demise. Some of them even when it doesn’t make any sense. Case in point, a story running on The Guardian in which they claim that the cast of The Dark Knight walked a black carpet instead of a red carpet, to honor the death of Heath Ledger, as if they’re treating the movie as some sort of funeral for him.

Um, hello… maybe the carpet was black because the movie is called The Dark Knight and because it’s about a character named Batman who is widely known for dressing in lots of black? Maybe? I mean I suppose it’s possible that this really is the official reason, the Guardian doesn’t say where they got their information. However, no one else who was there is reporting it, and their story comes off more as though they saw the carpet, drew that idiotic supposition, and then printed it because they knew people everywhere would get all gooey over the mention of Heath Ledger’s death. I find it really hard to believe that even Warner Brothers would plan something so cheesy, tacky, and crass, especially when they’ve gone out of their way to avoid any mention of Ledger’s demise while promoting the film so far.

Let’s hope this isn’t a sign of the sort of corpse licking that is to come. Let the man rest in peace. He’s dead, nobody is happy about it. There’s a brief dedication to him in the end credits of The Dark Knight, and that’s really the only connection the movie should have to his tragic passing. Dear fellow media types: leave it at that.

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