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Cinema Blend has heard something interesting from a friend of the site today, who for anonymity's sake we will call Dick Grayson. According to our very own caped crusader there have been recent secret screening of The Dark Knight going on in various locations around the country. This may be of no surprise a couple of months short of release, however, what is of interest and concern is a scene the scooper talks of, which due to the tragic death of Heath Ledger, may never see the light of day because of reactions in many of the screenings.
The scene involves Ledger’s Joker character pretending to be dead and being pictured in a body bag. Apparently the aftershocks of Ledger’s unfortunate death are such that many in the screening reacted rather badly to this moment and now execs are considering excising the scene altogether.
This I think is a serious misstep if Warner really go through with it. The Dark Knight is Ledger’s final complete role and to butcher it for the sake of a few overly sensitive people in a screening seems like reactionary bullshit. What makes the thought of cutting his scenes even less palatable is that the general word from the screenings is that not only is The Dark Knight superior to it’s predecessor but, as promised, Ledger’s interpretation of the Joker is every bit as mind-blowing as we’ve been promised. Reports say he is the complete anti-thesis of Nicholson’s 1988 mean-spirited clown and every bit the show-stopping unhinged psychopath the Joker should be. It appears as though the true tragedy will be that this may have been the big breakout role that put Ledger on the map and made him a superstar.
Do the right thing Warners. Leave Heath’s biggest and best role alone. Those getting upset by this scene aren’t people who deserve to appreciate what Nolan and Ledger have done.