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Ledger's Joker performance to be cut?

The Dark Knight should be...

Cut to avoid making audiences uncomfortable3%[ 1 ]
Left intact, according to Nolan's vision97%[ 38 ]

Total Votes : 39

Posted: Fri, 11th Apr 2008, 8:58am

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Simon K Jones

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There's a rumour circulating that Warners Bros are considering cutting The Dark Knight in order to remove certain 'uncomfortable' scenes involving Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker, following negative audience reactions to preview screenings. While it's always strange to watch an actor in a new performance when he's already passed away, surely it would show more respect to Ledger's life and efforts to leave his performance intact?

This may be just a rumour - and it's the kind that rumour-mongers love to spread - but it does raise an interesting question: is it better to preserve a late actor's final performance, or to edit it so as not to unnerve the audience? What do you think?
Posted: Fri, 11th Apr 2008, 10:34am

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It should be left. What happened to Heath was unfortunate, yes. They should do him (or at least the memory of him) the honour of leaving it as it was intended to be.
Posted: Fri, 11th Apr 2008, 12:08pm

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Doesn't matter for The Crow when watching now, didn't matter for Waitress, didn't matter watching Gladiator, and doesn't matter for all those old movies that are *SPOILER* full of dead actors.

It is a difficult decision though. I know Hollywood loves its test screenings, and with this kind of thing you don't know whether people are unsettled with the performance or the fact that he died. If the latter, then they owe it to the film and Heath Ledger's memory as an actor to keep it intact. By a couple of years, most people will view his role from the perspective of his performance, not that he's dead.

If they do this, I hope they release 2 cuts on the DVD.
Posted: Fri, 11th Apr 2008, 3:03pm

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So, according to the report I heard on the radio this morning, Warner Bros are uncomfortable with the reaction of preview audiences of Ledger's character being shown in a body bag.
Well, so what!

Did people object to seeing Brandon Lee being shot countless times (as Eric Draven) in 'The Crow,' after knowing the details of his death? Did they object to him being shown being loaded into a 'meat wagon' in the movie? I don't think so!

Did network executives object to images of Jon-Erik Hexum being shown on their stations, after he had died from the effects of firing a blank-loaded pistol too close to his head? Doubt it!

Did Warner Bros wish to remove Dar Robinson's stuntwork (and character work) from 'Lethal Weapon' once they knew he had died after moving onto another project? Going from all accounts (and Dick Donner's own opinions on the subject, from the documentary 'The Ultimate Stuntman.'), I wouldn't have thought so.

I'm tired of these politically incorrect 'wimps' (not my original choice of word to describe those latte-imbibing spineless suit-wearers!) thinking that they should be able to decide for us what we can and can't see. Touch the footage, and I guarantee that a lot of people will turn their backs on the project. If their bottom line - profit - is jeopardised, they'll change their tunes, soon enough, and do what they should have done in the first place, which is to leave the damn thing alone.

You mess with our heroes (fictional characters), and we'll affect yours (I believe, over there, that it's green and has pictures of dead U.S. Presidents on it!).
Posted: Fri, 11th Apr 2008, 7:39pm

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Not showing him in a body bag in the movie is completely understandable. That wouldn't be cutting from his acting too much, I'm sure, and it's one of those grim things even without his death I'm sure would be questioned before the final cut and we'd never know.

I trust the integrity of Christopher Nolan and, quite frankly lately, Warner Brothers to leave what needs to be left in and take out what needs to be taken out. I'm sure it would be unsettling to see a live Ledger in a body bag. I know it might give me chills.

Taking out the Joker possibly dying in the movie, which is part of the plot I'm sure- that's another story. But do we have to get our panties in a bind over this kind of stuff?

I'm sure those that can stomach something like this and complain about cutting it will still absolutely love the movie and then it opens it up to people without the possibility of an unsettling feeling.

I'd like to believe it's more than ticket sales. They want us to have a good movie experience. If they cut something that is perhaps more chilling or real than need be because of real life events; and this is inconsistent with the chilling-ness of the rest of the movie. Why not?
Posted: Fri, 11th Apr 2008, 10:38pm

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10 Zen

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If it was me that died, I'd want it left intact. However when I imagine my wife or other loved ones viewing that, then my feelings waiver a little. I think Nolan and the studio will find a bitter-sweet medium, that leaves the integrity of the film and his performance intact while being sensitive to those closest to him and those that may be offended.

But, however it tested, I can't really see it affecting their bottom line edited or not. I mean, who isn't going to see Batman? 2008 is up for being a hell of a year for movies and for most people I know, Dark Knight is at the top of the list.
Posted: Mon, 14th Apr 2008, 3:57pm

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It will be too bad if they do cut any of his scenes, but if they do I'm sure the DVD will be complete at some point.
Posted: Wed, 16th Apr 2008, 6:21pm

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The Joker is meant to be an unnerving character. Batman is meant to be a hard hitting comic.

And besides, the scene is only going to be shocking whilst Ledger's death is such fresh news. FXhomer21523's mention of Brandon Lee is spot on. And what about Aaliyah's performance in Queen of the Damned, aired after she died. smile

Mind, if the film does get cut I'm going to contact Warner requesting that Keanu Reeve's ass is completely cut from all the Matrix films. I don't know about anyone else but that Unnerved me.

Posted: Sun, 20th Apr 2008, 7:07am

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i think that most of the time hollywood is to wraped up in what the critics think that they forget how to make a good movie, i mean personaly i can only think of a couple times when the critics have been right in writing negative reviews about a movie. With the previews i have seen heath has managed to bring a certain ego to the character and i actually want to see how he does, because personally i thought that you couldnt match the performance of joker played by jack nikelson so im intrested to see how this turns out.