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Entertainment behind the scenes

“The Dark Knight” returns to theaters in run-up to Oscars


CRITICSCHOICE/The studio behind Batman movie “The Dark Knight” has set Jan. 23 as the date for the movie’s re-release in IMAX and conventional theaters.

Studios often re-release movies in the lead-up to the Oscars, and “The Dark Knight” has been talked about for a number of trophies.

The biggest buzz surrounds the late Heath Ledger, who played Batman’s Machiavellian arch enemy The Joker and died last year of an overdose of prescription drugs. His performance already won him a posthumous Golden Globe award for best supporting actor, and Ledger could get an Oscar nomination as well.

Industry watchers expect the re-release of “The Dark Knight” to push the film past the $1 billion mark in worldwide box office sales. The film is already the second-highest grossing movie behind the 1997 film “Titanic.”

Fans want Depp and Jolie in next Batman movie


(Writing and reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)

Give audiences a blockbuster Batman movie called “The Dark Knight” with zany villains, and all of a sudden everyone’s a casting director.
A survey by movie rental company Blockbuster has found Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie — in that order — are the top two favorites of fans for starring roles in an expected next Batman film.
Keith Leopard, director of film product for Blockbuster, said Depp or Jolie could really bring a Batman villain to life.  However it will be up to Warner Bros, the studio behind the film,  to cast the next Batman movie.
The survey also listed fans most requested villains for the next Batman movie are: The Riddler (a clue-giving criminal); Harley Quinn (a Harlequin jester); Cat Woman (Batman’s bad girl love interest); The Penguin (a mobster with a penchant for umbrellas); and Bane (a muscle-bound foe).
Several of those characters have appeared in Batman movies since Warner Bros launched the modern version of the movie saga in 1989. Notably, The Penguin was played by Danny DeVito in 1992 and comedian Jim Carrey took a turn as The Riddler in 1995.
“The Dark Knight” has made nearly $1 billion worldwide since it opened on July 18, and the late Heath Ledger has been talked about as a possible Oscar contender for his role as The Joker in the film.

“It’s a private matter,” Christian Bale insists on assault allegations


rtx87gv_comp.jpgIf “Batman” actor Christian Bale, who’s in Tokyo promoting blockbuster “The Dark Knight”, was hoping for a reprieve from being dogged by assault allegations made by his mother and sister, he came to the wrong place.

Since making a public appearance in the Japanese capital on Monday, the 34-year-old Welsh-born performer has been asked by reporters about the allegations, which he has already denied after spending several hours at a London police station last week before being released without charge. 

Bail for Bale – Batman the Bizarre


bale.jpgIt’s so strange it could make the plot of a Batman sequel.

Welsh-born actor Christian Bale has issued a statement denying allegations of assault made against him by his own mother and sister while he was in London for the European premiere of “The Dark Knight”, in which he plays Batman alongside the late Heath Ledger’s Joker.

He was at a London police station for around four hours on Tuesday answering questions about the alleged incident, and apparently escaped the waiting camera crews and paparazzi by whizzing out through the back entrance in a van with darkened windows.

Is Heath Ledger Oscar-worthy?


Heath ledger in Batman

The hype around Friday’s release of the “The Dark Knight” has reached a fever pitch, with Heath Ledger’s dark turn as the Joker generating an avalanche of posthumous Oscar buzz.

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone has called Ledger’s performance “mad-crazy-blazing brilliant,” while the sequel’s director Christopher Nolan has raved in the New York Times that Ledger’s portrayal of the sadistic makeup-caked villain is “stunning” and “iconic”.

“Dark Knight” gets thumbs up from Heath Ledger’s parents


ledger.jpgThe new Batman movie “The Dark Knight” has already impressed critics in advance of its Friday opening, but at its New York premier, the family of late Australian actor Heath Ledger gave the film their mark of approval. 
The performance of Ledger  as Batman’s nemesis The Joker has sparked speculation among critics that he could win an Oscar posthumously.
Kim Ledger attended the premier of his son’s movie in New York on Monday with his wife, Ines, who was Heath’s step-mother. The actor’s mother, Sally Bell, and his sister, Kate Ledger, also attended. The only close family not there was Ledger’s  former partner Michelle Williams, and mother of his daughter, Matilda.

After the movie, the Ledgers released a statement quoted in various media outlets saying: “‘The Dark Knight’ is everything we hoped it would be and more. Heath loved the experience of creating this character and working on the film. We are so proud of our boy.”
Kim Ledger also reportedly gave a thumbs-up sign at the premier when asked what he thought of “Dark Knight.”
Ledger, 28,  died alone in his Manhattan apartment in January from an accidental overdose of prescription medications. If Ledger is nominated for an Oscar for his role as The Joker, it would not be his first. He also won a nomination for his role as a gay cowboy in the 2005 film “Brokeback Mountain.”

“Dark Knight” whips up strong advance ticket sales


joker.jpgSince before the summer movie season began in May, new Batman movie “The Dark Knight,” starring Christian Bale, has been one of the most anticipated films by movie fans. With good early reviews and an apparently strong performance by Heath Ledger as Batman’s nemesis The Joker, fan interest keeps growing.

Online ticket seller Fandango said on Wednesday that its advance ticket sales for the film are on pace to blast past blockbusters like “Iron Man” and “Sex and the City” — two of the summer’s biggest box office hits.