Jonathan Nolan says he “didn’t get” Heath Ledger’s ‘The Dark Knight’ casting

He says the studio didn't get it either

Jonathan Nolan has opened up about the casting of Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight.

The film, which saw Ledger posthumously win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for the role, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week

The actor died on January 22, 2008 from the accidental intoxication of prescription drugs, six months before the release of the Batman movie.


In a new THR interview, Jonanthan Nolan says he “didn’t get” his brother’s choice of Ledger for the movie. “No one got it, the studio didn’t get it. Everyone was coming at Chris [Nolan] and saying, ‘we don’t see it’,” he said.

“And the fan community was … we were f—ing pilloried for it,” he continued. “It was a disaster. This was the worst casting decision ever made. Chris just hunkered down and stuck to his guns and kept moving along.

“It was a question of not giving the fans what they’re asking for but what they want,” he added. “So, let’s find a really fucking serious actor who’s going to come in here and just tear this role to pieces.

“For me, casting is the most dangerous moment in every project,” he continued. “And the fans have extremely strong feelings – they know these characters. But you’ve got to stick to your guns.”

Earlier this year, Ledger’s sister Kate revealed that her brother had every intention of working with director Christopher Nolan and Batman actor Christian Bale on another film in the franchise.


“He was so proud of what he had done in Batman,” Kate said. “And I know he had plans for another Batman. He loved working with Chris Nolan and Christian Bale and Gary Oldman. He just had the best time ever doing that film.

“When he came home at Christmas he couldn’t wait to tell us all about it and he was doing the voice and laughing, showing me all the rushes. We had a great time.”