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The Dark Knight Rises may not mention The Joker, but the novelization does

Jul. 30, 2012by: Alex Maidy

While I respect Christopher Nolan's decision to not mention The Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, it does leave a big plot hole in the film. Specifically, if Bane was looking to create mayhem in the city, wouldn't The Joker be one of the first people he would let out? Or, if The Joker was too unpredictable, wouldn't Bane have just killed him and gotten that out of the way?

While we may never know how Nolan's film would have addressed the issue, there does seem to be an answer to what happened to The Joker. Well, sort of.

In the official novelization of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, author Greg Cox included this passage: Arkham Asylum is left almost deserted after the introduction of the Dent Act, which sees almost all criminals housed in Blackgate Prison. "The worst of the worst were sent here, except for the Joker, who, rumor had it, was locked away as Arkham's sole remaining inmate," reads the novelisation. "Or perhaps he escaped. Nobody was really sure. Not even Selina."

To have The Joker as the sole inmate of Arkham seems like a fitting answer. I find it hard to believe he would have escaped quietly and not popped his face back into the madness that Bane set forth.

We may never know what Nolan would have done if Heath Ledger had not died tragically. But, it would have been nice to have gotten that character closure within the trilogy.

Source: Digital Spy

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1:11PM on 08/01/2012

I hope this made at least a little sense

I also think the lack of mentioning of the Joker also had to do with one of the comic sources this movie used: No Man's Land.
If you're not familiar with the story, basically Gotham is hit by a huge earthquake and after the evacuation, the government abandoned and isolated the city. Plenty of people stayed either because they just couldn't leave, wanted to help, or wanted to rule the city. So many of Batman's villains each had their own territories with the intent of expanding them until they
I also think the lack of mentioning of the Joker also had to do with one of the comic sources this movie used: No Man's Land.
If you're not familiar with the story, basically Gotham is hit by a huge earthquake and after the evacuation, the government abandoned and isolated the city. Plenty of people stayed either because they just couldn't leave, wanted to help, or wanted to rule the city. So many of Batman's villains each had their own territories with the intent of expanding them until they ruled all of Gotham.
But the one villain who you'd think would have a field day with this scenario, the Joker, was almost totally absent. He showed up once or twice during the 80 issues that the story took place but didn't make his major appearance until the very end.
So just like No Man's Land, I think the situation in TDKR was already so chaotic that the Joker's preferred routine, causing chaos, might have been a bit redundant.
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8:42PM on 07/31/2012

Breaks my heart

Poor Joker. I like to think that while Bane seized the city Joker took some of the city for himself too like in the Arkham City game. We just don't get to see those parts in the movie. It really sucks because Nolan would have used Joker in the film again as the main threat with Bane and Scarecrow along or the ride.
Poor Joker. I like to think that while Bane seized the city Joker took some of the city for himself too like in the Arkham City game. We just don't get to see those parts in the movie. It really sucks because Nolan would have used Joker in the film again as the main threat with Bane and Scarecrow along or the ride.
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6:10PM on 07/31/2012

Fine the way it is

We can all speculate about what the Joker's role in the third would be if he were still alive (big part) but it's fine the way that it is. I think Nolan handled it perfectly. Recasting the part, even if it was just for a short far away shot would have been totally disrespectful to Leger and totally pointless. That goes for any throwaway line about him. Sure Nolan could have thrown in a mention but there's no point if the character isn't even going to show up. After all it's been 8 years since
We can all speculate about what the Joker's role in the third would be if he were still alive (big part) but it's fine the way that it is. I think Nolan handled it perfectly. Recasting the part, even if it was just for a short far away shot would have been totally disrespectful to Leger and totally pointless. That goes for any throwaway line about him. Sure Nolan could have thrown in a mention but there's no point if the character isn't even going to show up. After all it's been 8 years since the Joker's reign of terror so it's not a part of everyday conversation anymore. In fact most people of Gotham would try their hardest to forget about that freaky clown that terrorized the city 8 years ago. I can see him becoming a Voldermort type character where the public is afraid to even utter his name in fear of admitting he's really alive.

I like to think that the Joker escaped and is still out there, but realistically in Nolan's world the Joker is probably rotting in a maximum security cell somewhere in the middle of the ocean or far underground. Plus if there was any doubt that the Joker wasn't locked up then Bruce would never have stopped being Batman. He would be out there looking for him day and night. I do agree with the below comment that the Joker caused Bruce to hang up the cowl. After all the Joker blames Batman for the all the crazies that are making their way to Gotham. Bruce is afraid of "inspiring" any more of these crazies from rising up and taking over Gotham. So instead of Nolan blatantly showing us the Joker he made sure we know that the consequences of that character's actions are still felt in a major way. That I think is the greater end to the character than any throwaway line Nolan could have used.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS


On a side note if they continue this franchise with JGL I feel they should go the Batman Beyond route. I already felt like that incorporated alot of elements from that show including the BAT vehicle looking similar to Beyond's batmobile. I think a cool idea for a sequel would involve the Joker gang that was so prevalent in Beyond. Imagine a fast growing dangerous gang that believes in and idolizes the Joker causing havoc all over Gotham.
Another great way for the impact of the character to be felt without the character himself having to return.
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2:06PM on 07/31/2012
I remember reading on this site a long time ago that the Joker's appearance in the film would of been when Batman visited him in prison in order to have the Joker tell him how to defeat Bane (much like Silence of the Lambs).
That scene alone would of been amazing. I could just picture the last scene after the credits...Jokers cell empty with the door wide open and his trademark card on the floor.
I remember reading on this site a long time ago that the Joker's appearance in the film would of been when Batman visited him in prison in order to have the Joker tell him how to defeat Bane (much like Silence of the Lambs).
That scene alone would of been amazing. I could just picture the last scene after the credits...Jokers cell empty with the door wide open and his trademark card on the floor.
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5:14AM on 07/31/2012
At least we now know some form of the movie mentions him. I respect Nolan's decision to leave him out, but a tiny mention of what happened to the Clown Prince would have been the perfect nod not only to the character but also Heath Ledger's phenomenal performance. The Joker is the catalyst that created this whole mess in the first place. It's only fitting that someone mention him, just for the sake of continuity, in TDKR. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Still, at least we know at some point
At least we now know some form of the movie mentions him. I respect Nolan's decision to leave him out, but a tiny mention of what happened to the Clown Prince would have been the perfect nod not only to the character but also Heath Ledger's phenomenal performance. The Joker is the catalyst that created this whole mess in the first place. It's only fitting that someone mention him, just for the sake of continuity, in TDKR. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Still, at least we know at some point there was talk of him being in Arkham. That's good enough for me.
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4:37AM on 07/31/2012

We can all imagine "what would have been".....

But unfortunately we'll never know for sure (unless we can cross to a parallel universe or something). And thats called Life. I find it eeriely fitting though, that the very last we saw of The Joker was him dangling over Gotham and cackling his infamous laughter echoing all over the city producing shivers to its residents. With all of Batman and Gotham's perseverance, Joker STILL won..... Thats one ending enough to make Joker and Ledger immortal in my eyes.

**SPOILER** I personally like to
But unfortunately we'll never know for sure (unless we can cross to a parallel universe or something). And thats called Life. I find it eeriely fitting though, that the very last we saw of The Joker was him dangling over Gotham and cackling his infamous laughter echoing all over the city producing shivers to its residents. With all of Batman and Gotham's perseverance, Joker STILL won..... Thats one ending enough to make Joker and Ledger immortal in my eyes.

**SPOILER** I personally like to fantasize that even though the "real" Batman permanently retired at the end of TDKR, it will be The Joker who'll finally bring him back as THE Batman in the distant future. They're destined to do this forever, remember?
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2:45AM on 07/31/2012
Ok here is my take on how Joker would have figured into TDKR, I feel the Joker did tool with the mind of Bruce Wayne & just like he pretty much made Dent become Two-Face, Joker's influence is truly the reason why Batman become non-existant the last 8 years. The Joker really got to Wayne's mentality & yet once Bane came into the picture it drove him to come out as the batman again. The fact Bane is now taking over the spotlight would have infuriated the Jokers plan would drive him to not wanna
Ok here is my take on how Joker would have figured into TDKR, I feel the Joker did tool with the mind of Bruce Wayne & just like he pretty much made Dent become Two-Face, Joker's influence is truly the reason why Batman become non-existant the last 8 years. The Joker really got to Wayne's mentality & yet once Bane came into the picture it drove him to come out as the batman again. The fact Bane is now taking over the spotlight would have infuriated the Jokers plan would drive him to not wanna side with Bane but with Batman instead since Bane wanted to simply destroy Gotham. Which to me is the reason why Selina Kyle was the one who ended up helping Batman in the end instead., The Joker would have hated Bane & I could picture in my mind a somewhat classic scene between Joker & Bane similar to the interrogation scene in TDK. Damn shame Ledger had to pass away. But i love the fact fans can respect Nolan's intention not to even mention Joker.
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+16
1:23AM on 07/31/2012
Joker should have been mentioned either in Gordon's real speech (which Bane read) as the truth behind Dent's downfall, or in one of the news casts Bruce sees in his cell in the Pit....
News anchor: It's been 8 years since the convicted killer known as "The Joker" was arrested and sent to Arkham Asylum, but the citizens Gotham once again find themselves living in fear at the hands of a terrorist."

Not that hard, really. And not disrespectful to Ledger in the slightest.
Joker should have been mentioned either in Gordon's real speech (which Bane read) as the truth behind Dent's downfall, or in one of the news casts Bruce sees in his cell in the Pit....
News anchor: It's been 8 years since the convicted killer known as "The Joker" was arrested and sent to Arkham Asylum, but the citizens Gotham once again find themselves living in fear at the hands of a terrorist."

Not that hard, really. And not disrespectful to Ledger in the slightest.
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11:42PM on 07/30/2012

WWJD? (What Would Joker Do?)

I know we will never know what could have been if Heath Ledger would have survived and possibly done the final movie with the current cast but I want play a little with the idea because it's a little fun.

Honestly I think the Joker would have watched from far away when Bane took over. I also think he would have killed Bane and showed the world (especially Batman) that no one can take out Bats but himself. Taking Bane out would show the Joker that he is both loyal to the Batman and that he
I know we will never know what could have been if Heath Ledger would have survived and possibly done the final movie with the current cast but I want play a little with the idea because it's a little fun.

Honestly I think the Joker would have watched from far away when Bane took over. I also think he would have killed Bane and showed the world (especially Batman) that no one can take out Bats but himself. Taking Bane out would show the Joker that he is both loyal to the Batman and that he wants the Batman to know that if anyone is going to try and ruin the city and Batman's life it's him.

Of course, we will never know what could have been. It's fun to try and imagine it all of course. RIP Heath, you were a great Joker in my opinion and I don't believe you could be duplicated as the character.

Also...who would have loved to see Brittany Murphy as Harley Quinn if she would have lived as well? Just saying...
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11:12PM on 07/30/2012

May-be it's just me

But I just figured a plausible explanation would of been Joker being housed in a Super Max prison in another state. One might ask why the same thing didn't happen to Crane, but when you think about it the only credible witness to Crane's crime was Rachel. Who then was drugged, kidnapped by The Batman, and then mysteriously woke up at home. Joker on the hand made sure the entire city knew who was terrorizing them. I think it makes perfect sense for the Joker to be housed somewhere out of Bane's
But I just figured a plausible explanation would of been Joker being housed in a Super Max prison in another state. One might ask why the same thing didn't happen to Crane, but when you think about it the only credible witness to Crane's crime was Rachel. Who then was drugged, kidnapped by The Batman, and then mysteriously woke up at home. Joker on the hand made sure the entire city knew who was terrorizing them. I think it makes perfect sense for the Joker to be housed somewhere out of Bane's reach.
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11:07PM on 07/30/2012
Pretty cool. Gotham wouldn't be big enough for Joker and Bane together. Joker probably would have ruined Bane's plans and set the bomb off early.
Pretty cool. Gotham wouldn't be big enough for Joker and Bane together. Joker probably would have ruined Bane's plans and set the bomb off early.
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11:38PM on 07/30/2012
No the Joker never would have done that. The Joker wanted Gotham to be in chaos but never destroyed. He wanted to be the King that reigned over it while it was in chaos at all times. Plus that would mean the death of Batman as well and well...he wants to have a never ending with Batman until the end of their days so that's another reason he wouldn't have set the bomb off.
No the Joker never would have done that. The Joker wanted Gotham to be in chaos but never destroyed. He wanted to be the King that reigned over it while it was in chaos at all times. Plus that would mean the death of Batman as well and well...he wants to have a never ending with Batman until the end of their days so that's another reason he wouldn't have set the bomb off.
10:26PM on 07/30/2012
I don't have evidence, but I believe reading somewhere either as a direct Nolan quote, a "confidential informant" rumor or something else like that, that Nolan wanted the Joker to be the primary villain in the third film, with no intention of using Bane. I think they also toyed with bringing Dent back. However, when Ledger died, so did that version of part 3.
I don't have evidence, but I believe reading somewhere either as a direct Nolan quote, a "confidential informant" rumor or something else like that, that Nolan wanted the Joker to be the primary villain in the third film, with no intention of using Bane. I think they also toyed with bringing Dent back. However, when Ledger died, so did that version of part 3.
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10:21PM on 07/30/2012
I would love to hear Nolans thoughts on this although we probably never will. I would imagine that Joker would have had a fairly decent sized role, a thorn in the side for both Bane and Batman. I doubt they would have just had him cameo as the judge in the kangaroo court.
I would love to hear Nolans thoughts on this although we probably never will. I would imagine that Joker would have had a fairly decent sized role, a thorn in the side for both Bane and Batman. I doubt they would have just had him cameo as the judge in the kangaroo court.
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-14
9:49PM on 07/30/2012

IF Ledger is alive..

1.) I dun think joker would be the judge as he won't stay on a chair judging some old folks.
2.) He would have fight Batman & Bane at the same time. Batman may be is target & Joker wont let no one thats not smarter than him to take over Gotham. (Joker is crazy & unpredictable, but it doesnt mean he's stupid.)
3.) It is good TDKR goes without mentioning Joker as i will surely "BOOOO" anyone who takeover the role..(yes, i am serioussss!!!)

With or Without Joker, TDKR is so nice. Even that my
1.) I dun think joker would be the judge as he won't stay on a chair judging some old folks.
2.) He would have fight Batman & Bane at the same time. Batman may be is target & Joker wont let no one thats not smarter than him to take over Gotham. (Joker is crazy & unpredictable, but it doesnt mean he's stupid.)
3.) It is good TDKR goes without mentioning Joker as i will surely "BOOOO" anyone who takeover the role..(yes, i am serioussss!!!)

With or Without Joker, TDKR is so nice. Even that my girlfren telling me it's way too better than Avengers & i never heard her saying any REAL nice words on superheroes movies. & she doesn't even fully understand English.
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8:45PM on 07/30/2012
Has Nolan stated anything concerning what Joker's involvement would have been, if any?
Has Nolan stated anything concerning what Joker's involvement would have been, if any?
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+6
8:29PM on 07/30/2012

Missing scene drawing...

Found this on Reddit, but thought it matches pretty well in terms of the Joker missing: [link]
Found this on Reddit, but thought it matches pretty well in terms of the Joker missing: [link]
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9:33PM on 07/30/2012
I like that drawing - it would have fit into the film right alongside (SPOILER) the Scarecrow's cameo. The drawing felt just like how the Joker would act and would have been a great addition were Ledger still alive. I respect Nolan and co.'s decision to respect his memory by not referring to the Joker, even if it causes a bit of a rift in continuity.
I like that drawing - it would have fit into the film right alongside (SPOILER) the Scarecrow's cameo. The drawing felt just like how the Joker would act and would have been a great addition were Ledger still alive. I respect Nolan and co.'s decision to respect his memory by not referring to the Joker, even if it causes a bit of a rift in continuity.
8:06PM on 07/30/2012

If Ledger were still alive...

I'm sure he would have popped up in more of Nolan's films. If he had lived, he should have been in TDKR and been the one to take out Bane, then he could have skipped off giggling into the sunset.
I'm sure he would have popped up in more of Nolan's films. If he had lived, he should have been in TDKR and been the one to take out Bane, then he could have skipped off giggling into the sunset.
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+4
8:06PM on 07/30/2012

Missing scene drawing...

Found this on Reddit, but thought it matches pretty well in terms of the Joker missing: [link]
Found this on Reddit, but thought it matches pretty well in terms of the Joker missing: [link]
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+7
8:04PM on 07/30/2012

Missing scene drawing...

Found this on Reddit, but thought it matches pretty well in terms of the Joker missing: [link]
Found this on Reddit, but thought it matches pretty well in terms of the Joker missing: [link]
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7:41PM on 07/30/2012

If Ledger were still alive...

dude would've probably been in Inception!
As well as the next Nolan film.
dude would've probably been in Inception!
As well as the next Nolan film.
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7:21PM on 07/30/2012
Seems legit tho actually & yes i think we know by now had Ledger not died he would have been in TDKR for sure. It was still a great movie without him & a satisfying ending to Nolan's trilogy. Can't wait to watch all #3back to back to back to get the full effect.
Seems legit tho actually & yes i think we know by now had Ledger not died he would have been in TDKR for sure. It was still a great movie without him & a satisfying ending to Nolan's trilogy. Can't wait to watch all #3back to back to back to get the full effect.
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7:09PM on 07/30/2012
Me and my friends thought that the cameo done by scarecrow was probably set up for the Joker. In fact, it makes more sense for the Joker to be in that role rather than Crane just based on the characters. Still, I respect Nolan's decision to not mention the Joker.
Me and my friends thought that the cameo done by scarecrow was probably set up for the Joker. In fact, it makes more sense for the Joker to be in that role rather than Crane just based on the characters. Still, I respect Nolan's decision to not mention the Joker.
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6:59PM on 07/30/2012
I still believe Ledger wouldve wanted the story to carry on as it should despite his death
I still believe Ledger wouldve wanted the story to carry on as it should despite his death
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7:25PM on 07/30/2012
maybe so but I think it's Nolan's way of not just respecting his performance but the fact he didn't wanna just recast so it leaves what Ledger did that much more meaningful. Could real fans deal with another actor being the Joker given how great Ledger's was? I personally don't think it would have been right.
maybe so but I think it's Nolan's way of not just respecting his performance but the fact he didn't wanna just recast so it leaves what Ledger did that much more meaningful. Could real fans deal with another actor being the Joker given how great Ledger's was? I personally don't think it would have been right.
7:59PM on 07/30/2012
Actually if they had signed JGL to the role, I wouldve accepted it
Actually if they had signed JGL to the role, I wouldve accepted it
8:07PM on 07/30/2012
You know, now that Nolan is gone Warner Brothers should look for another directot to film The Dark Knight Returns. They could bring Jack Nicholson back as the Joker. Why not? He's been in Arkham all this time and he looks old and haggard but, man, he was a good Joker. They'd need another actor to play Batman and they should go for someone young... even though that doesn't make any sense. Basically they are going to be thinking in terms of doing a kind of reboot of the character. Of
You know, now that Nolan is gone Warner Brothers should look for another directot to film The Dark Knight Returns. They could bring Jack Nicholson back as the Joker. Why not? He's been in Arkham all this time and he looks old and haggard but, man, he was a good Joker. They'd need another actor to play Batman and they should go for someone young... even though that doesn't make any sense. Basically they are going to be thinking in terms of doing a kind of reboot of the character. Of course, Miller's The Dark Knight Returns also had Superman. Superman would be there to stop Batman: he may have saved the city but he's still a vigilnatee that needs to be stopped. In fact they could do it in such a way that Batman has (again) been away a long time and that in the meantime there has been a national law passed cracking down hard against masked vigilantees. The movie could end with the two of them agreeing to work together and that would lay down the groundwork for a Justice League movie.
2:32AM on 07/31/2012
Ya but did ya forget JGL actually did a movie with Ledger, the great 10 Things I Hate About You, so do you really think he would have taken over the role?
Ya but did ya forget JGL actually did a movie with Ledger, the great 10 Things I Hate About You, so do you really think he would have taken over the role?
6:55PM on 07/30/2012

Probably what you're saying is right but...

No matter how much we want to see the joker in batman rises, it's probably a better idea to let him out of the way because we don't want to see another actor to play that version of the Joker in the movie. 1st for respect for the actor and 2nd it will distract the main story.
No matter how much we want to see the joker in batman rises, it's probably a better idea to let him out of the way because we don't want to see another actor to play that version of the Joker in the movie. 1st for respect for the actor and 2nd it will distract the main story.
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6:23PM on 07/30/2012

If ledger were alive...

This movie would have been a lot more interesting!
This movie would have been a lot more interesting!
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