[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 August 2006, 08:33 GMT 09:33 UK
Ledger's Joker to take on Batman
Heath Ledger
Brokeback Mountain earned Ledger numerous award nominations
Brokeback Mountain star Heath Ledger will play The Joker in the next Batman film, titled The Dark Knight, film studio Warner Brothers has announced.

The Australian actor reprises the role memorably played by Jack Nicholson in 1989's Batman film.

Ledger earned an Oscar nomination as a gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain.

British actor Christian Bale will play the Caped Crusader for a second time after last year's Batman Begins, with Christopher Nolan again directing.

Casting challenge

It will be the sixth Batman film since his 1989 return, with Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney having played the role prior to Bale.

The Dark Knight is scheduled to go into production next year.

"Our challenge in casting The Joker was to find an actor who is not just extraordinarily talented but fearless," said Memento director Nolan.

"Watching Heath Ledger's interpretation of this iconic character taking on Christian Bale's Batman is going to be incredible."

Ledger's other films include The Brothers Grimm, Ned Kelly, Monster's Ball, A Knight's Tale and The Patriot.

Brokeback stars to join Academy
06 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
Heath Ledger's remarkable year
30 Jan 06 |  Entertainment
Batman movie leads fans' awards
30 Oct 05 |  Entertainment
Film critics hail Batman revival
15 Jun 05 |  Entertainment
I'll be back as Batman, says Bale
13 Jun 05 |  Entertainment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific