Brokeback Mountain star Heath Ledger will play The Joker in the next Batman film, titled The Dark Knight, film studio Warner Brothers has announced.
Brokeback Mountain earned Ledger numerous award nominations
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.
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.