Page last updated at 08:40 GMT, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 09:40 UK

Batmobile and flames at premiere

Fans turned out to get a glimpse of the new Batmobile

A giant Batmobile drove down the red carpet and flames shot into the sky at the European premiere of Dark Knight in London's Leicester Square.

Actor Christian Bale told reporters he was surprised at the success of the Batman sequel which has already taken a record $158m (78m) in North America.

Bale - in the lead role for a second time - joined Sir Michael Caine and Maggie Gyllenhaal on the red carpet.

He praised his co-star, the late Heath Ledger, who played the Joker.

Christian Bale would consider doing a third Batman film

"He did an incredible job with the Joker... I enjoyed watching him perform."

He said Ledger brought an anarchic element to the role.

And director Christopher Nolan also came in for praise from Bale.

"I think he's one of the best filmmakers around bar none and he's going to continue to make some stunning movies in the future."

Bale said the success of the film had been "an incredible surprise" to him.

"Most of the movies that I've done have bombed," he joked.

"I've been referred to as 'box-office poison' quite a lot."

Christian Bale

Gyllenhaal, who played Rachel Dawes, said she was "so glad to be a part" of the success of Batman.

"When I first started making movies I didn't care if anyone saw them, and now I realise I don't want to make movies for the 10 people who feel the same way about the world as I do."

Sir Michael, who is seen as faithful butler Alfred, has already said he would be "very surprised" if Ledger failed to win an Oscar as "one of the greatest villains you've ever seen".

He told a press conference on Monday: "I think the minimum he'll get nominated for is an Oscar.

"And if he doesn't get the Oscar I will pay good money to see the performance that does."

Ledger died in January at the age 28 from an accidental drugs overdose.


Clips from the critically acclaimed The Dark Knight

Dark Knight takes a record $155m
20 Jul 08 |  Entertainment
Press views: The Dark Knight
15 Jul 08 |  Entertainment
Stars' tributes to Ledger's Joker
15 Jul 08 |  Entertainment
In pictures: Dark Knight premiere
15 Jul 08 |  Entertainment
Dark Knight dedicated to Ledger
27 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
Heath Ledger autopsy inconclusive
24 Jan 08 |  Entertainment

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