Page last updated at 14:48 GMT, Thursday, 11 September 2008 15:48 UK

Dark Knight 'eyes Oscar release'

Heath Ledger as The Joker
Heath Ledger filmed The Dark Knight shortly before his death

Batman blockbuster The Dark Knight could be re-released in cinemas in January, at the height of the Oscar voting season.

Warner Bros is in talks with Imax over the prospect of restoring the film to some big-screen theatres.

It is hoped the push will help the film's Academy Award chances, trade paper The Hollywood Reporter said.

The Dark Knight is the second-highest grossing film of all time in the US and Canada, with takings of $512m (292m).

The film, starring Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader and the late Heath Ledger as the Joker, has taken a further $440m at box offices outside the US.

Oscar ballots

The Dark Knight's success has led to speculation about possible Academy Award nods for director Christopher Nolan and Ledger.

January is traditionally seen as a good time for Oscar-tipped films to be shown in US cinemas.

Under Academy Award rules, films fighting for Oscar nominations must have played on screens in Los Angeles for at least seven days in a row before the end of the previous year.

This rule prompts many studios to wait until the last week of December to release their movies to ensure they are fresh in the minds of Oscar voters when they fill out their ballots.

Warner Bros' domestic distribution president, Dan Fellman, acknowledged talks with Imax were taking place.

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