Trivia / The Dark Knight

  • Actor Allusion:
    • After what Gambol went through with the Joker, Michael Jai White still hates clowns.
    • Nestor Carbonell who played Mayor Garcia also played Batmanuel in The Tick.
  • All-Star Cast: Specifically Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, and Morgan Freeman. Multi-decade spanning name recognition? Check. Critical acclaim? Check. Awards cache? Check and the mate.
  • Banned in China: A rare example of self-censorship. Warner Bros. declined to submit it to Chinese film authorities for review, fearing that the portrayal of Lau as a criminal accountant and implication that Hong Kong police were corrupt would cause backlash. However, the film ended up being one of the most bootlegged titles in the country.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!:
    • The Joker is often mis-quoted as asking "Do I look like a man with a plan?" when Harvey Dent says that his (Harvey's) disfigurement and the death of Rachel Dawes was part of his (the Joker's) plan, most likely because people associate the rhyming words "man" and "plan". The quote is actually "Do I really look like a guy with a plan?"
    • "Why so serious?" isn't really the Joker's catchphrase. He only says the phrase in a fierce tone when pretending to be his dad, and the one time he says it as himself he says it almost sarcastically. He actually chides the mob for not taking things seriously.
  • California Doubling:
    • Chicago not only plays Gotham, it even plays Hong Kong: When Fox and Lau are conversing on the terraced roof of Lau's Hong Kong office, you can clearly see McCormick Place in the background.
    • The "Gotham" license plates seen on cars throughout the movie look like Illinois plates, for the specific purpose of making it harder to notice when actual Illinois plates slip in the background.
  • Casting Gag: William Fichtner was cast as the bank manager because of his previous role in the bank heist thriller Heat.
  • Development Gag: When Fox is asked for improvements to the Batsuit, he remarks, "You want to be able to turn your head." Prior to the Dark Knight Trilogy, no physical implementation of the Batsuit allowed the actors to turn their heads.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Heath Ledger directed and shot the two home videos the Joker sends to the media (both the one where he tortures and kills the fake Batman, then the one where a captive Mike Engel is forced to read a script of the Joker's demands).
  • Fatal Method Acting: While Heath Ledger is not an example (he died after his parts were done), the stuntman who crashed the Batmobile during pre-production is.
  • Follow the Leader:
    • The film had a profound impact on action movies after it came out. The emphasis on more realism, practical effects, more terrorist-flavored villains, and the feeling that Anyone Can Die without warning influenced franchises from James Bond to The Avengers to Star Trek. In particular, the Trojan Prisoner (villain gets caught in the second act, causes death and mayhem, and then escapes while the heroes acknowledge "he ''wanted to get caught!") began getting used a lot after the Joker used it.
    • The DC Extended Universe, perhaps hoping for the same lightning to strike twice, also recycled this film's excellent and appropriate use of gritty realism for several of their subsequent movies, whether or not the darker tone was a good complement to the different source material. Critical reception to these choices has been decidedly mixed.
  • Method Acting: To prepare for the part of the Joker, Heath Ledger spent six weeks in a motel room in seclusion to delve deep into his intended portrayal of the Joker's psychology.
  • The Other Darrin: Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes in Dark Knight, replacing Katie Holmes from Begins.
  • Playing Against Type: One of the reasons people were so skeptical about Heath Ledger playing The Joker was that he wasn't known for villainous roles, let alone one of the most psychotic and monstrous characters in fiction, usually playing romantic leads. As we can see from the result, Tropes Are Not Bad.
  • Reality Subtext: Bruce Wayne requesting a new Batsuit from Fox so that he can turn his head and be more agile, was the result of Christian Bale complaining about these problems with his Batsuit from the first movie.
  • Star-Making Role: Heath Ledger was far from unknown prior to the film and was well-known as a romantic actor, and had an Oscar nomination on his resume. But his turn as the Joker is remembered as the one that immortalized his legacy after his death and made him into a household name.
  • Throw It In!:
    • The Joker's Sarcastic Clapping when Gordon gets promoted wasn't in the script.
    • While the scene when The Joker blows up the hospital and the explosions suddenly stop, and Heath begins messing around with the detonator until the explosions suddenly start up again was initially credited to ad-libbing, Christopher Nolan actually wanted "a delayed, staggered explosive effect" in that scene, but Ledger didn't get the message. Considering that explosion scenes are usually filmed with extreme caution, likely moreso with Heath Ledger in the scene instead of a (slightly) more expendable stunt man, ad-libbing would not have been allowed in this case, but they couldn't do it more than once.
    • A lot of the Joker's mannerisms were developed when Heath Ledger was getting his makeup done, and would scrunch up his face to create different textures for the makeup - which made his makeup appear more self-applied. The creepy way in which the Joker sucks on his cheeks was one of these.
    • When the Joker arrives at Bruce's fundraiser, he walks out of an elevator past Alfred. Michael Caine (playing Alfred) had a line at that point. However, this was his first time seeing Heath Ledger in full costume as the Joker and he was so surprised that he forgot his line, with Ledger walking by as though nothing had happened.
    • The actor who frisks Joker was told to take out the knives in his pockets, but wasn't given details on what would be in them (apart from 'knives').
  • Tom Hanks Syndrome: Strange to Tiny "Zeus" Lister acting as a calm voice of reason. He doesn't even raise his voice once in the whole scene. If you go and watch other films, he is usually the growly antagonist. (He was also the President of either America or the world in The Fifth Element!)
  • Typecasting: Ron Dean playing Mike Wuertz, one of Gordon's detectives. He behaves similarly to his performance as Detective Kelly in The Fugitive.
  • What Could Have Been: There's some fairly creepy concept art of the Joker before Heath Ledger was cast.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/TheDarkKnight