There's A Very Interesting Theory About ‘The Dark Knight’ Joker’s Backstory
| Last updated
There's no denying that The Dark Knight is, and always will be, one of the best superhero films of all time. It had the perfect hero vs villain narrative, mixed in with a decent bit of mind-fuckery with the plot and a ton of action to boot.
You can't talk about Christopher Nolan's masterpiece without also discussing Heath Ledger's brilliant Joker character.
But the one thing that always nagged fans was the lack of backstory with the Joker.
We were plunged head-first into his character at the start of the film and saw him as this fully-formed, psychotic deviant who was hell bent on causing as much chaos as possible. That's an odd diversion from the usual superhero plot, which builds both the protagonist and the villain from the ground up so we have a bit of context.
While people might @ me because Heath Ledger's character gave plenty of backstory with his 'Wanna Know How I Got These Scars' monologues - it still wasn't enough.
Well, actor, stand-up comedian and writer Patton Oswalt (BoJack Horseman, The Goldbergs) has posted an interesting theory about the Joker's history which stacks up pretty well.
Writing on Facebook, he said: "I've always liked the theory that Heath Ledger's Joker in Christopher Nolan's DARK KNIGHT is a war veteran suffering PTSD.
"What if he's not only ex-military, but ex-military intelligence? Specifically - interrogation?
"He seems to be very good at the kind of mind-fuckery that sustained, professional interrogation requires. His boast about how 'I know the squealers' when he sees one. The way he adjusts his personality and methods depending on who he's talking to and knowing EXACTLY the reaction he'll get."
Very interesting Patton, very interesting indeed.
Having originally been asked by director Christopher Nolan to play the title character in Batman Begins, Ledger declined, saying that he would 'never do this type of film" and the role went to Christian Bale.
However, when it came to securing Ledger for the role of the Joker, Nolan didn't have to do much persuading, saying that instead, 'Heath chose me'.
"He just was determined to do it," Nolan said during a Q&A at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
"He just had a vision for something, and the way he termed it to me at the time was, he really didn't like to work too much."
And we're grateful to this day that he took on the role because it was unforgettable.