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World Exclusive: The Joker Speaks
He's a cold-blooded mass-murdering clown

28 November 2007  |  Written by Olly Richards  

submit to reddit

Yes, some scamp leaked our Joker cover image yesterday*. But, though they may take our pictures, they will never take our, erm, words. The cover is just the beginning.

In an exclusive interview Empire sat down on the set of The Dark Knight with Heath Ledger, aka The Joker, as well as the rest of the cast and crew, to talk about bringing the greatest villain in comic book (and now cinema) history to the screen again.

"I definitely feared it," says Ledger of taking a role that every fanboy around the world demands to see done right. "Although anything that makes me afraid I guess excites me at the same time. I don’t know if I was fearless, but I certainly had to put on
a brave face and believe that I have something up my sleeve. Something different...”

This is not your Jack Nicholson or Cesar Romero Joker. The new incarnation of the character is cruel and psycho to the core. And getting into that mindset meant Ledger marinading himself in nothing but Joker before shooting.

"It’s a combination of reading all the comic books I could that were relevant to the script and then just closing my eyes and meditating on it," he says. "I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month, locked myself away, formed a little diary and experimented with voices — it was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh. I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath — someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts. He’s just an absolute sociopath, a cold-blooded, mass-murdering clown, and Chris has given me free rein. Which is fun, because there are no real boundaries to what The Joker would say or do. Nothing intimidates him, and everything is a big joke"

For more from Ledger, Chris Nolan, Christian Bale, Michael Caine and others, pick up the new issue of Empire. To see the full cover-line free image of The Joker on the Empire cover, click here.

*We know who you are and the dogs have been unleashed in your direction. And they're the ones with bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you.

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Your Comments

Sweet....Bring back Robin..
Bring back Robin for this one and have the Joker beat him to a pulp with a crowbar for his bad acting in the first minute, just like in the graphic novel "A Death in the family". More

Posted by waddylove at 13:37 on 05 December 2007 | Report This Post

I truly believe that the slim, svelte look of Batman in this new movie can be contributed to the new suit. They redesigned it, replacing the standard cowl (which was bulky around the shoulders) with more of a biker helmet. I think it's an optical illusion that he looks "slimmer." Plus, Bale has always designed his body to meet the role. I will agree with this though: Roker is a shit reporter. The fake interest in Batman was quite obvious. "Hmm, so you got this, homicidal guy r More

Posted by wordtoyourmother at 17:46 on 03 December 2007 | Report This Post

RE: the joker + gothAM
Iv cracked it!the fear toxin was actually a big was actually just Heath-as-Joker walking through the Narrows one miserable night and everyone there that seen him realised just how whacked out you could be in Gotham and get away with it!   Well,at least until July 2008.   More

Posted by mayo12 at 09:24 on 03 December 2007 | Report This Post

I'm twitching with anticipation
Reading the article on this Joker makes me want to go on a murderous rampage just to get to the most recently filmed scenes of the Dark Knight. I wants to see it now. More

Posted by keaneye at 14:35 on 01 December 2007 | Report This Post

All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. More

Posted by The Joker at 20:22 on 29 November 2007 | Report This Post

As Alannis said, isn't it Ironic.
I think perhaps Empire should have set a better example and not have published the leaked warner brothers Dark Knight pictures a couple of months back. Cos now it's happened to them. I'm always disappointed when things are leaked like that and ruin the fun for everyone, and naturally I was equally as disappointed when Empire published and linked these leaked pics. For some reason my last post was deleted, but I think this is a fair comment to make. Deleting this is draconian. More

Posted by Barry at 20:13 on 29 November 2007 | Report This Post

Oh The IRONY!!!
Deleted More

Posted by Barry at 20:01 on 29 November 2007 | Report This Post

This image increased my fear of clowns....tremendously. Can't wait for The Dark Knight. More

Posted by Kenesu at 19:25 on 29 November 2007 | Report This Post

make-up on the go
If you ask me, the Joker looks like he must put his face on while in the car? And on a damn bumpy road. That said, he still looks seriously twisted. More

Posted by Yorkshire Tic at 14:04 on 29 November 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Nolan and Ledger's take on the Joker will be truly psychotic and much darker
is it me or is there a slight bettlejuice feel about him????????? More

Posted by shinjikojima at 13:28 on 29 November 2007 | Report This Post

Nolan and Ledger's take on the Joker will be truly psychotic and much darker
Which as most fanboys will evince is the way to go, the high camp and brevity of previous incarnations will be eschewed for more disturbing and denser character dimensions. The Dark Knight IMHO is going to rule the roost come next summer. More

Posted by chris jojo at 10:09 on 29 November 2007 | Report This Post

Looks awsome, and for those who think he looks different, thats because there is supposed to be a few different looks to the Joker as the film progresses. This is great though, the closest anyone has ever got too The Joker on screen, Nicholson wasn't even close and the camp 60s batman show was waaaaaaaay away from, well anything batman related. More

Posted by clarkkent at 21:06 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

I feel like such a fool, I always thought that line from the Simpsons was "when they FART they shoot bees at you", which in my opinion is actually funnier. More

Posted by boyd at 19:42 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

RE: The Joker?
he looks kinda sexyscary   More

Posted by oddzag at 19:26 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

RE: The Joker?
This is just superb! What a brilliant image and caption to send the anticipation levels sky high! More

Posted by temetnosce at 19:13 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

be afraid, be very afraid
I am genuinely scared. More

Posted by olihiggy at 19:12 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

The Joker?
I don't know about anyone else but every pic of the joker I have seen, he looks different. I think that Empires pic looks slightly like Gary Oldman... More

Posted by JACK M14 at 17:24 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

He looks like he has been pissing around with mums makeup bag again! More

Posted by tallaght24 at 14:29 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

uh oh
he should really use a mirror when putting on his make up. doesn't look scary, just a little bedraggled, I'm hoping he won't be pantomime-villainesque. Love the Ledger though... More

Posted by missphoenix at 14:27 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Joker look-a-like
The Joker looks hardcore! I can't wait for this movie More

Posted by Fluke Skywalker at 14:24 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

Joker look-a-like
is this really The Joker or car expert Quentin Wilson? More

Posted by leoncampbell at 14:18 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

RE: World Exclusive: The Joker Speaks
Is the new issue out yet? When's it out? Where is it? Why isn't it out? If it is why haven't I found it? I haven't been this confused since you lot gave Superman Returns 5 stars. More

Posted by Bowl of Wrong at 13:45 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

Any chance subscribers will get a copy without any headlines, just the logo behind Mr J?  Like with the Optimus cover... that was excellent. More

Posted by britesparc at 13:26 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

How's about a hi-res photo WITHOUT all that Empire log floating in the background? Annoying really. More

Posted by gwynplaine at 13:15 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

RE: dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you.
Well done Empire, is there any other new photos. More

Posted by Woger at 13:03 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

RE: dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you.
L: badmartin Simpsons did it know. That's what I was quoting. More

Posted by Olly Richards at 12:57 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

RE: dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you.
Talk about iconic , he truly looks the clown Prince of evil , big well done Empire . More

Posted by Beno at 12:40 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you.
Simpsons did it More

Posted by badmartin at 12:20 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

TDK sounds great n'that but I'm more interested in this dog that shoot's bee's from it's mouth!....coool! More

Posted by lukeyboy at 11:32 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

This looks BRILLANT! More

Posted by Manfrendshensindshen at 11:19 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

Loving it, but...
I'm positively salivating over this film now - it looks great, but I'm just getting a tad concerned that the film is going to be all about 'the villain'. A great villain maybe, but the reason Batman Begins worked so well is because it focused on the big man himself. This next film is called 'The Dark Knight' after all - please let's not lose sight of that. By the way, has anyone else heard the casting rumour surrounding Mr J McAvoy and a certain Dambusters remake?? Why no gossip here Empire? More

Posted by Halfling at 10:28 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

RE: World Exclusive: The Joker Speaks
anyone that disses this incarnation of the joker really doesnt know what they're talking about, and obviously they don't know the joker bob kane created. great cover empire, it sucks that someone had to spoil it by leaking it... they ruined it for the masses... again. well looks like i wont be buying total film this month :P More

Posted by chrisp84 at 10:13 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

I for one can not wait to see this edition of Empire, why someone had to leak the pic I will never know, but thankfully this morning was my first viewing of the Joker in his full glory... bloody brilliant is all I can say... Bring it on Empire, bring it on!!! More

Posted by Samuelpoet at 10:05 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

looks awesome. kudos Empire! A really decent cover after a bit of a poor run IMHO. Also, nice socks. More

Posted by gusbuster at 10:05 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

...though I don't think the green waistcoat goes with a white face. More

Posted by jpt1976 at 10:03 on 28 November 2007 | Report This Post

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