Confirmed: Heath Ledger was going to come back as The Joker for "The Dark Knight" sequel

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When "The Dark Knight" was released almost 10 years ago, the big story was not necessarilly Christopher Nolan's seamless, atmospheric direction, which was and still is a landmark of the superhero genre, no, Heath Ledger's The Joker stole Nolan's thunder. Ledger's Joker just about stole the movie from everyone involved, so much so that he won a well-deserved posthumous Supporting Actor Oscar for his work. Of course, Ledger's sudden death just a few months before the film's release only brought forth more attention towards his role and how it had consumed his every being. Some people think the actor died because the method acting went too far and he, quite literally, became The Joker. Of course, that is not true at all, on-set photos have shown Ledger in a rather happy mood, chuckling with the cast and crew, but it is no secret that he took his portrayal of the villainous jokester very seriously when the cameras were on.

There have always been rumors that Ledger was going to come back for the sequel, "The Dark Knight Rises," especially since the character's arc was not closed in "The Dark Knight," he was left to fend for his life, wobbling from a building.

Today, we do know now a little bit more about what Ledger and Nolan's intentions were for The Joker.  According to an interview with his sister, Katie Ledger, Heath had indeed planned to return for the sequel. The actor's sister spoke to Australian press outlet news.com.au over a year ago and yet this news has only made the rounds in the States this weekend, maybe news does travel much slower in the land own under.

"He was so proud of what he had done in Batman. And I know he had plans for another Batman," she said, "He loved working with Chris Nolan and Christian Bale and Gary Oldman. He just had the best time ever doing that film. When he came home at Christmas, he couldn't wait to tell us all about it, and he was doing the voice and laughing, showing me all the rushes. We had a great time."

Of course, Nolan had not yet committed to making a third film, but we all knew it was going to be a trilogy and that the director was most likely going to helm the cap off. Nolan writing partner David S. Goyer supposedly had an outline for the third movie, with The Joker being included in it. So what Katie Ledger's interview does confirm is that her brother was very interested in returning. Would we have still gotten Bane if Ledger were still alive? Who knows, but Tom Hardy's portrayal of Batman's backbreaking nemesis is iconic in its own way as well. What we do have instead is "The Dark Knight," which is still the best superhero movie ever made.