Check Out These New Heath Ledger Joker Pictures From The Dark Knight Never Seen Before!

Holy Polaroids, Batman! Some never-before-seen photos of iconic Joker actor Heath Ledger putting on his makeup on the set of The Dark Knight have made their way to the public!
Heath Ledger The Dark Knight poster The Joker

Holy Polaroids, Batman! Some never-before-seen photos of iconic Joker actor Heath Ledger putting on his makeup on the set of The Dark Knight have made their way to the public via Twitter/X. 

Check them out below:

What’s in the Joker Photos?

Heath Ledger The Joker

The photos appear to be in a scrapbook of images taken from the set of The Dark Knight. In the first, we can see one picture of Heath Ledger sitting in his chair with sinister-looking eyes and facial scars, whose true backstory we will never know, before the full clown makeup is applied. 

The one below that shows the fully-applied makeup and hairstyling. The makeup covers not only his face, but also the front and back of his neck. 


The last picture sees several more Joker images from the set, with a finger pointing out Ledger in the aforementioned makeup potentially preparing to film whatever the scene was on the given day. What these images make clear is just how intense and committed Ledger was to the role of Batman’s greatest nemesis, one that would go on to define a tragically short career.

An Unexpected Ace In The Hole

While Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker is near-universally beloved now, it’s easy to forget that his initial casting was met with rampant backlash and skepticism from fans. At that point, Ledger was a rising star primarily known for his roles in the teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You and dramas The Patriot and Monster’s Ball

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But, like Batman, Jim Gordon, and Harvey Dent underestimated the Joker’s threat only for it to blow up in their faces, Heath Ledger left his critics eating their words with a performance so strong and memorable that even negative reviews of The Dark Knight often singled him out as a highlight.  The performance redefined what an onscreen supervillain could be, proving sadistic, unpredictable, and downright scary, even winning Ledger a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2009.

The Wider Impact of Heath Ledger’s Joker and The Dark Knight

I remember growing up in the early 2000’s superhero landscape. Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, the X-Men franchise, Tim Story’s Fantastic Four duology, and more all had one thing in common: Cheese. While some superhero films were darker than others, the genre was largely defined by a colorful goofiness that made them solid popcorn entertainment. 

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However, 2005’s Batman Begins proved audiences could flock to a far more dramatic superhero film, The Dark Knight was an explosive wake-up call to filmmakers and general audiences that movies based on comic books could have just as much thematic weight, strong plotting, and darker tones without diluting the blockbuster spectacle. The next several years saw summer tentpoles attempting to tackle more complex ideas and take themselves far more seriously. Seeing dollar signs, Warner Bros even attempted to continue the grittier tone of The Dark Knight into their then fledgling DCEU, which is its own can of bat-worms.

Unfortunately, Heath Ledger’s great performance as the Joker would prove to be one of his last. The actor went so far in preparing for his role that (among other factors) he was mentally scarred by it, leaving far too soon with a film, character, and legacy that would forever live on. 

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The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger are stories of a film and its star proving to the world that there can be far more to a genre and a performer than meets the eye, and I only wish Ledger could have lived to see the impact of his performance on the world. Those photos remind us of his dedication to his craft, and that is something to be serious about.

Heath Ledger The Dark Knight poster The Joker

What do you think of the behind-the-scenes set photos from The Dark Knight? What’s your favorite Heath Ledger performance? Did you see The Dark Knight in theaters back in 2008?  Let us know on our social media.


Source: Twitter


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Kevin Thomas

Kevin Thomas is a film-loving college graduate who has been writing film reviews since age 10. He approaches life with a sense of humor and optimism and lives in Georgia with his 2 dogs.