Before The Dark Knight came blockbusting its way through our cinema screens, superhero fans had been raised on a diet of cheese and Sam Raimi. But director Christopher Nolan kidnapped the everyday superhero flick and handed it back to us ravaged and bloodied, helped in large part by Heath Ledger’s unforgettable portrayal of the Joker. Despite the Maggie Gyllenhaal-for-Katie Holmes switcheroo, and perhaps fueled by the death of Ledger, The Dark Knight seemed to transcend the superhero label, eschewing camp for something bleak and brilliant. And though Ledger was awarded a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, the film and its director were unceremoniously snubbed. The backlash only seemed to reinforce the fans’ adoration, elevating The Dark Knight to the heights of superhero filmdom.
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