An Important Part Of Heath Ledger’s Joker Was ‘Controversial,’ Says ‘Dark Knight’ Writer

Joker's origins in "The Dark Knight" might have been different.

Do you want to know how Joker got these scars? Well, Warner Bros. apparently did.

The Joker’s uncertain origins are a crucial aspect to director Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.” Each time the Joker recalls the backstory of his scars (to a person who clearly doesn’t want to hear about it), it’s creepy, gruesome and, most importantly, different.

The ambiguous scar story adds to the chaotic nature of Joker, and helps make him the ultimate foil to Batman, a character so defined by his origin story that he runs around the city of Gotham dressed like a giant rubber bat with pecs.

But initially, Joker’s unsettled backstory didn’t put a smile on anyone’s face, according to David S. Goyer.

Goyer wrote “Batman Begins” and has a story credit on “The Dark Knight.” In an interview for virtual Comic-Con, he noted that other popular superhero movies of the time, such as the Sam Raimi “Spider-Man” films, all gave their villains elaborate backstories. Not giving the Joker a solid background was a contentious point.

“Even after the success of ‘Batman Begins,’ that was considered a very controversial thing, and we got a lot of pushback.” Goyer said. “People were worried ― ‘Well, you have to have an origin story. How can you not have, or how can people just not know?’”

The writer continued: “I just remember the discussions at the time were that it was scarier, and I think it was scarier.”

Something must’ve worked. More than a decade on, “The Dark Knight” continues to be praised by critics. Heath Ledger won a posthumous Oscar for his performance as Joker in the film and fans continue to analyze and theorize about the character’s scars.

If only Harvey Dent would have wondered about those scars, too. Maybe his reaction could’ve been just a bit quicker ...

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