Chris Nolan Says No to Joker in “Batman 3”

The Joker is not coming back to make Bruce Wayne’s life miserable in “Batman 3.” Director Christopher Nolan said the character of Joker played brilliantly by the late Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” will not appear in the third installment of the latest incarnation of the Batman franchise.

“Batman 3,” which is targeted for a July 20, 2012 release, will feature other villains, although Nolan has yet to reveal who will be Batman’s new nemesis. Nolan said reinventing the Joker following Ledger’s maniacal portrayal would not do justice to the character. “For me, Heath was the definitive Joker…It wouldn’t feel appropriate to readdress that character.”

Ledger, who died of overdose from prescription drugs in January 2008, was so good as the Joker that he earned an Academy Award for best supporting actor in 2009, becoming only the second person to earn an Oscar trophy posthumously.

“The Dark Knight,” which was released in July 2008, opened with a record-breaking $158.4 million, largely due to the buzz credited by Ledger’s death and critical acclaim of his performance. The film went to earn more than $1 billion world wide.