On July 31, 2006, Warner Bros. officially announced that Heath Ledger would play The Joker in The Dark Knight. If you were online back then, you remember that the news was met with a ton of backlash from fans. Not unlike the backlash that Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot received when they were cast as Batman and Wonder Woman for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Well it turns out, the fans weren’t the only ones who didn’t understand why The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan wanted to cast Ledger as The Joker. Warner Bros. didn’t get it either! Nolan’s brother and Dark Knight Trilogy co-writer, Jonathan Nolan, revealed the news in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“When I wrote The Dark Knight, Chris [Nolan] had to figure out how we’d tackle the Joker,” Nolan explained. “Chris had a good meeting with Heath Ledger. And no one got it — I didn’t get it, the studio didn’t get it. And the fan community was … we were fucking pilloried for it. “Disaster, worst casting decision ever!” Chris just stuck to his guns. It was a question of not giving the fans what they’re asking for but what they want — which is, “Let’s find a really fuckin’ serious actor, somebody who’s going to come in and just tear this role to pieces.”
Obviously Heath Ledger as The Joker turned out to be an amazing choice. His performance was talked about as one of the best parts of The Dark Knight, and it earned him a posthumous Oscar win for “Best Supporting Actor”.
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter