The Hypothetical: Ledger Lives
Welcome to my new article, ‘The Hypothetical’; an interesting take and discussion about all the scenarios that could have been if different choices or actions took place in Hollywood. Imagine Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones or Russell Crowe as Wolverine. All the topics that we will discuss here will have a viable story behind it. The ideas will all come from real life situations that almost happened. I’m not just going to arbitrarily throw out ideas like Spielberg should have directed Spiderman. I want possibilities that were actually on the table, like James Cameron nearly directing a black suited, web slinger before finally passing on the project. We’ll have some fun down the road with ‘The Hypothetical’, but I’ll warn you – the first topic will be a bummer. Without further delay I give you, The Hypothetical: Ledger Lives.
First, I need to say that the most obvious, positive outcome over everything else in this scenario is that Ledger’s daughter, Matilda would still have her father. Ledger wouldn’t have lost his life to addiction and would still be a part of her life. No possible movie roles could compare to that little girl still having her father. Still, many of us movie nerds were left to wonder: What would it have been like if Ledger lived?
There is no doubt in my mind that the third installment of the Nolan’s Batman trilogy would have involved the white-faced Joker. Numerous times during The Dark Knight, it’s insinuated that this rivalry was not meant to end in one movie. Lines from Ledger’s Joker included “I don’t want to kill you. What would I do without you?” and “You just couldn’t let me go, could you?” as the Joker is saved from plummeting to his death by the caped crusader. It doesn’t seem to me that Nolan was ready to end the Joker character in one film.
I believe that the third installment in Nolan’s trilogy would have involved Ledger’s Joker on trial and the Batman hiding out, still a wanted man for the murder of Harvey Dent. The courtroom scenes would have been a spectacle where Ledger’s creepy clown prince could have shined. I also have a feeling we would have seen the Joker seduce his shrink, ultimately ending in her becoming his special girl, Harley Quinn. As for other villains, maybe The Riddler would appear as a menace that was inspired by the Joker, wreaking havoc on Gotham.
The odd man out of the Nolan’s grand plan may have been Bane. I know some movie prognosticators think the Scarecrow’s courtroom scene in The Dark Knight Rises was meant for the Joker. I don’t believe that for one second. Why would you waste such an iconic nemesis with one little scene? I think Bane happened because Ledger died and the future plans were scrapped. I would have hated not seeing Bane on film, but the idea of seeing the Joker onscreen again would have been worth sacrificing Bane, in my opinion. Somewhere, Drew Garabo is yelling “Blasphemy” into his empty Bane cup.
The last hypothetical question I will pose is one people may not have thought of: Would Ledger have still won the Oscar if he hadn’t passed away prematurely? We all know the Oscars love a good story – like snubbing Samuel L. Jackson for old man Martin Landau or giving an Oscar to someone who has never won before, like Jeff Bridges. Personally, I think that Oscar belonged to Ledger. He already had one Oscar nomination under his belt and his role as the Joker made the Oscars finally take superhero movies seriously. If only Ledger would have lived, we could have seen him accept his Oscar in person and thank his beautiful daughter, Matilda. Stay away from the pills kids.
Media Critic/CW44 Tampa Bay