Batman may currently be appearing on the big screen in Justice League, but a decade ago fans were getting excited by the trailer for a different DC Comics film. The first theatrical teaser for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight debuted ten years ago today.
Released with non-IMAX showings of I Am Legend as well as on the official website for The Dark Knight, the trailer gave fans their first look at Christian Bale's fully-realized Batman. Having saved Gotham from Ra's Al Ghul in Batman Begins, Batman faces a new threat in the form of Heath Ledger's take on The Joker. A deranged departure from Jack Nicholson's version of the classic villain, Ledger's take was striking even in the trailer though the sudden death of Ledger just over a month after the trailer's release on January 22, 2008, causing the film's marketing to shift focus onto the iconic villain. Ledger posthumously won an Academy Award for the role which took the Joker from not just a villain, but a leading character.
The Dark Knight was a massive success, with the film becoming the highest-grossing film of 2008 as well as fourth film in history to gross more than $1 billion. The film remains the second highest-grossing superhero movie of all time, just behind Marvel's The Avengers according to Box Office Mojo. It was followed by a sequel, The Dark Knight Rises in 2012 before Warner Bros. decided to give the character a reboot of sorts by introducing him to the DC Extended Universe just a few years later in Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
And Batman is slated to get his own standalone film again. Director Matt Reeves is slated to helm The Batman, though Reeves has said that, while The Dark Knight is an "incredible movie" his Batman movie will be different from The Dark Knight.
“The Dark Knight, which I think is an incredible movie, the thing that really resonates about that is The Joker … his story and that performance, and everything about the filmmaking that relates to that character – it’s his (Heath Ledger’s) movie,” Reeves said earlier this year. “I think Christian Bale is great, but I think that that movie really resonated with everyone because of that character (The Joker), its portrayal, and the way that the movie presented his unsettling perspective and the way that crashed up against Batman. I think I am interested in being even more inside of Batman.”
Justice League is in theaters now, but for fans wanting to re-immerse themselves in Nolan's Batman trilogy, the films have been given the 4K remaster treatment as overseen by Nolan himself.