Last night we took the crew to see Iron Man. You can read James's and Scott's reviews of the film, but I'll just add that this movie ROCKS, and in case you're a parent debating whether to bring your kids to see it, I felt that what violence is in the film is mostly cartoonish, Indiana Jones-level stuff, so if your kids can handle those films, they'll be fine. All of my kids were engaged in the film from start to finish, and there was nothing in it that scared them as much and that damn sea lion in Happy Feet.
But I digress. Before the film, of course, they had the usual array of trailers (Speed Racer, Indy 4, Prince Caspian), and one of them was for The Dark Knight. Now, I've generally been avoiding seeing or reading too much about The Dark Knight, so this was the first time I'd seen the trailer. And my reaction to it was ... I don't know if I want to see this film. Much as I love Christian Bale and Aaron Eckhart, I just found the scenes of Heath Ledger as the Joker oddly painful to watch.
We were at Sundance when the news of Ledger's death broke, and the response among the film journalists there was not what you'd normally expect from people who work in this business to news of another tragic celebrity death. People were stunned, shell-shocked; there were a lot of red eyes around, even among the men, some of who normally tend toward the snarky end of the spectrum. I had to walk out of a room where the TV was showing the typical media blow-out reaction to a celebrity death -- so much tabloidization, so much capitalizing on what was, for his family, just a terrible tragedy.
But that was back in January, so I figured, by now, I'd be fine with seeing Ledger in this role. And after seeing the trailer I'm thinking, not so much. It probably seems stupid, but it was just painful to me to see him in that dark of a role, knowing the downward spiral his life took in the aftermath of that film. Not that I think anyone can say with certainty that playing the Joker directly caused Ledger's death, but the role is so dark, so twisted, and Ledger, in the trailer, seems to so embody that darkness, that I was just a bit overwhelmed by it. And honestly, I just don't know if I want to sit through an entire movie of watching him in that role.
I know, I'm a dork, and it's probably just me, but I wondered -- is anyone else having this reaction to The Dark Knight trailer? Or are you just so excited by the film in general, and in seeing Bale reprise the role of Batman, that seeing Ledger as the Joker just doesn't bother you?