First up, we have some words from Paul Birchard (via indieWire). Non-too revealing, they give us another fascinating insight into Heath Ledger’s portrayal of this famous character:
As regards to how Heath Ledger *seemed* as the Joker, he seemed like he WAS the Joker, and didn’t need to let anyone know it — rather contained, but ready to explode at any moment in an unexpected fashion. Menacing, but more because he seemed like he was probably crazy, and maybe violent, rather than that he was TRYING to scare you. (and by the way, all he did during the scenes I was in was sit in his holding cell, reacting and listening…so, he’s a very fine actor if I imbibed all this from just watching him sit there…) He didn’t talk a lot between takes, but he also wasn’t “Don’t approach me!” in his manner — a real pro, in other words.
In short, he seemed just like the Joker SHOULD seem.
Why So Serious has departed, and in its wake has left behind a cheesy grinned clown site, right out of the bygone era of Geocities. Quite annoyingly, the high resolution download links of the Dark Knight Teaser Trailer have been removed.
Today we have for you a fantastic set report from Chicago thanks to our tipster “Tony”, where he viewed first hand the action, damage and destruction that travels alongside The Joker. Warning, Spoilers ahead.
So I’m still at work and decided to look down at the street below and can see the crews setting things up for tonight. LaSalle is closed heading south of Monroe because it appears there is a “mock up” helicopter in front of the Chase building. Looks like it will be a fun night and I might actually get to see something blown up. An all-nighter at work is actually a good thing tonight! My camera is ready to go so I will send pictures if I can get them.
Okay, so I went downstairs and the Joker semi is right outside my buildings front door. There was a crew rigging stuff up inside the trailer and there was a dummy body lying on the ground. I also noticed they added “teeth” to the front of the truck (think of a circular saw). The Mercedes cameras were out and the PA said they were going to flip the truck end over end (cab over trailer). Lots of hydrogen (gas) bottles in the back of a truck and Chicago PD everywhere, along with fire trucks and ambulances.
And a short while later,
Patience is a virtue. I finally got to see real Batman action and it was well worth the wait.
I just witnessed the Joker’s semi being flipped over from the back to the front. It drove North on LaSalle and shortly after it crossed Monroe it did the flip. I would give it a 10 for nice form and degree of difficulty.
Turns out that the spikes in the front were for the front end to dig into the pavement to help it flip. Now the truck is crushed!!
Saw The Joker in full makeup hanging around in front of Northern Trust Bank. He was doing things any villan would do…high-fiving, text messaging, smoking, and actually looking bored.
And here are some pictures and the report summary:
So, I work for an investment bank in downtown Chicago and had a great view of today’s filming action which was the Joker’s semi being flipped end over end. Heath Ledger was on hand in full makeup but not full wardrobe and there were a TON of people working on the set. My view was much better than even Nolan’s and I was able to get this video and pictures.
If you look beneath the truck in the pictures you will see a black piston and then “teeth” on the front grill. The piston is what created the force to send the truck over and the teeth were used to dig into the asphalt to help flip it over.
The picture of the white helicopter shell is a prop. Apparently they blew up a helicopter last night and did it again tonight. The helo was the starting point for the Joker’s semi and was on fire when I left work, after they flipped the truck. As I was walking to the bus I saw just the cab of the Joker’s truck with a bullet hole filled windshield but it was attached to a tow truck rigged w/ lights and possible cameras.
MyFox Chicago were also on the scene and they have some higher quality but ground floor footage of the event, which is also worth a watch. Thanks for the heads up Steve, check the video out here.
Tony came back to tell us this little bit of juicy gossip (beware, spoilers ahead):
Was walking around today on Randolph/Washington and saw a brand new, Black Corvette Z06 parked with all of the trailers. On the dashboard there was a yellow sign that said something to the effect of “This car is to be used in filming. City of Chicago..blah, blah, blah.” I’ve heard that a new Lamborghini is supposed to be in the film but am curious about the use of the Z06.
I also ran into some “security guards” when I was checking out the Batmobiles and they told me that they filmed a scene the other night where The Joker jumped off of a building!
And today he sent this information in:
On my way in to work this morning I noticed “No Parking signs 7/26–7/30 for Filming” all over LaSalle, particularly heading South towards the CBOT. Also heard that a very explosive scene will be filmed Thursday night on Wells & Wacker.
X-Realms have also posted this filming report from El Eshoo:
The crew was setting up at a place where everyone can look down from the street above and just gawk. Lots of people in SWAT gear and what looked like Joker henchmen (assuming since they were in long black hooded robes and their faces sort of looked in makeup).
In this area were SWAT vehicles, Cop SUV’s, the Joker Semi (with bullet holed windshield). A lot of crew people were wandering around getting ready for tonight’s shoot. Nolan was on hand to chat with crew and actors. Just then, from up the road, Gary Oldman comes running up to the middle where Nolan is standing, stops with a hop, throws his arms out jokingly as if to say “Tah-Dah … I’m Here!” It was kinda goofy but funny.
Oldman (complete with that cheesy mustache) was putting on SWAT gear as well. So, I’m guessing he might be involved with the Joker/Semi chase. There was a SWAT Truck rigged with a camera in the passenger window and the SWAT truck was hitched behind a camera/main truck (where Nolan and company can sit and direct. Just then, the Security told us to scoot since they were about to film.
I then decided to walk to Monroe St (on Upper Wacker, where rumored filming was to occur) to see what was up. There were people with Walkie-talkies about and figured this was the spot. That’s when the rigged SWAT truck and some Gotham Police escort came down the road from the area we were just at. Basically, what they did was did repeat street runs of the SWAT Truck and Police cars driving from Upper Wacker to Lower Wacker via the ramp that heads down there. They did this over and over … nothing exciting. I guess this is what they meant by the “street level” filming that was to occur that night.
I headed back to the River (to view Lower Wacker stuff) to se what was up there. Saw some Tumblers (2 were uncovered) down below but never saw them in action all night. Walked to where I’d seen the Batpods nights before. There were 3 of them (2 uncovered and 1 covered). Never saw the Batpod in action either. In fact, when I returned later, all 3 were covered. I didn’t stay all night so perhaps there were scenes shot in the wee morning hours.
They did shoot some scenes on Lower Wacker with the Joker Semi and the SWAT Truck riding along side (on other side of median) giving chase. There were loud explosion sounds as they went by but it was difficult to see exactly what they were from since there wasn’t any fire or bright light or smoke or anything. Also, popping noises (gun fire) were heard, too.
Later on, they just made passes on Lower Wacker with only the SWAT Truck and some GPD cars. Nothing too crazy. For most of the night, I played good Samaritan to people by telling them where to gawk at the Batmobile. I’m nice like that.
I was an extra on the set of The Dark Knight on Wednesday the 27th. I was cast as an evacuee and we shot our first scene downtown around 9:30am as if evacuating Gotham City. We then returned to Navy Pier where we shot a scene with us evacuees boarding two large ships with tons of green screens around! We were told the green screens would be used to “build” the rest of the ships and to add in explosions cause by The Joker.
Just saw them wrap up shooting in the Old Town neighborhood in Chicago. Production trailers were everywhere! They filmed scenes earlier today at a bar called “Twin Anchors” and then just filmed another scene up the street involving a Mercedes E-Class. There was an older lady sitting the driver’s seat (in front of a nice brownstone) and it appeared that the car had been hit/partially blown up. The coolest part was that there were playing cards EVERYWHERE! Didn’t see any significant actors but I did see Nolan, who was dressed nicely as usual.