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$215M Mel Gibson Movie Saved Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, Cast Heath Ledger When He Planned to Quit Acting

$215M Mel Gibson Movie Saved Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, Cast Heath Ledger When He Planned to Quit Acting

In the 1990s, Heath Ledger left his studies to pursue a career in acting, and he started making appearances in Australian TV shows and movies. He made his Hollywood debut with the 1999 teen romantic comedy 10 Things I Hate About You. The golden-haired, soft-spoken Australian actor soon became a teen heartthrob. However, he reportedly did not work for almost a year after his Hollywood debut as he was constantly getting similar roles as his 1999 film.

Heath Ledger
Heath Ledger

And he was quick to grab the opportunity when he was offered the role of Benjamin Martin’s eldest son in Roland Emmerich’s 2000 film The Patriot.

Read More: “They all offered every one of those roles to him first”: Christian Bale Said Leonardo DiCaprio, Who Almost Replaced Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight, Saved His Career

Heath Ledger Almost Quit Acting Before The Patriot

The 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You put Heath Ledger in the spotlight, and he started getting stardom in Hollywood. The film was a success, and the late actor started receiving more acting job offers. This led to him being typecast as Hollywood’s heartthrob, and he constantly received similar roles as the 1999 film.

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Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You
Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

But he was not interested in such offers as he wanted to try something new, different and seek challenging roles. And he refused to be typecast and rejected every offer he received for nearly a year after 10 Things I Hate About You until he got something different.

Later, he received the offer to star in the 2000 historical war film The Patriot alongside Mel Gibson which offered him something different. It is also reported that The Dark Knight actor was planning to quit acting and return to Australia before he got the offer for the 2000 film, in which he portrayed Benjamin Martin’s eldest son Gabriel Martin.

The Patriot (2000)
The Patriot (2000)

Followed by the 2000 film, he would go on to star in the Oscar-nominated film Brokeback Mountain, for which he also received the Best Actor Oscar nomination at the 78th Academy Awards. However, the teen heartthrob image would also cause the backlash behind one of the biggest roles of his career.

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Read More: Christopher Nolan Didn’t Want Heath Ledger’s Joker, Planned $356M ‘Batman Begins’ as a Standalone: “It wasn’t really about setting up the sequel”

Heath Ledger’s Casting as Joker Received a Major Backlash

The reaction to Heath Ledger’s casting as the Clown Prince of Crime did not receive the same response as the actor’s performance in the film. When it was revealed that Christopher Nolan wanted the Candy star as the iconic DC villain in the Batman Begins sequel, it received a huge backlash.

Heath Ledger as Joker
Heath Ledger as Joker

Fans were skeptical of what he could do with Joker as he was mostly known for his work in the films like 10 Things I Hate About You and Brokeback Mountain. People judged his ability to do justice to the DC villain based on his character in these films. However, the Interstellar director was adamant about casting Ledger as Joker.

It was after the release of the film fans realized how wrong they were about him. Everyone was left in awe of his performance, and it is still believed that it would be hard for any actor to top his portrayal of Joker.

Read More: “If Heath doesn’t want to do it”: Jake Gyllenhaal Would Have Lost His Role in $176 Million Movie Had Heath Ledger Refused to Work in It

Source: IMDb

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Written by Laxmi

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.