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“The role leaks into the man”: Morgan Freeman Debunks Theory That Romanticized Joker Actor Heath Ledger’s Death as Being Caused By Too Much Evil

Morgan Freeman Debunks Theory That Romanticized Joker Actor Heath Ledger’s Death as Being Caused By Too Much Evil

Morgan Freeman has a long list of noteworthy supporting roles from the 2000s onwards. One such exceptional role is that of Lucius Fox in the Dark Knight trilogy. Reportedly, Christopher Nolan wrote the character with Freeman in mind and pursued the Bruce Almighty actor for months before getting him to sign up for the role. Freeman’s Lucius Fox is Bruce Wayne’s business manager who’s aware of his Batman identity.

Morgan Freeman in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy
Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy

Lucius Fox also served as Batman’s ‘gadget guy’, and Morgan Freeman effortlessly brought this character to life, winning the hearts of Batman fans. In an interview, Freeman debunked a particularly unsettling theory surrounding the Joker actor, Heath Ledger.

Also Read: “Chris is already halfway there”: Morgan Freeman Revealed Why He Believes James Bond Isn’t Too Impossible a Dream For Oppenheimer Director Christopher Nolan

Morgan Freeman Dismissed Theory Connecting Joker To Heath Ledger’s Death

Heath Ledger as Joker from a scene in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight (2008)
Heath Ledger as Joker in The Dark Knight

In a 2012 interview with The Guardian, Morgan Freeman discussed various aspects of the third installment in the Dark Knight trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. Freeman discussed a number of topics, including the villain of the film, Bane, played by Tom Hardy. Further along the discussions, The Shawshank Redemption actor was asked about the impact of the death of Heath Ledger, who played the iconic villain Joker.

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Ledger had tragically died of an accidental overdose of medications in January 2008, during the post-production of The Dark Knight. Ledger’s performance received critical acclaim for his portrayal, despite initial reservations from fans and critics. However, one wildly romanticized theory suggested that Joker’s evil nature somehow contributed to Ledger’s untimely death. Morgan Freeman dismissed this absurd and insensitive theory, stating to The Guardian:

“Well, it’s a downer when anything happens to an actor in mid-production. In fact, he didn’t die during production, his part was wrapped up, but the movie itself wasn’t out yet. People connected the character to his death because the character was so … evil – people imagine that the role leaks into the man or something. And I don’t think that was the case at all.”

Heath Ledger posthumously received an Academy Award for his portrayal of the supervillain. The Joker became a textbook reference for supervillains in Hollywood and gained legendary status in later years.

Also Read: “I’m going to face this demon”: Oscar-Winner Morgan Freeman Had To Battle Through Monstrous Calamities, Refused To Die At Sea


Morgan Freeman Described Bane As Gotham City’s Biggest Fear

Tom Hardy portrayed Bane in The Dark Knight Rises
Tom Hardy as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises

One of the biggest challenges for The Dark Knight Rises villain, Tom Hardy, was living up to the performance of Heath Ledger. While the Joker found a sadistic satisfaction in causing chaos, Bane’s methods were more revolutionary. While Bane used his physical strength and a political cause to unleash wrath on Gotham City, it was the Joker’s sheer madness that made him a ruthless villain.

Unlike the Joker, Bane posed a threat at a time when Christian Bale’s Batman was at his weakest, eight years in a reclusive state following the death of Rachel Dawes. However, Bane’s cause had the potential to inflict even greater devastation on Gotham City than the Joker ever did. Christopher Nolan used the bulked-up body of Tom Hardy and an immovable mask to depict him as a formidable villain. In Morgan Freeman’s words, “Bane is to Gotham what bats were to Batman, a fear the city has to overcome.”

Also Read: “I did something that I’ve always avoided doing”: Christopher Nolan Broke His Cardinal Rule to Cast Morgan Freeman in $2.4B Batman Franchise Despite Actor’s Hesitation

The Dark Knight Rises amassed $1.08 billion at the box office becoming the highest-grossing Batman film. The film also holds the record for the highest-grossing Nolan film. Both The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises are now available for streaming on Max.

Source: The Guardian

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Written by Hashim

Hashim, Entertainment Writer. With over 500 published articles on FandomWire, he covers a wide range of topics from celebrity life to comic book movies. He holds a Masters degree in Sociology and his expertise proves invaluable in handling sensitive news. His passion for crime investigation thrillers has turned him into a detective, exploring the darkest corners of the internet during his research.