Add this one to the Dark Knight sequel casting rumors: The Joker may reappear in the next Batman movie, played by a different actor, or so says MTV. But all isn't as it may seem...
MTV's Splash Page blog ran with a quote from Dark Knight producer Chuck Roven from the red carpet of the People's Choice Awards:
“We have to separate the actors from the role,” said Roven when asked whether they would’ve done anything different with Heath Ledger’s villainous Joker if they knew the actor wouldn’t be reprising the role.
“On a personal level, Heath was a friend of mine. We had worked together before ‘The Dark Knight,’ but I still think that ‘The Dark Knight’ is its own thing, and we have to separate them,” added Roven.
Could that mean they’re open to re-casting The Joker? Will we see The Clown Prince of Crime return for the “Dark Knight” sequel?
The problem is, of course, saying that they wouldn't have changed what happened to the character if they'd known Ledger was going to die isn't the same thing as saying that the character will be back, or be recast in any future Batmovie. In fact, elsewhere in the same red carpet chat, Roven is clear about the fact that - beyond scriptwriter David Goyer "talking and thinking" about the next film with Chris Nolan - he doesn't know anything about what a Dark Knight sequel would involve.
So ignore MTV may be jumping to conclusions; this one seems as likely as an Eddie Murphy Riddler right now.