Heath Ledger's Dark Knight "Joker" Diary Revealed

By James O Malley on at

A diary written by Heath Ledger as he prepared for his role as The Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight has emerged in a German documentary about the late actor.

Entertainment Weekly reports that the scene, which you can see below, features Ledger's father Kim leafing through the document, which was written in character as Batman's nemesis.

Ledger was a notorious method actor, and would immerse himself in characters ahead of playing roles in films - and the diary demonstrates this, containing images from Batman comics and of wild animals, accompanied by text like "KILL THE BATMAN" and "CHAOS". EW notes that the diary contains photos of Alex DeLearge from A Clockwork Orange, who is sure to have been an inspiration for the Joker character.

“He pretty well locked himself up in a hotel, in his apartment, for a month or so, to sort of galvanize the upcoming character in his own mind,” Kim Ledger is quoted as saying.

Sadly Ledger died of an accidental prescription drug overdose in January 2008 before the film's release - though he later posthumously won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for his iconic role. He was only 28.

Chillingly, on one page of the diary "BYE BYE" is written in large letters.

Ledger was only one of many actors to take on the role of Batman's arch-enemy over the course of the last several decades. In the 1989 Batman film the role was played by Jack Nicholson, and more recently Mark Hamill has provided a voice for the character in the Batman: Arkham series of video games.

The next major film featuring The Joker will be Suicide Squad, which forms part of Warner Bros' new shared DC Comics universe, which began with Man of Steel in 2013. In the film, which sees Joker team up with other DC super-villains to (in a change of pace) save the world for once, he will be played by Jared Leto.

[Entertainment Weekly]