The latest Batman blockbuster, The Dark Knight, is on its way to beating Titanic as the top-grossing movie of all time. But at what cost? Over the course of the production and after its premiere, it seems as if the main cast of The Dark Knight has some sort of curse on them. No, not some voodoo, Magic: The Gathering sort of curse, let’s just say a streak of bad luck.
1. Special Effects Technician – a hardworking guy on The Dark Knight set in the UK gets killed in September 2007 when the truck he was riding in slammed into a tree while filming a stunt involving the Batmobile.
2. Heath Ledger (The Joker) – his performance is haunting, stunning, and Oscar-worthy, but his overdose of medication which led to his death in early 2008 perhaps fueled more interest in the movie than was previously expected. Did the role disturb him so much that he had to go on medication to just sleep? Did he mix meds and die as a result? It’s a mystery to say the least, but one that will be a part of The Dark Knight mythos for decades to come.
3. Christian Bale (Batman/Bruce Wayne) – dark, brooding, and with a computer-altered voice while in cowl and cape, Bale was the topic of news stories as he was accused of roughing-up his mom and sister after they said bad things about his wife. His response: he wanted everyone to leave his family alone. It was a private matter between him and his family. Unfortunately, in the world of 24-hour news cycles and the hype surrounding The Dark Knight, it’s doubtful this story will just go away.
4. Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox) – like James Bond has Q, Batman has Lucius to supply him with gadgets and vehicles to fight the evil around him. Recently, Morgan Freeman was in a major car accident (he flipped the car he was driving), which left him in the hospital for several days. No alcohol or drugs were involved (it is Morgan Freeman, after all) but days later he announced he was divorcing his wife. Maybe he injured his head during the accident and that led to his filing for divorce.
5. Katie Holmes (Rachael Dawes) – yes, I know Katie wasn’t in The Dark Knight, and she was replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal (sister of Jake Gyllenhaal who played opposite Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain), but one has to wonder why Katie really turned down the role. Was it to be with daughter Suri Cruise? Was it a conflict of Scientology ideologies? No one knows, but I’m sure Katie’s kicking herself for turning down a role that would have upped her status in Hollywood as a comic book femme fatale.
Rumors of curses surrounding films have existed for decades. Whether it’s Poltergeist or The Exorcist, urban legends of strange occurrences and cast member fates have been fodder for tabloids, DVD commentary, and E!’s True Hollywood Story series. The Dark Knight may very well sink Titanic, but let’s hope these instances listed above are the only ones that befall the cast and crew of this latest Batman film.