It has already begun. On April 13, SuperHeroHype began reporting on the fact that Christopher Nolan’s upcoming film The Dark Knight, the follow-up to 2005’s Batman Begins, was to begin filming in Chicago. Since then the internet has been a buzz with TDK here, TDK there and rumors flying everywhere.
Notorious rumor-house Ain’t it Cool News got itself knee deep in bat droppings on April 22, when after Harry Knowles refused to post a pic that was rumored to be Heath Ledger as the Joker, they still posted it anyway the next day. It turns out that the picture wasn’t really of the Joker. Talk about disappointment. Then on April 23 they finally posted a picture of the Joker from a make-up test. It turns out that this one is a bit more real and now we all at least have an idea of what Heath Ledger will look like as the Joker.
All of this has seemed like fun, even when it comes down to looking at some very anti-climactic shots of the Gotham City Post Office or watching a video of a helicopter flying back and forth, but at some point shouldn’t we stop for a moment and ask ourselves, “Aren’t we watching a bit too closely?” The production itself is not even 30 days into shooting and we’ve already got scoop-happy fanboys scaling buildings, sneaking into sets and probably preparing to donate their kidneys just to get a shot at the TDK crew having a lunch break. And while all that James Bond spy junk sounds fun, we must question how this will effect our enjoyment of the film when it releases more than a year from now.
I am one who has notoriously criticized the way Spider-Man 3 has been marketed. On “Fat Guys at the Movies,” I expressed my anger over the fact that the folks at Sony decided to show Venom in some of the latter trailers. To me, this could have spoiled much of the mystic around a character like that and in some ways, tainted my experience once I finally viewed the film. Having seen the flick, I was absolutely right. Seeing Venom in a trailer more than a month ago really detracted from the enjoyment that I could have had if I had been introduced to him in the film only. This is a perfect example of why we should sometimes just be patient.
Needless to say, after a year of being bombarded by Spider-Man gossip and about 20 different trailers, the film itself was less exciting. I don’t want the same for The Dark Knight. There comes a time where we should raise the question of whether or not we are watching too closely? Everyone enjoys a spoiler here and there (hell, some web sites live and die by spoilers), but when have we really gone too far. With TDK, I don’t really want to see Heath Ledger as the Joker, but I have. I would have loved to be able to wait and be surprised, but that just isn’t going to happen – curiosity and availability got the best of me there.
So now the question remains, how much further will we take this voyeuristic obsession with films? Will people continue to sneak on set and capture every moment of a films development? Won’t this eventually ruin the mystique of making movies? As much fun as this may be, shouldn’t we show some restraint at some point? I for one believe that we are very close to going too far, to the point where our enjoyment of a film will be hampered by the fact that we already know what is going to happen.
I leave the rest of the discussion to the comment area below…
Tags: heath ledger, joker, dark knight, batman, rumors