The Dark Knight is a 2008 American superhero film co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is a sequel to Batman Begins (2005). Christian Bale reprises the lead role. Batman's primary conflicts in the film include his fight against his arch-nemesis the Joker (Heath Ledger) and his strained friendship with district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart).
For his conception of the film, Nolan was inspired by the Joker's first two appearances in the comics and Batman: The Long Halloween. The Dark Knight was filmed primarily in Chicago, as well as in several other locations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. The director used an IMAX camera to film six major action sequences, including the Joker's first appearance in the film. The Batsuit was redesigned, with a cowl allowing Bale to move his head.
Warner Bros. created an aggressive viral marketing campaign for The Dark Knight, developing promotional websites and trailers highlighting screenshots of Heath Ledger as the Joker. After Ledger's death in January 2008, however, the studio refocused its promotional campaign. The film was released on July 16, 2008 in Australia, on July 18, 2008 in North America, and will be released on July 21, 2008 in the United Kingdom.
The Batmobile, depicted in the 2005 film Batman Begins and the 2008 sequel The Dark Knight, commonly referred to as the Tumbler, owes more to the tank-like vehicle from Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns than to the sleek automobiles seen in previous movies. The film's production designer described the machine as being a cross between a Lamborghini and a Hummer. In the various interior sequences of the Batmobile/Tumbler being driven, it appears to drive like a boat, based on throttle placement, use, and construction.
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