Heath Ledger to take on role of criminal mastermind
LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- Batman is heading into a sequel, titled "The Dark Knight," and he will face off against the Joker, this time played by Heath Ledger.
Christian Bale, the star of last year's "Batman Begins," will reprise his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Christopher Nolan is returning to the directing chair.
Ledger, Oscar-nominated this year for his role in "Brokeback Mountain," resurrects a murderous role memorably played in 1989 by Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton's "Batman."
"Batman Begins" was a critical and commercial hit, and relaunched the Warner Bros. franchise.
An early 2007 start date is being eyed for the sequel. Before then, Bale and Nolan will be in theaters this fall with the Disney release "The Prestige."