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Cast, crew celebrate ‘Dark Knight’ premiere

“The Dark Knight” premiered in New York City Monday night, bringing a taste of Gotham City to the Big Apple. Cast and crew talked about the film, and the late Heath Ledger's role in it.
/ Source: Access Hollywood

“The Dark Knight” premiered in New York City Monday night, bringing a taste of Gotham City to the Big Apple.

The cast of the latest installment in the Batman franchise talked to Access Hollywood about one of the most highly anticipated films of the summer, the possibility of a follow-up, and Heath’s glaring absence from the night’s festivities.

Christian Bale, who dons the Batsuit for a second time, told Access that director Chris Nolan deserves all the credit for reinvigorating the series.

“Chris Nolan has created a whole new Batman that I can actually hold my head up high and not be embarrassed to say ‘I’m Batman,’” the actor said. “I’m very proud of it.”

Christian is also proud to have co-starred with Heath Ledger and wished the late actor, who played The Joker in the film, could have been at the premiere.

“It celebrates his talent. I despise the whole circus around his death, but the fact is, he was a fierce talent.” Christian told Access. “He created an iconic character that will be classic for the ages — he’s outdone any previous Joker before. It’s tragic that he’s not here. But we’ll celebrate him.”

Also on hand to celebrate Heath was his family, who journeyed from Perth, Australia for the premiere.

”‘The Dark Knight’ is everything we hoped it would be and more,” Heath’s father, Kim Ledger, told Access. “Heath loved the experience of creating this character and working on the film. We are so proud of our boy.”

An Oscar for Ledger?Stepping into the role of Rachel Dawes was series newcomer, Maggie Gyllenhaal, who took over the role left vacant by Katie Holmes.

Maggie has quite a few intense, onscreen moments with Heath and on the red carpet echoed other’s sentiments about the talents of the late actor.

“Heath is incredible in the movie and you know he’s totally free in the movie, which is so rare even among the greatest actors,” she said. “And I think all of the attention that it’s getting him makes total sense when you watch his work. It’s such a shame he’s gone.”

Heath’s work as the Joker is drawing early Oscar buzz, something Michael Caine says is more than just hype.

“Oh I’m sure of it!” he told Access of a possible Oscar nomination for Heath. “If it’s up to me he’ll get an Oscar, it’s a wonderful performance. It really is.”

The possibility of a third film from the current team was also abuzz at the premiere. Though another film is still up in the air, the cast said they are onboard — as long as director Christopher Nolan is too.

“I don’t know if we’re going to be doing a third one. That’s up to Chris [Nolan],” Christian said.

But the actor would step into the Batsuit again “if Chris is involved.”

Along with cast member Gary Oldman, who said he would do another Batman “without any hesitation,” Michael Caine said he’s already signed up for it.

“I signed up for the third before I made the first one,” Michael told Access. “They sign you up for everything.”