The Dark Knight is here, but watch out for that Joker

Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight

When I first heard that Heath Ledger was going to play the Joker in The Dark Knight, the upcoming sequel to the stellar Batman Begins, I was a little, shall we say, dismayed. I’ve always liked Ledger, but he always struck me as a little too much on the “pretty boy” side of things.

However, once the promotional materials started rolling out, I began questioning that conclusion. And now that the film’s first official trailer has (finally) hit the Web, I’ll gladly say that it looks like I was wrong. And I should’ve known better than to doubt Christopher Nolan.

I’ll hold off final judgment until I actually see the movie — which comes out July 18, 2008 — but the trailer is pretty much awesome. There are lots of great shots of the Joker; Ledger looks to have captured the character’s insanity and menace perfectly. This ain’t no clownish Jack Nicholson Joker we’re talking about here, but a dirty, rough-and-tumble, truly unhinged freak of a Joker.

One listen to that laugh, and you’ll know what I mean.

Read more about The Dark Knight.