Is there a Dark Knight curse?

A recent comment by Leticia prompted me to investigate this rapidly expanding urban legend. According to many websites and news wires, there is talk that the brilliant Batman movie The Dark Knight is one of those cursed flicks that crop up every once in a while. Remember Poltergeist? What about the Superman curse? Well, now it’s the turn of the Bat.

The obvious start of all this was Heath Ledger’s tragic death after his fantastic turn as the Joker. Subsequently, Christian bale was arrested following an argument with his family (hardly tragic and a fairly weak effort by “the curse” there) and now, to really fuel the flames of conspiracy, Morgan Freeman has had a terrible car accident. Less newsworthy, as he wasn’t famous, was the death of Conway Wickliffe, a New Zealand-born special effects technician who died while working on the film. (The movie was dedicated to both Ledger and Wickliffe).

So, is there a curse? Or is it just like spotting giraffes in the clouds if you look long enough. Or Jesus on a toasted cheese sandwich? As with all these things, there’s as much evidence against a curse as for one, but no curse is not nearly as much fun. There’s even been talk of terrible things befalling people that go to see the movie. So how does that explain all the people that saw the movie and then had something really cool happen to them?

For a really deep look at the subject, check out this Cryptomundo article, that even looks closely at the Joker’s business card used only in the trailers. (Insert X-Files whistling theme tune here.)


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6 thoughts on “Is there a Dark Knight curse?

  1. Oooh! Creepy!
    What people continually forget is that the makers of the Dark Knight also made The Crow – another film in which the lead character died.

    Cursed film, or cursed crew?

  2. Don’t mess with it. I went to see it and the very next day I got a stinking cold.

    Max von Sydow summed it up talking about The Exorcist and all the spooky events surrounding that. Back then an average principle shoot was about 5 or 6 weeks, but The Excorcist was over 14 weeks. Do something long enough and significant events are bound to happen to someone involved.

    These days a long shoot is not uncommon, but so many movies are made that it’s inevitable that eventually there will be a run of unfortunate events happening to one of them. Dark knight was a huge film with a massive cast and crew and a long shoot/post production process. Roll the dice long enough and they’ll come up Snake Eyes.

    Also, with the exception of Wickliffe, these unfortunate events happened after the movie was completed. This means that events spanning over two years are being attributed to it. Take the number of people involved in the movie, multiply it by 24 months and tell me it would be unusual for something bad to happen in the resulting timeframe. What’s statistically odd is that it doesn’t happen more often.

    Dark Knight is only in such high profile because Heath Ledger was well known. If he was still alive, no one would have even known about Wickliffe except for a note in the credits. No one would have attributed Freeman’s crash to it and certainly no one would have seen Bale’s family feud as part of a movie curse. Get one significant event and all other misfortunes take on a spooky relevance.

    Gotta go, I walked under a ladder this morning and now I’ve got to get my cat to walk in front of me to negate the bad luck.

  3. Well said, sir! But I’m with Leticia – sounds to me like it’s the crew that are cursed. Let’s stick them all in a pond and if they don’t drown, we’ll burn ’em!

  4. Some people are just naturally unlucky. For some that means a series of unfortunate, but amusing events (at least for those observing). For others that means the death of one of your principle actors.

    However, how many movies have been made by this crew? If it’s just the Crow and Dark Knight, then that’s really bad, but if it’s a dozen or more movies, then they’re just unlucky.

    Maybe it’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus that’s cursed – that’s the film Heath Ledger was working on when he died. That’s a Terry Gilliam movie and EVERYTHING he’s done has had problems somewhere along the line. Perhaps it’s him.

  5. I had no idea the crow crew members and tdk were the same, ill have to look into that and post on my site, wow. As for the tdk curse I thought that was something else. Something to do with morgan freeman, bernie mac and shia la whatever his name is. Didn’t something tie these three and something else together.

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