The Dark Knight Curse

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Is the terrifying spectre of a horrible curse haunting the stars of the new Batman movie?!!

heath_ledgerProbably not. More than likely, they’re just going through a patch of bad luck. Then again… maybe there is.

Rumors of a strange curse began rumbling around Hollywood when actor Heath Ledger, who plays the wacky supervillain The Joker in the current movie The Dark Knight, died of an apparent drug overdose. (The latest on which is that there will be no criminal inquiry, so Mary-Kate Olsen won’t have to testify after all.) Ledger, who died at the age of 28, had a more-or-less promising career in film ahead of him. Many of his fans believed he had what it takes to win accolades and become one of Hollywood’s high earners, and his death was seen as a tragic, stupid waste of talented manmeat.

The same week of the film’s (massive) release, star Christian Bale handed himself over to police after being accused of ‘verbal assault’ by his mother and sister; the actor was out on bail after four hours.

Finally, yet another of the film’s stars, 71-year-old actor Morgan Freeman (whose resume includes playing Spider-Man on the old kids’ show Electric Company) suffered broken bones and other minor injuries in a car crash this past weekend. Freeman’s car swerved off Tallahatchee [Bridge?] County Hwy 32 in Mississippi. Freeman was in good spirits, and joked with paramedics who helped him from the wreckage. Also present in the vehicle was Freeman’s lady-friend Demaris Meyer, twenty years his junior; Morgan and his missus have been separated several months and have just announced that they are going to divorce.

In addition, the movie is dedicated to both Ledger and stuntman Conway Wickliffe, who died in London during a stunt sequence involving the Batmobile; the 41-year-old Wickliffe had worked on the previous Bale Batman film, both Tomb Raider movies, and Casino Royale.

So, what have we got? Two much-before-their-time deaths, a family spat, a non-serious car crash – do these things a curse make? Maybe. We at the Weird Encyclopedia don’t want to make light of Ledger or Wickliffe’s passing. But if it’s an honest-to-goodness curse we’re talking about, one would expect a higher body count, or maybe some freak electrical accident that takes out half the makeup crew, or something. That’s the thing about curses: they don’t exactly have any sort of statistical standard they must meet in order to qualify as such; someone just sees a pattern among a bunch of people, some of whom run into some bad luck, and vorla, they call it a curse.

The scary thing is, if you widen your focus enough, you recognize that we’re all cursed, because we will all meet our demise at some point in the future. You don’t have to take part in some dark, depressing superhero movie to get it. But, that curse has always hung over our heads.

Fuhgeddaboutit awready! Life is good while it lasts. Go out and watch a movie with someone nice. But make sure it’s a comedy. Something funny. Preferably with monkeys.

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