The Dark Knight is a 2008 American superhero film directed and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is part of Nolan's Batman film series and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins. Christian Bale reprises the lead role. The plot of the film focuses on Batman's fight against a new villain, the Joker (Heath Ledger) and his relationships with district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) and his old friend and love interest assistant D.A. Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal).
For his conception of the film, Nolan was inspired by the Joker's first two appearances in the comics and Batman: The Long Halloween. The Dark Knight was filmed primarily in Chicago, as well as in several other locations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. He used an IMAX camera to film some sequences, including the Joker's first appearance in the film.
On January 22, 2008, after he had completed filming The Dark Knight, Ledger died of a prescription drug overdose, leading to intense press attention and memorial tributes from lots of fans as well as more people showing interest to the film. Warner Bros. created a viral marketing campaign for The Dark Knight, developing promotional websites and trailers highlighting screen shots of Ledger as the Joker. After Ledger's death however, the studio refocused its promotional campaign. The film was released on July 16, 2008 in Australia, on July 18, 2008 in North America, and on July 24, 2008 in the United Kingdom. Prior to its box office debut in North America, record numbers of advance tickets were sold for The Dark Knight. It was greeted by positive reviews upon release, and became the second movie ever to earn more than $500 million at the North American box office, setting numerous other records in the process. (en.wikipedia.org)