The Joker on the cover of Empire Mag

Heath Ledger leers at readers from behind bars on the cover of Empire Magazine, teasing fans for July's The Dark Knight.
Empire Magazine editor MARK DINNING greets readers of the January issue with obvious excitement about the highly-anticipated Batman Begins sequel, The Dark Knight.

"He didn't know it at the time, but as Christopher Nolan shot the killer coda for Batman Begins in which Gary Oldman's Lt. Gordon hands Christian Bale's Caped Crusader a Joker playing card, he was effectively committing himself to a sequel he hadn't even considered taking on.

After all, how could he possibly set up such a tantalising prospect only for someone else to film it? After Jack Nicholson's panto theatrics in [Tim] Burton's Batman, here was a chance to finally put on film the ultimate version of the most awesome superhero nemesis of all time.

As our world exclusive cover image attests, The Dark Knight's incarnation of The Joker promises to be one of the greatest, most ruthless, evil and downright terrifying movie criminals of all time.

Or, in the words of the man playing him, Heath Ledger, 'a psychopath, a sociopath, a cold-blooded, mass-murdering clown'. July 25, 2008 can't come soon enough!"

[Thanks to SEAN PUGLISI at Current TV for the link.]
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