The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero crime drama film directed, produced, and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Featuring the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the second part of Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy and a sequel to 2005’s Batman Begins, starring an ensemble cast including Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Morgan Freeman. In the film, Bruce Wayne/Batman (Bale), James Gordon (Oldman) and Harvey Dent (Eckhart) form an alliance to dismantle organized crime in Gotham City, but are menaced by a criminal mastermind known as the Joker (Ledger) who seeks to undermine Batman’s influence and create chaos.
Nolan’s inspiration for the film was the Joker’s comic book debut in 1940, the 1988 graphic novel The Killing Joke, and the 1996 series The Long Halloween, which retold Two-Face’s origin. The nickname “the Dark Knight” was first applied to Batman in Batman #1 (1940). The Dark Knight is considered by film critics to be one of the best films of the 2000’s and one of the best superhero genre films ever produced.
Joke’s On Us: Nolan’s Noir Is Gloomy Echo of New York in 2008 – Observer