The Dark Knight (poster)

Warner Bros. Entertainment

The Dark Knight doesn't forget.

Heath Ledger and a special-effects technician, who both died before the superhero movie's release, will be remembered with a joint, onscreen dedication.

The four-line tribute, "In memory of our friends HEATH LEDGER & CONWAY WICKLIFFE," will appear in the end credits, right after the main filmmakers' scroll, per the production credits on Warner Bros. publicity site.

The Dark Knight, the Batman Begins sequel featuring Ledger as the unhinged Joker to Christian Bale's tightly wound Batman, opens July 18.

Ledger died Jan. 22 of an accidental prescription-drug overdose at the age of 28. Despite his death, he has been featured prominently in The Dark Knight's ad campaign—his Joker being an impossibly big presence to ignore.

In the production notes, he is afforded a modest, three-paragraph biography, not unlike that of Bale. There is no reference to his death, which occurred after filming had completed.

Wickliffe died Sept. 25 in England in a one-car crash during a test run for a stunt. He was 41. At a memorial last year in his native New Zealand, the New Zealand Herald reported, fellow special-effects technician Nick Bonathan said that finishing The Dark Knight was going to be tough, "but we have to do it for him now."

"Hopefully," Bonathan said, per the paper, "it will be dedicated to him."

Other tidbits from the press notes:

  • Bale's Bruce Wayne "tailored wardrobe" was "handmade" by Giorgio Armani; his Wayne car was provided by Lamborghini.
  • The film's first six minutes were shot with IMAX cameras. In all, six sequences were shot in the biggest-screen format—the first time, Warners said, any major Hollywood feature has used IMAX cameras for any footage.
  • The film is rated PG-13 for "intense sequences of violence and some menace," which actually sounds like a downgrade from Batman Begins' PG-13 for "intense action violence, disturbing images and some thematic elements."
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