The seminal Batman film by Christopher Nolan has been banned from screening in Hong Kong. Interestingly, certain parts of The Dark Knight were shot in the territory in 2008 as a way of fueling tourism. It seems that the authorities have changed their attitude since then, by canceling a public screening recently.
The Dark Knight stars Christian Bale and the late Heath Ledger as Batman and Joker respectively. Ledger could go on to win an Oscar for his performance, but tragically after he died of a drug overdose.
New censorship law
Bloomberg reports that attempts to stage a public outdoor screening of the famous film on October 27 was canned. he Hong Kong Government Office for Film, Newspaper and Article Administration sent a notice to the organizers, with orders to cancel the event.
No reasons were given why the screening was canceled. But organizers allege that the film was deemed too violent for public screening.
Other reports say that the film may have run afoul of the new film censorship law passed in 2021. Under the new law, violators will face fines of up to $130,000 and three years in prison.
The new law comes in the backdrop of recent political developments in China and Hong Kong. It was in response to a draconian national security law imposed on Hong Kong by the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing, which in turn came about during the 2019 Hong Kong protests.
The Dark Knight Legacy
The Dark Knight was the sequel to Batman Begins. It is held up as a standard in reshaping mainstream interest in superhero movies in the cinema.
It grossed a total of $1.006 billion against a $185 million budget.
Bruce Wayne himself, Christian Bale recently expressed his interest in returning to the role. “For me, that would be a matter of [Dark Knight trilogy director] Chris Nolan, if he ever decided to do it again and if he chose to come my way again, then yeah, I would consider it because that was always our pact between each other is we would just stick to it. We said we would only ever make three. And then I said to myself, and I’d only ever make it with Chris.”