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The Dark Knight's Viral Websites Featuring Heath Ledger as the Joker Still Up

The Dark Knight's Viral Websites Featuring Heath Ledger as the Joker Still Up

Before Heath Ledger's death last week, I was very much looking forward to this summer's The Dark Knight, the sequel to Batman Begins, which I loved. But now, the teaser trailers for the film just make me feel sad and wistful. The images of Ledger in his perfectly-cast glory as the iconic villain the Joker, no doubt a talent-filled effort, are heartbreaking. That's why Valleywag's report that the viral websites to promote The Joker's role in the film will remain active confounds me.

I can't say I'm outraged, because this isn't the first time a film has faced losing a star prior to its release, but this may be the first time a marketing campaign such as this — viral websites surrounding the deceased actor — has been launched. The Joker-centric sites — among them (which has been sporting a black ribbon in Ledger's honor since the news broke),, and, don't seem to currently display any actual images of Ledger, but it still seems to be in poor taste that they remain up.

With new technology, we face new decisions each day that we never had reasons for before, and sensitivities must be bred to respond to our new world. What do you make of Warner Bros.' decision to leave the sites up? Is it an expected move, since the proverbial show must go on, or do you think their response should be different?

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