When Heath Ledger passed away earlier this year, he left the planet as one of this generation's great actors; a guy who battled many personal demons off the screen, for sure, but one who gave everything to the role. And while we won't get to see his latest creation on the big screen until July 18th, early footage shows Ledger's version of Batman's arch-nemesis could go down as the darkest, baddest and craziest we've ever seen. My question to you, then, is: Will it be enough to land Ledger another Oscar nod come next year?

Sure, the Academy isn't all too keen on recognizing superhero movies unless we're talking about special effects or sound editing, but with bigger actors taking on riskier comic-related roles, isn't only a matter of time before one of these guys (or girls) turns out a performance worthy of a gold statue? Are these characters not meaty enough; are they not conflicted, troubled and crying out for a hug? If an Oscar can go to Javier Bardem for playing a sadistic, calculated murderer in No Country for Old Men, and Johnny Depp can be nominated for playing a sadistic, calculated murderer -- both in the same year -- I see no reason why Ledger's Joker can't be taken into consideration.

It's early still, I realize that -- but should this guy turn in the kind of performance we're all expecting, shouldn't he be recognized with an Oscar nomination? What are the chances here, folks?

categories Awards, Cinematical