New Joker Will Be More Realistic, Says Bale

With sealed lips being the mantra of the day on "The Dark Knight" set, info on the next edition of the "Batman" franchise is hard to come by. That's why we were happy to get anything out of star Christian Bale, who confirmed to MTV News that Heath Ledger's take on The Joker will be decidedly darker than previous versions of the iconic villain.

"I think I should let Heath give you the answer on all this," Bale said, before stating that "certainly I think that we dig a little more than the other movies did." That means that fans shouldn't expect to see The Joker dancing to Prince, as Jack Nicholson did in Tim Burton's 1989 film. "We recognize, of course, they are cartoon characters, [but] we try to ground them in somewhat more reality than the other movies."

According to the "Rescue Dawn" actor, though, one thing's for sure...clowns are scary. "There's a word for it, isn't there?" Bale asked of Coulrophobia, or an intense fear of clowns. "It's a wonderful word. Most kids are terrified of the bloody things."

"The Dark Knight" hits theaters in 2008. See our exclusive video of Batman's new ride, the Batpod, here.