The cast of "The Dark Knight Rises" took the stage at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards to introduce an exclusive clip from the hotly anticipated summer blockbuster, but things took an unexpectedly emotional turn following a montage of director Christopher Nolan's first two "Batman" films, which included scenes of the late Heath Ledger's iconic performance as the Joker in "The Dark Knight."
At the clip's conclusion, Christian Bale, flanked by his co-stars Gary Oldman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, stepped up to the mic and said, "Wow, great to remember Heath at that moment. Wonderful to see Heath Ledger there."
The Oscar-winning actor then lowered his head and appeared to get choked up as the audience applauded for Ledger, who died in January 2008 at age 28 from an acute intoxication from the combined effects of several prescription medications. A few months after his passing, "The Dark Knight" arrived in theaters to critical acclaim and enormous box-office success.
Ledger's performance in "The Dark Knight" won the actor a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
After stepping back from the mic for a moment of silence, the actor wiped his nose and soldiered on. "The final chapter of 'The Dark Knight' has been written," he continued, before deferring to Gordon-Levitt, who brought Nolan onstage to introduce the exclusive new peek at "The Dark Knight Rises."
Jaw-dropping, heart-pounding, gut-busting moments galore. See what just happened at the 21st annual MTV Movie Awards!