LATEST: Australian actor Heath Ledger has been confirmed as sardonic villain the JOKER in Batman sequel THE DARK KNIGHT. Christian Bale will reprise his role as BRUCE WAYNE/Batman and director Christopher Nolan is returning to direct his second installment of the franchise. The script for the film will be written by Nolan's brother, JONATHAN, adapted from a story by Christopher Nolan and DAVID GOYER. The pair co-wrote BATMAN BEGINS last year (05). Ledger will step into the role, immortalised by Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton's Batman Returns, early next year (07).