Christian Bale thinks the late Heath Ledger did “one hell of a job” playing the Joker in the new Batman film.

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The 34-year-old actor – who reprises his role as the comic book hero in The Dark Knight – says Heath, who died on January 22 from an accidental prescription drugs overdose, has a “unique” take on the role made famous by Jack Nicholson in 1989’s ‘Batman’.

He said: “I’m absolutely fine talking about Heath. Although I don’t like trivialising the tragedy in conjunction with an interview to do with the movie, which is clearly far less important.

“But Heath was a joy. He really was like that, because he was a very unique man. I enjoyed watching him work, working with him — you know, we had a lot of the old gang from the first one together, and then there were new members, Heath obviously included.

“What was so great to see with Heath is just how seriously he took it. And he did one hell of a job.”

Christian also revealed he would definitely consider starring in a third Batman film if director Christopher Nolan was on board.

He added in an interview with the Entertainment Weekly website: “I would consider part three, but I’m not saying I’d do part seven. Batman Begins – that was the beginning there, with all due respect to the others.

“I would like very much to complete a trilogy. And I think that knowing the story of The Dark Knight, it leaves you anticipating something that could be very interesting for a third. Now, the question would be – is Christopher Nolan going to be doing it? Because to me I find it tricky to imagine working on it without Christopher.”