I was having this discussion with a few friends the other day and I honestly can't come to a conclusion either way.
So what you all think? If Ledger survived to the filming of TDKR, do you think Nolan would have brought the Joker back for it?
This may have even been mentioned by him before and I just don't know. Honestly I felt after TDK that they were definitely planning on bringing Joker back, especially considering the 'we're destined to do this forever' line - though I feel that was even more haunting of a line with the complete lack of Joker in the third film.
The obvious answer would be yes, they'd bring him back, mainly due to Ledger's performance and the character's popularity. But at the same time you can argue that Burton didn't bring Joker back despite Nicholson's iconic performance and the fact that the movie made Joker almost as much of a household name as it had made Batman himself. Sure Joker was killed in that movie - but I'm sure it could have been explained that he lived if they REALLY wanted him to.
Also, if they DID bring Joker back for TDKR, what effect do you think it would have had on the movie/character? Do you think it would have been a little TOO much Joker (over saturation of a character)? How do you think the story's plot would have differed? Would Bane have gotten as big a role - or revert to Batman & Robin status? haha
let me know!