Nokia 6205 The Dark Knight Edition Debuts, Heath Ledger Rolls Over in Grave

Recently Nokia came by to show us the Nokia 6205, a relatively unremarkable flip phone available today from Verizon Wireless with a very obvious movie tie-in with the upcoming Batman flick, The Dark Knight. During the demo we heard a ringtone of the Joker, played by recently deceased Heath Ledger, and I squirmed a bit in my chair. I quipped, “What’s that, the beyond-the-grave ringtone?” Yes, I know there’s a difference between the Joker and the actor who played him, but it still seemed a bit creepy. Then I caught today’s press release for the phone and was absolutely floored. Not only is Verizon pre-loading this clamshell with Ledger’s admittedly awesomely evil cackle (seriously, he makes Jack Nicholson sound like Barney the Dinosaur), the carrier is launching a contest that will give customers a chance to win The Joker’s “bag of cash” containing $10,000 using a Joker playing card with a code and a link to Wow. Maybe I’m being a bit oversensitive here but somehow I don’t think Heath Ledger’s family and friends would find this phone and promotion in good taste. Think I’m overreacting here? Sound off in our poll.

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  1. Variance Says:

    Yes, I do believe this is a bit overreacting. I would have reacted if Heath’s Face was on the phone, glaring back at you whenever you make a call. But the laugh? It may remind you of Heath and that’s saying something about him in a good way. If people can remind you because of your roles, hey, you should be proud. And the 10 grand? It’s just good business.

    And yes, there is a difference between the actor and the character.

  2. Badabash Says:

    Cesar Romero is also dead and yet the Joker lives on. Cowboy up Spoonauer. Why don’t you go watch Sex and the City.

  3. Mark Spoonauer Says:

    I already did. And it’s fabulous! But not sure what that awesome movie has to do with this.

  4. Sophie Farrelly Says:

    I am a huge fan of Heath and am distraught and his recent passing. I do agree that people know difference between a ficitional character and the star who played him, yet I agree that his family and friends will not be chuffed about it as part of the reason that everyones making such a huge deal over this film is because he died and it was his last movie, not that it wouldnt be largely antisipated anyway. And Nokia probably wouldn’t be using this if it wasnt for his death. I miss him loads!!! :-(

  5. Mike Cane Says:

    There should have been a 4th option in that poll: Will you hate Nokia no matter WHAT they do?

    A hearty YES from me.

  6. Kim Says:

    Hey Badabash….if Romero had died back in the 60’s , when his role as The Joker was at it’s peak and some company was trying to cash in by using his voice, anyone would’ve found it in poor taste. That is, of course, assuming “anyone” means humans with souls. So hey, here’s a fresh one…cowboy up & get a soul!
    The bag of cash…now that’s brilliant!

  7. BP Says:

    O please Kim, that is just ridiculous, i didnt buy the phone for heath ledger i bought it for Batman. And another thing, i understand that Heath Ledger is dead, but that doesnt mean that hollywood and life doesnt go on. It does not take away from his death. If you follow your thought process why not scrub the whole movie and dont release it ever, because that would be taking advantage of Heath. Everybody dies, sometimes it is tragic like in Heath Ledger’s case, but that doesnt mean that everyone who uses the Dark Knight logo and the Joker character is trying to make money off of his death. You know what, George Reeves is dead, he died while playing Superman, and look, Superman still lives on and they definately had things for sale that were his version of Superman when he died or was murdered however.

  8. Carolyn Says:

    From what I have read, Heath was incredibly proud of his work. He put A LOT into this role, and I think he would get a kick out of this. It’s not morose — and I am A HUGEMONGOUS Heath fan.

  9. Marianne Says:

    I have to agree with Carolyn. I have been a huge fan of Heath’s for over 8 years and I can definitely see Heath getting getting more of a kick out of this than being offended by it. If the phone had a pic of Heath on the front of it saying RIP, yeah, I would definitely say that is in POOR taste. This is just a character that he played and I think he would understand that,as we all should.

  10. joyce gomm Says:

    This only confirms that Heath went down in a blaze of glory and his work on this movie as all others is once again proof of what a good actor he truly was and how dearly he’ll be missed.

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