Christian Bale has revealed that the cast of Batman are missing the presence of the late Heath Ledger.
The Australian actor, who died aged 28, from an accidental overdose in January 2008 starred alongside Christian as the Joker in The Dark Knight.
Heath's performance in the record breaking film was so well received that he was awarded a posthumous Oscar for best supporting actor.
Welsh-born Christian said "People still talk about him. Absolutely. He was an integral part to the trilogy, he gave a phenomenal performance, his personality was a wonderful one to have around and we miss him dearly,"
Director Christopher Nolan has said that he chose not to reference the Joker in its follow-up: The Dark Knight Rises, which opens in cinemas on July 20.
"I took the decision very early on that that would be inappropriate," he explained.
"That's just my sense of it. I felt that someone who was a friend and colleague had suffered a terrible tragedy. To try and reduce that to a plot in a fictional universe felt wrong to me - I can only do it in a way that feels appropriate to me and so I chose to not in any way reference it."
The filmmaker said he decided to choose a villain that couldn't be compared to Heath's.
"It was very important that we not try to follow what we did with the Joker, or do some pale imitation of what Heath had done. We wanted a really different villain for this. I wasn't going to set out to try and in any way better what Heath had done," he added.