09halb600Summer 2008 is jam-packed with movies vying for screens every weekend from the start of May through Labor Day. Pamela McClintock lays out the stakes.

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One summer tentpole has some issues to get past, due to the untimely death of its Joker, Heath Ledger. Batman Begins director Chris Nolan talks about The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger's The Joker to the NYT, which has the French trailer for Le Chevalier Noir on its site. The movie opens July 18. UPDATE: As Nolan will be accepting the director of the year prize from exhibitors at the ShoWest convention on Thursday, Variety's Anthony Kaufman examines his indie sensibility. And The Envelope raises the possibility of a posthumous Oscar nom for Ledger.

[Originally appeared on Variety.com]