The black carpet was rolled out at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square cinemas for the feverishly-anticipated premiere of The Dark Knight. The film's cast and crew appeared at the premiere, but most talk, as it has been for the past since months, was about missing cast member Heath Ledger, whose sudden death in January shocked Hollywood and the public. The film's star, Christian Bale, said Ledger "steals the movie, I'm quite happy to say that he absolutely does."

Michael Caine predicted Ledger would be nominated for a Oscar for his turn as the Joker, and said, "When you see this movie, you'll see one of the best performances not from him — but ever." And Ledger's parents issued a statement to Roger Friedman after they attended the premiere, "The Dark Knight is everything we hoped it would be and more. Heath loved the experience of creating this character and working on the film. We are so proud of our boy.”

Director Christopher Nolan said of the splashy premiere, which featured the Batcycle and Batmobile outside the theater, "I feel very excited that there's so much anticipation around the film but obviously, that in itself is somewhat daunting. The film has a lot to live up to now so hopefully we've done it right."