Aussie actor Lachy Hulme is relieved the producers of the Batman BEGINS sequel have chosen Heath Ledger to play THE JOKER because he was getting tired of the press speculation surrounding him. Many internet sites suggested Hulme was the front-runner to land Batman's arch-foe in the new film, but he has always been keen to play down the hype. Speaking to over the weekend - one of the websites where rabid fans speculated Hulme was to play The Joker - he says, "The media have been chasing me around asking for a quote, which I couldn't give. "Every other weekend down here (in Australia), there would be some blurb or column in the papers talking about how I was the 'front-runner' or some s**t. "Thank God Heath got the gig, 'cause now the press can all f**k off. But the internet speculation has been extraordinary. Unbelievable."