Harvey Dent is a dead man. At least that’s what actor Aaron Eckhart said to ComingSoon.net/Superhero Hype! this past week. At the end of the film The Dark Knight, audiences seemed to have differing opinions as to the fate of the Gotham District Attorney turned criminal. Some believed Dent was killed in the fall, while others maintained that Harvey Dent had died in name only, and his new persona, Two-Face, merely lay unconscious. At the press day for the upcoming film Towelhead, Eckhart put the debate to rest.
“He ain’t coming back”, replied Eckhart. Many fans had long been holding on to the previously uncontested rumour that he had signed a two-picture contract. The actor’s comments now place those final scenes in the Batman Begins sequel in a more definitive context.
Where does this leave the Batman franchise for the assumed next chapter? Even Eckhart couldn’t help but respond to celebrity casting rumours. “I heard Angelina Jolie was going to be Catwoman or something like that. I thought that was a great idea. I’d like to be in that one”.
Without debating the pros and cons of casting someone with a profile as high as Jolie, we can agree that almost any Hollywood actor would not be beyond the reach of director Christopher Nolan and company after the success of the rejuvenated Bat-franchise.
Imagine Christian Bale’s Batman trying to solve a string of serial killings with the constant temptation of an encounter with the ultimate femme fatale. If Angelina would take a smaller role than usual, her overtly sexual screen presence would be an effective addition to a mysterious story.
It’s hard not to get excited over the possibility of another intense actor taking the lead antagonist role, such as Johnny Depp as the Riddler. Imagine the (previously mentioned) serial killer portrayed similar to Kevin Spacey in Se7en, but with Depp’s unique contributions. Add to that the crumbling police commissioner, whose marriage has fallen apart, whose men are trying to kill the city’s true hero, and who is trying to stop this serial killer from the bottom of a whiskey bottle.
There are plenty of routes to take for a great third picture. Just be sure to avoid predictions from the folks who continue to look for hints where there are none. For instance, the Wayne Industries accountant named Mr. Reese has sent certain fans into a tizzy because ‘mister reese’ sounds like ‘mysteries’. It’s too bad they didn’t pay better attention to the film because the character of Reese comes to realize that profiting from exposing Batman’s identity is petty in light of Batman’s, and Bruce Wayne’s, heroism. Not the ideal character growth for the word-puzzling Riddler. Others have suspected that Gordon’s son will become Robin in the third movie. These ideas likely come from the same sources that believed that the little boy that meets Batman in the first film would also become Robin. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Although the screen adaptations have not been bound by the comic book source material, there appears to have been considerable efforts to stay accurate when it comes to character names within both movies, even when it wasn’t necessary. Characters like Carmine Falcone, Salvatore Maroni, Joe Chill, Commissioner Loeb, Jonathan Crane, Lucious Fox all come to mind. With the amount of respect shown for comic book names, it seems inconsistent to alter a main character’s moniker for a poor pun. Especially when Edward Nigma works so much better.
We can trust Nolan to make a rich script, seek inspired casting, and tell the story well. With no commitment or contract in sight, all fans should be worrying about is whether or not Christopher Nolan wants to lend his talents to this character for a third time.