Before the current golden era of interconnected superhero movie universes, major movie studios that centered projects around Marvel and DC characters focused on a limited library of heroes such as Spider-Man, the X-Men, Superman, and Batman. One of the biggest of these solo franchises was Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy , which created the most realistic version of Batman to date, and earned rave reviews from critics and fans alike.
The highlight of this trilogy was 2008's The Dark Knight. Christian Bale's second outing as Bruce Wayne saw the Caped Crusader go toe-to-toe to toe with Heath Ledger's unforgettable take on the Joker . Ledger stole the show on the silver screen, and his iconic performance earned him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor at the following year's Academy Awards.
Although Ledger's Joker made most of the headlines, his antics and mayhem fostered the movie's core villain in Aaron Eckhart's Harvey Dent/Two-Face . Eckhart took some time recently to discuss his experience making this groundbreaking superhero adventure.
Harvey Dent actor Aaron Eckhart took some time with the Hollywood Reporter to dive into some plot decisions made in 2008's The Dark Knight . Eckhart delved into the choice made by Batman and Commissioner Gordon at the end of the film to pin all of Dent's crimes on Batman to help create peace in Gotham for the next eight years, offering these quotes on how Harvey would have felt about that call:
No, he would’ve told the truth. That’s the great thing about Harvey Dent. Despite whatever is going on, he’s a truth-teller, and he’s a moral center. And not only that, he’s the face of truth, right? I don’t want to say he’s not hiding behind something, but he’s not. Now when he becomes Two-Face, he is. But Harvey Dent was out there fighting for every man and woman, for truth and justice, and he put himself on the line. But having done so, he got bit, and he was forever changed.
WHAT THIS MEANS
The Dark Knight took some crazy turns as it wound to a close. The Joker's actions claimed Rachel Dawes' life and permanently scarred Harvey Dent as Batman tried to save them both. While Dent understandably took a dark turn after these events, it's clear that Eckhart strongly believes he would have owned up to his decisions when all was said and done, had he survived.
Through the film's entire runtime, Harvey Dent made it a point to do whatever was necessary to keep the city of Gotham safe. The District Attorney even went as far as to step forward and claim to be Batman, all with the motive of protecting the real Caped Crusader during the Joker's killing spree . Through development like that, director Christopher Nolan made Dent's story just as meaningful as Joker's, even though the latter received more praise and accolades.
While The Dark Knight 's third act painted the titular hero as the criminal, it's clear that if he survived, Dent's moral compass would have weighed everything out in the end.