Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight premiered back in 2008, with Christian Bale as Batman, Heath Ledger as the Joker, and Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent, aka Two Face. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab), Eckhart looked back on his time playing the district attorney turned villain.
Discussing the screenplay, Eckhart said: “There’s something about Gotham City... You have a city that’s oppressed and being run by a criminal gang. People can’t go out during the day, everybody’s scared for their safety, and the people that are paid to protect them are corrupted. They’re part of the gang and nobody can trust anybody. Sound like anything that’s familiar? And then people are looking to a superhero for their liberty and their freedom. Not only is it a great story and a great movie, but this is what cinema and art are all about. It’s a reflection of our times.”
Eckhart also discussed the film's ending, which saw Batman take responsibility for murders committed by Two Face to keep Dent's reputation intact. “He would’ve told the truth," Eckhart believes. "That’s the great thing about Harvey Dent. Despite whatever is going on, he’s a truth-teller and he’s a moral centre… But you don’t want to lose your Harvey Dents in life. No matter how much money or pressure there is, no matter how much coercion, control or corruption there is, Harvey Dent is going to stay true to the moral centre and the truth. People can rely on that, and you don’t see that today.”
He went on to delve deeper into truth: “What about the superheroes that aren’t hiding behind a mask? What about the superheroes that stay true to themselves and to the greater good – without any superpowers? Where are they? And that’s what’s exciting about Harvey Dent, especially in a town like Gotham where everybody’s corrupt. It’s so dark… When you become a politician, you’re expected to become corrupted, and it’s only those people who do not become corrupted that stand out… So when you find out that somebody’s been true to themselves and true to truth, that’s a rare bird. So I believe Harvey would not approve of Two-Face or the lie that was told.”
The Dark Knight is widely considered to be one of the greatest superhero movies of all time, and, as Eckhart points out, it’s still relevant all these years later. Check out our list of the best superhero movies ranked for more excellent films.