Aaron Eckhart Likely To Be Batman Frienemy Two-Face In ‘Dark Knight’

Actor in final negotiations to portray DA Harvey Dent.

Batman lives a dual identity. Two-Face is a dual identity — a grotesque visage we can finally envision, with news today that Aaron Eckhart is in final negotiations to star as District Attorney Harvey Dent (a.k.a. Two-Face) in “The Dark Knight,” Christopher Nolan’s sequel to “Batman Begins,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Gotham City’s youngest-ever district attorney, Dent is a crusader for justice and friend to Bruce Wayne, who is irrevocably scarred when a prosecuted criminal throws sulfuric acid in his face, resulting in a burn that leaves the entire left side twisted and deformed.

Unable to cope with the mutilation, Dent’s long-repressed anger surfaces. This evil side soon fights for power with the lawyer’s better instincts for overall control of his personality. Split in two halves that are impossible to reconcile, Dent flips a coin to decide how he’s going to act. On one side, he’s the good Harvey Dent, friend to Bruce Wayne. On the other, he’s Two-Face, master criminal and enemy of Batman.

It may have been a coin flip that ultimately won Eckhart the role. The “Thank You for Smoking” star will likely beat out rumored heavyweights including Jamie Foxx, Liev Schreiber and Ed Norton for the coveted spot.

For fans familiar with the Batman universe, Dent’s role in “The Dark Knight” was actually set up in “Batman Begins,” with Gotham’s old DA getting shot by an outfit eventually revealed to be the League of Shadows, an underground criminal syndicate run by Ra’s Al Ghul (see ” ’Dark Knight’ Script Picks Up Right Where ’Batman Begins’ Left Off” ).

Continuing from the first film, then, expect Harvey Dent to have plenty of interactions with Rachel Dawes, erstwhile love interest to Bruce Wayne and assistant district attorney for Gotham City. Katie Holmes played Dawes in the original film, however the character is set to be recast for the sequel, with Maggie Gyllenhaal the rumored front-runner. Eckhart joins confirmed castmembers Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Heath Ledger, who will play the Joker (see “Heath Ledger To Play Joker In ’Batman’ Sequel” ).

It is speculated that the Joker will be the one to disfigure Dent at the end of “The Dark Knight,” setting up Two-Face as the main villain for the series’ third installment.

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Dark Knight.”

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