Aaron Eckhart Says He Won't Be In 'Dark Knight Rises'

'I was heartbroken,' actor says of learning that he won't return as Harvey Dent.

Back in July at San Diego Comic-Con, "Dark Knight" star Aaron Eckhart gave a shout-out to director Christopher Nolan, asking the director whether he'd be cast in the next installment of the franchise. "You know, I'm available," Eckhart laughed.

Nolan, it seems, heard that call, because he ended up chatting with Eckhart about "The Dark Knight Rises" and finally telling the actor, who played crusader-turned-bad-guy Harvey Dent, whether or not his services would be needed.

"Chris and I had a meeting, on the beach, just the two of us," Eckhart told MTV News on the red carpet for "Rabbit Hole" on Thursday. "I said, 'Chris, a lot of people are asking me if I'm in the next 'Batman.' And Chris said, 'Yes?' I said, 'Am I?' He looked at me and he said, 'No.' "

Wait, a meeting on the beach? Is this a true story?

"It actually is," Eckhart replied. "It's even weirder than I'm explaining it."

So there you have it: official confirmation that Dent won't show his two faces on the big screen come the film's July 2012 release. But, um, what of this strange beachside meeting?

"We found ourselves alone on the beach together on a stormy day and he delivered the news to me," Eckhart explained. "And I was heartbroken. I was heartbroken. But Chris has his reasons and my life must go on."

As Eckhart explained this summer, Nolan's original plan was to bring back Heath Ledger's Joker for the new film. But Ledger's death in 2008 of course changed that plan. Nolan will be starting over, with a new villain or possibly more than one. And that's fine with Eckhart.

"Honestly, it was Heath's movie to go on," he told us Thursday. "We had a great movie. I'm so honored to be a part of that movie. I know Chris has got something in store that is going to blow everybody away."

Check out everything we've got on "The Dark Knight Rises."

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