Director Christopher Nolan told Aaron Eckhart personally that "Dark Knight Rises" script wouldn't have a part for him. Eckhart took the news in stride, though, and the nominee for Best Male Lead at Saturday night's (February 26) [article id="1658793"]Independent Spirit Awards[/article] said he expects the movie will do just fine without him — even if Nolan won't tell him what will be going down onscreen.
"I was just with Chris, and he's pretty tight-lipped about things," Eckhart told MTV News on the red carpet outside the Spirit Awards.
The man who played Harvey Dent and ushered the character into madness as Two-Face in "The Dark Knight" wouldn't admit to disappointment over not returning for the new Batman sequel. In fact, he claimed to have seen Two-Face's omission coming.
"I never intended to come back," Eckhart said. "That's Heath [Ledger]'s movie. It should live solo, and Chris is gonna go on."
Nolan's third Batman movie will include Anne
Hathaway as Selina Kyle, best known in the Batman universe for her villainess alter ego Catwoman. Eckhart expressed high hopes for her.
"I think Anne Hathaway is going to be wonderful," Eckhart stated. The closest he would come to complaining about his absence from "The Dark Knight Rises" was to joke about sucker-punching Nolan after hearing that Harvey Dent wouldn't appear.
Eckhart lost in the Male Lead category to "127 Hours" star James Franco at the Spirit Awards, though judging by the gracious response he gave about the Bat-films going on without him, he seemed like he must be at ease with passing the spotlight around.
Eckhart made himself available last year, just in case Nolan had a change of heart, but now that the script is getting finished, and the big remaining casting searches seem to be limited to females, it's probably safe to consider Eckhart politely and amicably finished as a Bat-villain.
Will it be a regal evening for "The King's Speech"? Can "The Social Network" dial up Oscar gold? Don't miss MTV News' [article id="1658424"]"2011 Oscars Live"[/article] at 6 p.m. Sunday, February 27, when we'll be chatting with your favorite Hollywood stars live from the red carpet on MTVNews.com, and stick with us all Oscar night for winners, interviews, photos and more!