The tragic death of Heath Ledger and his incredible performance as the Joker led much of the coverage around Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins follow-up, The Dark Knight. For Nolan, though, a driving force in the story was always Gotham’s unsung hero: the conflicted, but well-meaning city prosecutor, Harvey Dent. Nolan revealed that for him, the most fascinating storyline in the movie was Dent’s transformation into Two-Face.
“The way the story is constructed we always imagined that Harvey Dent would form the emotional arc of the story. His story, his tragedy would be, excuse me, the arc of the story, because The Joker, the purpose of The Joker for us was always that he has no arc, he has no development he doesn’t learn anything through the film, he’s an absolute.”
When the trailer for The Dark Knight debuted in theaters, the focus was on the incredibly captivating Heath Ledger in his psychotic joker makeup. Audiences were barely shown Harvey Dent, and his Mr. Hyde transformation into Two-Face was kept in secret for the most part. The onscreen version of Two-Face who audiences were familiar with was limited to the goofy version played by Tommy Lee Jones in 1995’s Batman Forever, a Two-Face that was probably a better fit for a carny than a Batman villain. The Dark Knight’s Two-Face, though, truly captured the horrifying portrayal of a man who suffered a gruesome injury. “When you look at Two-Face, you should get sick to your stomach,” Eckhart said.
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