Gotham City has its newest district attorney.
Aaron Eckhart, who earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role in "Thank You for Smoking," will play Harvey Dent in "Batman Begins" sequel, "The Dark Knight."
Fans are ecstatic with director Chris Nolan's choice to play the prosecutor whose comic book counterpart dubs himself "Two Face" after having one side of his handsome face scarred with acid during a crime boss's trial. The villain uses a coin with one scratched side to decide if he will commit good or evil and often commits crimes based on duality or the number "two."
"I have to say that Eckhart is a solid choice to play Dent," wrote a fan identified as "Neil," in responding to a CinemaBlend.com story. "He has that wit and charisma that will make him believable as both the D.A. and a homicidal maniac with a personality conflict."
Before Eckhart's casting was confirmed, Virginia-resident David Hudson, a longtime fan of the super hero film genre, said: "I think that Edward Norton would make a realistic Harvey Dent. I think Josh Lucas (another rumored contender) may play it too over the top, like Tommy Lee Jones."
Jones played Two Face in "Batman Forever," while Billy Dee Williams played Dent in two earlier Batman films.
Hudson considered Matt Damon who reportedly turned down the role in the fall or Matthew McConaughey "the best choices." Online rumors indicated Ryan Phillippe, Jake Gyllenhaal (a finalist for the Batman role), Guy Pearce (star of Nolan's "Memento"), Jamie Foxx and Ethan Hawke were in the running to play Dent.
Eckhart will be joining returning cast members Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Michael Caine as Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth, Gary Oldman as Gotham Police Lt. Jim Gordon and Morgan Freeman as inventor/scientist Lucius Fox. Heath Ledger will play Batman's archenemy, The Joker.
Eckhart, as special guest at a regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival this month, told the crowd he has a "strong sense of where he wants to go" with Dent. The actor said he doesn't see the district attorney-turned-crime boss as a villain and wants moviegoers to understand the rationale for his actions.
"Aaron Eckhart is weird actor," Norwalk resident and former filmmaker Nick White said. "He has been downright horrible in things. But he also made 'The Core' one of the best good-bad movies of all time. He's actually a comedic actor, but he plays it very straight."
White, who doesn't collect comics, expects Eckhart "to be somewhat understated, but still somehow funny very different than Tommy Lee." He called Jones a predominately "studio"-type actor, while he said Eckhart is a laid-back actor who is "very indie, as is Nolan, really."
Canadian resident John Campea, who has been writing The Movie Blog online since 2003, loves the casting choice.
"Eckhart is first, and foremost, a solid actor who gives great performances even when the roles he's (been) handed suck. He's got a strong screen presence, a good look and I think he'll knock this role out of the park," he wrote.
One person calling himself "Lizard Freak 12" responded to Campea's news report by saying he would have "no problem" as long as Eckhart is charming and "there's chemistry between him and Bale."
Dent, in "Batman: The Animated Series," is a friend of Wayne's before he becomes Two Face.
"By the time both Dent and Wayne are confronted with challenges like The Joker, Wayne is torn between the struggles of his mask and his played-up 'high society lifestyle.' I really want to believe that the two are best friends torn apart ... by what cards life has dealt them," the fan wrote.