More than ten years later, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight remains one of the best superhero movies ever made. Though according to Aaron Eckhart, who played Harvey Dent, the film is much more than that.
Of course, while Nolan sought to depict the legend of the Caped Crusader, even comic book enthusiasts would agree that the trilogy isn’t your typical Batman story. Some might argue that the 2008 middle act doesn’t even belong in genre fiction. Indeed, the clash of the “unstoppable force” and the “immovable object, as Heath Ledger’s Joker would put it, is a social study more than it is an action flick. One that strived to depict order and chaos. Insanity and civility. But ultimately, a story as old as time itself, concerning the very nature of good vs. evil.
The lattermost aspect of that leaned heavily on the tale of Harvey Dent and his fall from grace. This highlight was something that apparently impressed Aaron Eckhart as well, who played Gotham’s White Knight in Christopher Nolan’s film. In a recent interview with THR, the actor revealed that going through the script for The Dark Knight felt like reading literature, saying:
“Some scripts are whatever; you get through them and hey, fine. But The Dark Knight was a novel and it was thick. It was like reading literature. And there’s something about Gotham City too. You have a city that’s oppressed and being run by a criminal gang. People can’t go out during the day, everybody’s scared for their safety, and the people that are paid to protect them are corrupted. They’re part of the gang and nobody can trust anybody. Sound like anything that’s familiar?”
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and its numerous psychological ramifications, not to mention other social unrests in 2020 like the BLM movement, it’s easy to make connections between real world politics and the commentary of these films. Another perfect and related example of this would be Joker, which released last year to much acclaim and managed to spark a lot of debate about the many sociological injustices that it excavated.
But the Sully actor further explains what makes Nolan’s movie, in particular, more than just a superhero flick, claiming that it’s a “reflection of our times.”
“And then people are looking to a superhero for their liberty and their freedom,” Eckhart continued. “Not only is it a great story and a great movie, but this is what cinema and art are all about. It’s a reflection of our times. Chris knocked it out of the park and that’s why that movie is so important. And then, obviously, the performance of Heath [Ledger]. What a special, special movie. I was happy to be a part of it.”
Eckhart also said in the same interview that had Harvey Dent survived, he would’ve eventually told the truth about the crimes he committed. Do you agree with The Dark Knight star’s sentiments, though? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the usual place below.