Monday, November 1, 2010

Harvey Dent in the movies

B A T M A N

Relatively briefly shown in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman, Harvey Dent, just like Commissioner Gordon, was one of the few who weren't corrupted and truly wanted to bring peace to Gotham by capturing Mob boss Carl Grissom. Billy Dee Williams who played Star Wars' Lando Calrissian presented a strong and confident political figure. A role that, albeit brief, was memorable enough for the press to often cite it as one of his most known roles.
It is worth noting that this is the only portrayal of Dent as African American. The comic book character was a white Caucasian, however at the time of his inception there was a racial segregation and discrimination going on, and the portrayal of African American in comic books was non existent.

Billy Dee Williams: "I was happy that I was asked to participate. You know I always feel good about that because it’s saying people when they see me, as individual, as an actor, they’re not looking at me based purely at my ethnicity  but looking at a certain quality I might bring to the situation, so that made me feel very, very good" (BA)
I thought it was a real interesting idea to do it that way, because, originally, it wasn't written that way. But to carry on the character in -- how do I say it? -- in a different ethnicity? I thought it was a very interesting idea. A forward idea. (Bullz-eye.com int, 2007)


Williams said that he originally took the role believing that it would land him in a sequel playing the supervillain Two-Face, but as we know that did not happen. Burton's Dent never turned bad and did not reappear in Batman Returns. There is a rumor that he signed under the contract that he will play Two-Face in the future, however Williams himself denies it:

Billy Dee Williams: "The contract I signed was to play Harvey Dent, it wasn't a two or three picture situation. With Star Wars, I signed for two pictures. I think that at that stage, after the first Batman, some Japanese, Sony or something like that bought out the contract. I can't really recall it." (Starwarsinterviews1, 2005)

Bullz-Eye: Was Tim Burton ready to go with you in the role of Two-Face if he'd stayed on for another film? 
BDW: I hope so! (laughs) (Bullz-Eye.com, 1997)


However he did signed in hoping that he will end up being the Two-Face
Billy Dee Williams: And I wanted to play Two-Face; I thought it would have been a very unique thing to do. I would have done something interesting with the character, there's no question about it. It's just too bad I didn't have the opportunity. (amc, 2009)

When I took on the role I was looking forward to play Two-Face, but it didn't work out. (starwarsinterviews1, 2005)

Right, yeah, Two-Face. Which is one of the reasons why I decided, why I took on the role -- because I was hoping to play Two-Face. (Bullz-eye.com, 2007)

Since he was originally planned to appear in the possible sequel, Harvey Dent appeared in Batman in a little more than a cameo. He's appearance was just meant to show that the character is there and prepare the groundwork. While he wasn't a focus in the movie and just aided Mayor Borg, Dent was presented in a certain fashion and charm that Williams often brings to his characters

Billy Dee Williams: I had Adam Clayton Powell (Jr.) in mind when I played the character. He was not only a politician, but he was a reverend, a preacher, and he was a playboy. You talk about a romantic character. (BA)

 

In the Official comic book adaptation of the movie, Harvey Dent was reduced to only 2 panels, in one of which he's unidentifiable, standing next to Comissioner Gordon who is the one reading the letter from Batman instead

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B  A  T  M  A  N      F  O  R  E  V  E  R


Replacing Billy Dee Williams created a major inconsistency which became an argument for the fans who were disappointed with Schumacher's Batman movies to dismiss them as reimagination, reboot or a separate entity from Tim Burton's movies.
Tommy Lee Jones had worked with Joel Schumacher on "Client" and Schumacher wanted him for the role of Harvey Dent/Two-Face

BullzEye: I've always found that jumping from you in the part, to Tommy Lee Jones, is an insurmountable continuity problem. 
Billy Dee Williams: (laughs) Yeah, I would say so. But, c'mon, it's the movies. They can do anything they want to do in the movies, and either people will buy it or they won't buy it.(Bullz-Eye.com int, 2007)

BDW: It was OK. Tommy Lee Jones is a great actor, and it was a different regime then (starwarsinterviews1, 2005)


Largely considered the film that began a slow, painful, camp-fueled death for the black-suited superhero (with "Batman and Robin" marking the final nail in that coffin), the "Forever" villains are often listed among the worst comic-book performances of all time.Asked bluntly whether he would've liked to play Two-Face again, Tommy Lee Jones offered a stiff, one-word response: "No." (MTV.com)

Tommy Lee Jones' performance as Two-Face was criticized by both the fans and the casual audience as being both cartoonish and barely resembling his comic book counterpart. While being faithful to the source has nothing to do with the actual quality and all of Batman's movies are known for their major changes applied to the characters, this character has little of its comic book counterpart in it and seems to be heavily based on another villain - Joker. 

 Tommy Lee Jones played Harvey Dent as a Joker knock-off rather than a multi-layered rogue (Scott Beatty)


Tommy Lee Jones claimed to have done a lot of research on the character, but his focus was on the duality

Not even Tommy Lee Jones could make too much of Two-Face, who, in the script by Lee Batchler, Janet Scott Batchler, and Akiva Goldsman, lacked most of the qualities that make him potentially the most tragic and terrifying of Batman's foes (Batman: The Complete History)

Jones' Two-Face is extremely energetic and flamboyant, and admittedly not very intelligent. One would wonder if the splash of acid would in fact take District Attorney's IQ down so drastically. He is basically a gullible and hyperactive lunatic with an energy and, arguably, mind of a child

Tommy Lee Jones: Acting silly and villainous was fun -- and playing this strange character especially jumping around with Jim Carrey. (Douglas Thompson int.)
He's completely, I guess, over the top (HBO first look) 


But as portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones in 1995's Batman Forever, Two-Face is a cartoonish creep of the most stereotypically hysterical variety. (Premiere.com)

Joel Schumacher: I wanted to create a living comic book, and I think the word comic is important (B:TIH)
I think Tommy Lee Jones was great (avclub int, 2003)

Schumacher's Two-Face, like the comic book Joker, wore all kinds of flamboyant and weird custom outfits


Two-Faces origins were recreated faithfully from the comic books. Dent was splashed with a vial of acid when questioning a mob boss Sal Maroni, losing his mind and becoming a villain with split personality.


Just like the entire Schumacher's neon world, Two-Face's face is pink and his clothes partially red, which meshed him well with the bright and colorful so-called 'Barbie' Gotham.

Ve Neill (makeup artist): I made sure that the veins were really hot pink, and then the recessed areas in his face were dark luminescent blue and purple. We used this beautiful cobalt blue luminescent powder, so the makeup was very colorful and pleasant to look at. 


While today Jones doesn't look fondly at Batman Forever and his role in it, at the time of the release he felt radically different

Tommy Lee Jones: I hope Harvey 's back (...) I want to play Two-Face in the next Batman (Douglas Thompson int.)


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T  H  E   D  A  R  K   K  N  I  G  H  T


Two-Face was often described as one of the most dangerous and terrifying classic Batman villain, and when it came time for Nolan to present his version, he made sure that his Two-Face was a worthy contender for that title. It is the first feature film portrayal of Two Face that focuses on the character's pathos and tragic story.
Aaron Eckhart said that he didn't re-watch older movies so he wouldn't be influenced by Jones or Williams' performance.

PF: And you're playing the same character that was once played by somebody else.
Aaron Eckhart: Well I see no connection between the two. And I've not had any discussions about that. That's one thing about movies. What somebody else did is what somebody else did. In soap operas you're willing to believe that a character can come back to life. Basically, you just want that guy on screen. You don't care what happened before. It's like balance. I mean J.R. could come back today and nobody would care. I mean nobody would care about the logistics of him coming back. So I don't think people are going to get hung up on my performance versus Tommy Lee's. It's just two different things. (Paul Fisher int, 2007)
I did [see the older movies], years ago. I’ve seen all [the Batman films]. Christopher [Nolan] comes at [“The Dark Knight”] with such a different take on Batman, I didn’t feel I had to be true to any other actor playing this role.(CBR, 2008)  


CBR: There’s a lot of different ways you could go with Two-Face. In the cartoons, he’s a cold-hearted gangster. With Tommy Lee Jones, he’s a cackling mad man. Where are you taking Harvey?
AE: It’s early days but I believe that it’s stronger if you have a heart. If you can relate to a character if he’s a villain or not, it’s always better. If I can help you to relate to my character, I think that I am more than likely to keep your attention. (CBR 2008)

Billy Dee Williams: I haven't seen The Dark Knight. I understand it's very good (AMC, 2009)
Tommy Lee Jones: [Aaron is] a good guy. I’ve worked with him. He’s an awfully good guy.(...) That make-up, however, is difficult (MTV, 2007)
 Nolan presented a non-corruptible character who wants to catch the mobsters (who eventually get involved with Joker, like in the 89's movie). But this Dent goes even further because not only we see his unbreakable morals and political side, but also his human side. He is a likable character that people see hero in, and an honest person. Those are exactly the qualities that Christopher Nolan was looking for


Christopher Nolan: We wanted Harvey to be the most all-American, kind of heroic figure - Aaron's got that kind of Robert Redford thing going on. He just embodies that kind of chiselled American hero, and he has such confidence in the movie.(EmpireOnline, 2008)


Harvey loves Rachel and even sacrifices himself for the good of the city claiming that he's Batman. And then the tragedy strucks and, in a way, he witnesses his love's death while getting terribly burnt. Brainwashed by sadistic Joker, he takes on his own personal Vendetta to kill those who didn't save Rachel. It's a quite complex character and an incredible twist on his personality.



David Goyer: The Joker doesn’t change and Batman doesn’t really change, but Harvey is the one that changes as a result of his interaction between The Joker the Batman. And obviously he changes in a tragic way so you know, that means the movie has to be a tragedy. (FilmSchoolRejects, 2008)

He basically turns from someone we care about on screen into a cold murderer, but we understand his pain and what he's been through.

Christopher Nolan: Well that's what I think is wonderful about Dent's character, he's just this flawed human being, he's a very interesting guy. He's this White Knight, this heroic figure for Gotham and yet, under the surface, there's an anger, a darkness that relates very strongly to Bruce Wayne's.(EmpireOnline, 2008)

"The difference between Batman and Two-Face is how far they are willing to go and how they make their point," Eckhart said. "Otherwise, we're talking about vigilante crime-fighting. That's what Batman is all about. He has a strong sense of justice. And Harvey Dent has an extremely strong sense of justice. His fiancée is killed. He's horribly injured. But he is still true to himself. He's a crime fighter, he's not killing good people. He's not a bad guy, not purely." (...) I think that the audience is going to have a little more empathy and understanding for Two Face, because they got to know him as Harvey Dent. (LA Times 2008)



While Eckhart read comic books to get to know the character, it wasn't his only or primary source of information on Two Face.
Aaron Eckhart: I was familiar with Dent in as much I knew he was an iconic Batman character. I didn’t know the ins and outs of Dent. And when I got the part, Chris [Nolan] sent me the comic books and I started to do research and I met people. It’s funny, when people knew I was going to be Harvey Two Face, they came out of the woodwork. And the most unlikely people were coming up with facts. You know, it was baseball statistics from 1942 World Series third innings. It’s like, ‘How do you know this stuff?’, which I used. (...)
But I’m not an aficionado of Harvey Two Face and I’m sure the fans, once this movie comes out, will approach me and ask me if I know everything, and I won’t. But I do have a great love for him now." (The Dead Bolt Int, 2008)


Worth noting is that this Two-Face does NOT have a split personality. He doesn't refer to himself as "We". He also appears to be ruthless and deprived of any pity but very stoic at the same time.

As everything in Nolan's movies, Two-Face's appearance gets a realistic makeover and really looks like wounds of a severely (if not fatally) burned victim.

Aaron Eckhart: I can tell you that, basically, when you look at Two-Face, you should get sick to your stomach. Being the guy under all that, well, that was a lot of fun for me. It's like you would feel if you met someone whose face had pretty much been ripped off or burned off with acid. (LA Times, 2008)



He’ll admit only that he spent “less than five years and more than a day” wearing the Two-Face makeup. (cinemasource.com, 2008)
Chris showed me a sculpture of Two-Face and what he thought he looked like and what we'd be working on, and it was just beautiful. What I did like was the fact that we didn't go over-the-top with it. I mean, yes, we have this, that and the other, but it wasn't cartoonish in my opinion.(Brad Brevett int)


In what now seems to be typical Nolan fashion, the origins were radically changed from those from the comic books

Jonathan Nolan: The thing is that you want to view the world [Batman’s world] through a certain lens and our lens -- Chris’ lens -- and the mandate from him that were to work under is realism. A universe which operates under the laws of physics and our heroes have to adhere to.(...) The arc of the film is the tragedy of Harvey Dent. In a sense, it's the origin of Two-Face -- which, I think, we’ve told as a more complete story. (BOF 2008)

Christopher Nolan: But what I would say about the way in which we view Harvey Dent's story is through that prism of Batman Begins, of trying to be a bit more real with things…where it most applies to Dent and Two-Face is in emotional terms; we've tried to make his story – which is a great tragedy, a great, great epic sort of tragedy – we've tried to make that the backbone of the whole movie. We're very much addressing Dent and Two-Face in an emotionally real way. (CBR, 2008)

118 comments:

  1. Wasn't Harvey Dent/Two-face from Batman: The Animated series African-American? I know a very white Richard Moll (Bull from Night Court) did his voice, but I could have sworn he was supposed to be Black or at least mixed.

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  2. I believe TAS Harvey Dent/Two-Face was supposed to be Sicilian

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  3. Might be. Definitely not black, not in TAS, but not caucasian white either

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  4. Billy Dee Williams was pretty much a non entity in the movie anyways. Anyone could have played that role. There was nothing Harvey Dent about his character other than the name which is why Aaron Eckhart re-deemed Harvey Dent In TDK that blows Billy Dee and Tommy Lee Jones out of the water. And to me, I find it really sad that Billy Dee ended up as "The Token Black Guy" in the movie who just merely smiles, stays out of the conversation and had no involement in the plot what-so-ever. The only good thing he did was read Batman's letter in the end and introduce the Bat-signal. That was it! Waste of time and character.

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    1. No, you just see him as the token black guy. His fans appreciate what he brought to the film.

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    2. Well the 1989-1997 franchise had a lot of missed opportunities when it came to Two-Face, he was barely in the first movie, he wasn't in the second movie at all, and in the third he was a Joker knock off. I think a 3 movie character arc for Two-Face would work well had Burton taken an actual interest in the character instead of what we got already.

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  5. Dent wasnt wasted in the movie. He was just suppose to be introduced and he was. He was exactly what Finch was in Batman Begins. And the advantage Eckhert had was the love story. With that device you can always squeeze more outof the character and situation. As for Tommy Lee, he played Joker in Forever, not Two-Face

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  6. Well i still stand by my beliefs that Billy Dee is not the man for the job as Harvey Dent cause his character might as well have been somebody else. Carl Grissom and his men at the beginning are saying something needs to be done about Dent and then they never even do anything to him even after Joker took Carl out, he still didn't go after Dent. But I don't believe Billy Dee came remotely close to what Eckhart did. None of Billy Dee's scenes had any real emotional resonance or significance. He never got to show off his acting skills. Now i know why Billy Dee was a mistake to begin with.

    And where was he during Penguin's Reign of Terror? Safely in his office, doing paper work...

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  7. I think its unfair to judge from so little. Billy was just there to set up the character, he was like Finch so no depth or drama was necessary, just a DA making calls and standing on mayor's side. I think Billy would make an interesting character because just like with Eckhart, you cant imagine this guy as a bad guy. It worked for Eckhart. Not to mention I like Billy , hes a good actor

    Re: his absence in Returns

    Perhaps TwoFace just didnt exist in Burton's world and someone else took DA's office, or perhaps inbetween the movies TwoFace was born and caught or killed already

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  8. I know that Harvey Dent was set to appear in Batman Returns but was removed in favor of Chris Walken's Max Shreck. According to Dan Waters and Sam Hamm, Harvey Dent played again by Billy Dee Williams would come back and have one scene of him where he flips a coin and it's the good side of the coin. But it never happend...

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  9. I've got nothing against Billy Dee, but he was horribly miscast as Harvey Dent. The character itself in Batman '89 could have been anyone. There was nothing particularly Harvey Dent about him at all. He was a non entity in the movie.

    I think the main reason he wasn't asked back is because he just didn't physically suit the role of Harvey Dent. He's a fine actor, just physically wrong for the part.

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  10. I dont think he was miscast. I bought him as a DA

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  11. I never understood why Schumacher took over the Batman franchise. When he was a kid he was playing with Barbies not reading comic books...not that there is anything wrong with that.
    Excellent article, thumbs up!

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  12. "Batman Forever" was a complete disaster. As much as I like Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carey each hit a carear low in this film. Contrary to popular belief The Riddler has never appeared in a Batman film. In actuallity "Batman Forever" featured Batman vs Ace Ventura in a Riddler costume. As for Two-Face in this film, well I think you covered that well enough so I will only say that both Carey and Jones' potrayals of Batman villans had more of The Joker in them than the actual villan they were suposed to be playing

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    1. To be fair, Carey molded his Riddler similar to Gorshin's from the 60's TV show who was quite manic in his own right.

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  13. schumachers i prefer a little more. i like two-face's pad. Half black half white. You get to see much more of him than in the Dark Knight.

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  14. Tommy Lee Jones was completely wasted as Two-Face, seems as if he was just thrown in to have an extra villain, he has nothing to do with the story's arc at all, all he really does is flip a coin and laugh, pretty much a carbon-copy of Joker.

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  15. I HATE what Schumacher did. The only things I liked about it were the design of Gotham (minus the colors) and Kilmer's first suit

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  16. I was very disappointed by the way that Harvey was made out to be little more than a mindless goon in this film, and was reduced to a rather one dimensional character. I find that odd, since he was once a prominent, well educated criminal attorney. His motives in this film were far too simple for someone of his sophistication. He was way too easily manipulated by The Riddler. The backstory they chose to use for Harvey in this film fell flat.

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  17. I know, from intelligent DA to cackling crook robbing banks. What the? I actually did like the way he looked, I know in the light he looks like crap but with proper lightning I thought he looked cool

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  18. I agree, Tommy Lee Jones is a fine actor and could have done a good job of playing Two-Face as a sinister/tragic figure had the film taken him in that direction. Instead, he was apparently instructed to mimic the late Caesar Romero's Joker, and hey, I enjoy Caesar's over the top Joker, but that's not what I want from Two-Face.

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  19. You know his left side in Forever kinda looks like the leprechaun from the Leprechaun horror movies

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  20. Eckhart did an excellent job and it completely pisses all over Schumacher's florescent pink abortion of the character of Two Face

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  21. Well... I always believed comic books and their casts were EXTREME disorders making the story fun... trying to fit them in a logical and probable "realistic" way may take the fun out of the comic itself... that's only me though

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  22. Two Face in Forever was a complete miss on the personality but faithful in origins. Two Face in TDK was a complete miss in origins but faithfull in personality

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  23. the story about two-face in the dark knight was almost completely wrong! Aaron did a good job in acting the part, but he wasn't suppose to be burnned by fire, he was suppose to get toxic acid thrown on him. the horrible pain eventually makes him confused between good and evil. in time, he uses a silver coin that is perfect on one side and that he himself scarred on the other to determine if his ugly side will get his wish or his good side. He had split personality. The only problem when tommy played two-face is, as you said, he acted more like the joker.

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  24. So what, every movie changed something big. The important thing is that he behaved like Two Face

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  25. Schumacher's Two Face looked like one of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space

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  26. Like i said before, there's nothing about Billy Dee's presence in the movie to praise as such. He was a CINO (Character In Name Only) like Halle Berry's Awful Catwoman movie and "The Token Black Guy" who despite being present often has no function in the overall plot, does little or nothing in the film itself.

    This tells me that the WB Suits and Joel Schumacher in 1995 just went up to him and said, "Mr. Williams, here's your money we don't want you as Two-Face in batman forever."

    Billy Dee: "But I was under contract to play him?"

    WB: "Well too bad, you stank in the first one so your replacement is Tommy Lee Jones, so please get lost..."

    As Billy Dee would say, "Well that's show biz"

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  27. Btw, I actually couldnt find any official sources or confirmation that Billy was contracted to play in more movies. He himself denies it in the post above, and the source of this info I tracked back to a rumor posted by CBR, going something like "someone we know knows this and that and they know..." so..It did get around, but I wouldnt put too much trust in this rumor

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  28. Oh really? Well I think Billy Dee was no longer the bankable star nor was he even cast in any mainstream movies. Attention spans being what they are, most people had forgotten that he was even cast in the secondary character of Harvey Dent in the first Batman movie. And to me that's sad.

    Billy Dee said that in an interview, one key factor played the inhibitor to his potential as an actor being sabotaged - Racism....

    Billy Dee: "Racism. Plain prejudice from both sides, black and white. It's become such a hassle, man. Because everybody is looking at that rather than at much more important things. I see changes happening now. The success of all these black actors right now is so important."

    This could be the reason why Billy Dee was paid not to play Two-Face in 1995.

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  29. I think Schumacher just wanted Tommy Lee since they already worked together. Billy didnt have much to work with so I wouldnt say he was bad at all, I thought he delivered that little that he had. I like his delivery of the goblins line to Knox. Sure, he had a small role, but every politician in those movies had. I agree that in that case changing the actor wouldnt make a difference really, but I also think that same can be said about Borg and Gordon. To sum it up, I think they did nice with the little cameos they had

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  30. Oh and about Nolan redoing the origins - while its of course true, he still used one of the elements of the original story which is a woman - originally Dent's woman was really the pivotal reason for him going mad

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  31. I know that changing ethnicities of Dent helps separate Schumacher's movies but there's still that line about Catwoman in the movie. And I think Schumacher's Dent is closer to comic books.

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  32. Every time i look back at Chris Walken's Max Shreck, it makes me think he should have played Harvey Dent. I like Chris Walken better cause he had better charisma then Billy Dee and plays very well as villains (ie. Bond villain Max Zorin)

    Also, most of his plot points would have perhaps made more sense if Shreck were D.A. instead of a corrupt businessman. The explosion at the end of the film was a means to injure Harvey Dent and produce the scars that would lead to his transformation into Two-Face for the third movie in the series.

    They could have at lest gave Billy Dee a cameo for god sake in Returns but it never happend which is why Billy went down in history as "The Token Black Guy". WB and Joel "I'm soooo GAY" Schumacher bought Billy Dee out and got Tommy Lee Jones instead for Batman Forever in 95 and that's sad that Billy Dee was robbed of that role dispite the payment he got from them.

    And what really grinds my gears is that they had the balls to make 2 (ONLY 2) reference to Burton's movies, Pre-Joker shooting the Wayne family leaving the boy alive to become you-know-who and Nicole Kidman makes a small note of Catwoman but NO Penguin....

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  33. Good call on Walken playing Dent! Now that wouldve been bonkers!

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  34. I know, like i said Daniel Waters, one of the writers, wanted to have Harvey Dent played again by Billy Dee Williams start to come back, and just have one scene of him where he flips a coin and it is the good side of the coin. Waters thought it was only to be a very small subplot, which would have developed into the next movie. Alas, Warner Bros did not want him to continue with the role once they got to Batman Returns and turned his character in Christopher Walken’s evil business character who, as it turns out, would have been scarred at the end with Catwoman’s tazer kiss and became Two-Face for Batman Forever. As the late Rodney Dangerfield would say, "I get no respect, I tell ya"

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  35. The Tommy Lee Jones portrayal of Two-Face was utterly horrible as there was nothing psychologically disturbed about it, Jones could have done the character justice but he was too busy out-doing Jim Carrey's horrible portrayal of The Riddler. Let's not forget the bad script and especially Schumacher's direction. This Two-Face was like the 60's campy Joker. the dark Joker may be clown-ish but he's threateningly murderous and the dark Riddler can be much more witty/cerebral. Then Carrey's Riddler is like the campy 60's Frank Gorshin portrayal but it's made worse by also being like the campy 60's Joker, bad combination.

    The TDK Two-Face was great and I hope The Riddler gets reinvented in the future.

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  36. Tell me about it, Billy Dee should have done proper research on Harvey Dent (like showing a dark rage that he doesn't want the public to know about or flipping the coin), not just knowing what he'll become in the next film. That is the reason why Billy Dee was no good as Harvey Dent in WB's eyes and got replaced by Tommy Lee Jones. Short commings or not, I don't care... I wanted to see a true Harvey Dent/Two-Face (Which Aaron Eckhart brought), not Billy Dee as himself or Tommy Lee Jones as a Joker knock-off...

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  37. But Dent didnt get the coin in the comics until he became Two Face. The coin was Maroni's. And Dent was a good guy all the way

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  38. One of the comics (Batman - Secret Origins Special 01(1989) had Harvey Dent showing his anger to the camera crew saying, "Get that thing out of my face!" That's what Billy Dee should have done in the Research but he didn't and WB tossed him out in 95.

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  39. In the comics, Harvey Dent got the double-headed coin from his dying father. His father would physically abuse him when he was a kid in some game where flipping the coin would decide whether he'll beat him up or not. Then he developed a split-personality disorder which resulted in a second personality who he named Apollo however he got psychiatric treatment that made it better. The problem was that the spit-personality had only gotten suppressed as it would trigger permanently when he got half of his face burned when he was an adult.

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  40. I should've include the entire history of Two Face like I did with Joker

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  41. I thought the nickname 'Apollo' was for Harvey's charming good looks before he got half of his face burned?

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  42. Two Face had so many different portrayals and origins that its confusing

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  43. Regarding Two-Face in the comic books, a lot of folks on this thread are pretty clueless. Jones' Two-Face had little in common with the character seen in the vast majority of comic books. The stories from the 1940s were probably the only ones that really ring somewhat true with Tommy Lee Jones' version. During the 1970's when Two-Face was re-introduced to readers, he was serious with some good adventure tales...a fun but tragic escape artist type of character who was linked directly to Bruce Wayne through a past friendship. The film makers got the surface detail right...half scarred, victim of acid, half and half hideouts...but they dropped the ball on his coin. Two-Face has always lived by his coin, even in the 1940s. In the film, he keeps on flipping until he gets the desired result....which was as WRONG as it gets.

    Two-Face was rebooted in 1989 with a DC Annual issue that told a new origin (though in keeping with acid and Maroni), but added a great depth to the character that had not been there before. This new tale gave us a psychological problem that existed with Harvey BEFORE his accident ever occurred. This was the basis for the version told in The Animated Series in 1992-93. See, the people behind the Animated Series understood what made the character of Two-Face tick. The writers of Batman Forever that came after the cartoon did not. They used the gimmick, but it lacked any sort of depth. Tommy Lee Jones' role was that of a glorified goon with a scar and a crazy outfit whose mission was to deliver Joker-styled hijinks. He was fun in the sense of the old Adam West series from 1960 where the villain is just introduced through a caper with no real depth, but overall it was a missed opportunity when there was already good material out there for about 6 years prior to when the film was made.

    The film really needed a darker, more serious take on Two-Face to balance out the hyper-stylized Riddler. Instead, we got an overload of competing egos that dragged the film down a notch from what it could have been.

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  44. The horrible thing about Jones Two-Face is that, Two-Face had never been a campy villain even from the 1940's-early 1950's. In fact the character disappeared completely in the comics from late 1950's-1969 as the Batman comics gradually became campy, The comics code possibly found Two-Face far too disturbing. Hell, there were even plans to have Two-Face on the 60's TV show and that didn't happen either possibly they found him too disturbing. Two-Face made his long over-due comic book comeback in 1971's "Half an Evil" from Batman #234 by Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams, around this time the Batman comics went back to their original dark roots.

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  45. I have seen the REAL Script of Batman Forever and Two-Face was much more darker than the one potrayed in the Forever film and very true to the comic book charictor. Here's the proof, http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Batman-Forever.html

    It seems to me that the writer Akiva Goldsman had got the details right on Two-Face in this script. But i guess they altered the script to suit WB's needs back in 95.

    Also Schumacher could have made a darker Batman Forever like Burton's if he hadn't been under heavy pressure from WB studio to do so and said that his films were made intentionally marketable (or "toyetic") and kid-friendly hence why Tommy Lee Jones was a Joker knock-off instead of the Two-Face we all know and love.

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  46. But Nolan's Two Face was gullible too. He got coined by Joker very easily and didnt kill the man who actually killed Rachel. Not only that but he also bough Joker's "THEY are schemers with plans" BS while its clear that Joker is actually the biggest schemer of all

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  47. Nolan's Two-Face was not gullible, he was delusional and easily corrupted.

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  48. Well At lest Nolan's Two-Face lived by the coin by tossing once instead of flipping over and over until he gets the desired result unlike Tommy Lee Jones.

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  49. But what about "Lets go again"?

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  50. Im assuming youre referring to the scene when Dent holds one of Joker's captured goons, the one with psychosis. I think he was just scaring him, he wouldnt have killed him

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  51. That's the scene i'm talking about that Billy Dee lacked in the first batman film. I don't give a damn if he was there for the groundwork, that man should have studied the Character more carefully.

    He said, "I thought it would have been a very unique thing to do. I would have done something interesting with the character, there's no question about it. It's just too bad I didn't have the opportunity."

    oh you did have the *oppertunity* Billy if you just have just shown us your dark anger on film just like in the comic Batman - Secret Origins Special 01 (1989) but since you didn't, WB tossed you out in 95...

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  52. But Burton's movies are all mostly the early stuff and the early Dent/Kent wasnt aggresive.

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  53. That's all Tim Burton is, visuals. No substance. But he couldn't even get Harvey Dent visually right. Love the contradiction.

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  54. He did get him right. Just like he was originally. 1989's revision was too late to affect the movie plus with Bob Kane onboard they already set out to focus on how the characters were portrayed originally. Burton was extremely faithful to the early Golden Age while Nolan drew from late 80's graphic novels

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  55. Re: substance. While I think it's debatable about 'Batman" (which is still very fun one way or another), I must absolutely disagree about Returns which inf fact was criticized for being too dark, too serious and too deep for a superhero movie and which happens to be my favorite Batman movie because of the story (and character designs). I think BR and TDK are the two deepest Batman movies while also BR and Begins are the 2 most emotional ones

    Re: Dent's look
    Well, Catwoman was black in the TV show and at the time Dent was invented there was a racial segregation going on, NO ONE was black in comic books and couldnt be. I personally dont mind Dent in 'Batman' at all. If he would have been focused on more it would be messy because the story was more about Joker and Batman and Vicky. Alfred and Knox were side character but heavily featured as well and involved with that triangle. Dent was outside of the storyline, he just needed to be there and do his work.

    Re: BUrton's Batman was Kanes's - true, thats one of the things Im trying to show here and I even learn more myself as I do research for some of this stuff. Burton's Batman is extremely reflective of the late 30's/early 40's Batman, including its characters. Schumacher took stuff from the 80s but turned it into camp, and Nolan's were focused predominantly on the longer stories like The Dark Knight Returns, Long Halloween, Year One and Man Who Falls (which was given to them by Fox for reference)

    Again, my fave is Returns for Bruce's and Selina's story and amazing designs (love that Batman costume), and 'Batman", Batman Begins and TDK I love pretty much the same equally. Schumacher's movies I can't stand, they're juvenile kids movies to me which are unwatchable by an adult person

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  56. You're right that Billy Dee was outside of the storyline, he just needed to be there and do his work which is why he fits the description "Token Black Guy"...

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  57. Oh and another thing GothamStreets, as i recall Eartha Kitt who was fine as Catwoman on the Adam West show, but her stories were awful. Eartha simply didn't have any good material to work with at all. Due to her being a black woman, the 3rd season was even robbed of the fun flirtatious relationship she shared with Batman. This was the 60s after all.

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  58. Well I cant argue that she was a crappy Catwoman

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  59. I think Billy Dee should have played a different charictor like Lucius Fox, CEO of Wayne Enterprises who made his first appereance in Batman #307 (January 1979) but not Harvey Dent cause nothing he did in the movie convinced me he was the right guy.

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  60. And they tell me that Billy Dee was an inspired choice, more like a bad choice. Setting aside any racial or ethnice mumble jumble. Casting Billy Dee as Harvey Dent was just pointless. Don't care if he was there for the ground work he was an imposter, not the REAL Harvey Dent.

    At lest Aaron Eckhart did a way better Harvey Dent in TDK then Billy Dee did cause he had some memorable scenes and good qoutes while Billy Dee had nothing at all.

    In the end Aaron Eckhart is the winner ^_^

    That's all Billy Dee will be remembered as, Lando from Star Wars and The Token Black Guy from Batman 89.

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  61. It wasn't the megabucks or the cool costumes alone that persuaded Tommy Lee Jones to take the role of Harvey Dent/Two-Face in Batman Forever. It was his son, Austin who convinced him.

    "When I went to meet with Tommy to do my spiel to get him to do the role," says director Joel Schumacher, "I got there and Austin had a pile of Batman comics with Two-Face on top. Tommy told me he's doing the character because it's Austin's favorite foe."

    But in the end, Tommy Lee Jones was completely wasted as Two-Face.

    Oh by the way, here's what Billy Dee's Two-Face would have looked like if Burton was the director of Batman 3. http://www.figurerealm.com/viewcustomfigure.php?FID=25556

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  62. No Schumacher, Two Face should not be "pleasant to look at"

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  63. If Willaims' Dent was a token black guy then Finch from Begins was a token white guy. I fail to see how they can be dismissed as random characters. They were both DA's and did their job and had limited time onscreen. It wasnt Law & Order after all

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  64. Do not compare Billy Dee's Dent with Finch, Finch was just a random made up guy, while Dent himself existed since the 40's.

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  65. But Dent was just DA in the first movie and wasnt suppose to be more yet. Finch was just DA in Begins. Same thing. they did their share

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  66. Ok then, where was black Harvey Dent during Penguin's reign of terror? Did he just skip town? Wasn't he supposed to be the mayor's aid at all times in this chaos? Didn't he say he was going to bring down the criminals to justice? Some D.A. he turned out to be...

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  67. He was simply written off from Returns. Are some people complaining about Dent's first few appearances in The Animated Series too? After all, he appeared for a brief while form time to time just doing DA stuff or appearing in public, pretty much what Williams' Dent did

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  68. It just boggles my mind that they put Billy Dee in Batman 89 and never really do anything with him as well as never bring him back for Returns. If they never wanted to explore Harvey Dent in the 89 Batman film then they shouldn't have bothered introducing him since he was useless in the film. Ground work or not...

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  69. At the time they didnt know theyre not gonna use him

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  70. Like I said, if they have no use for Billy Dee in this flick, then they shouldn't have bothered casting him at all. Ground work or not...

    Frankly i don't think Burton was EVER going to use Two-Face for his movies, Burton admitted that he thought it would be interesting to use Billy Dee as Two-Face but it was cut before any real substance could be given to it.

    Burton wanted to include only one villain in the third Batman film, The Riddler, conceptualized with Robin Williams but after WB asked him to be a producer and approve of Schumacher as director. The rest is history..

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  71. "Like I said, if they have no use for Billy Dee in this flick, then they shouldn't have bothered casting him at all. Ground work or not... "

    Thats like saying "they shouldnt show Dent in On Leather Wings and Pretty Poison if they had no use for him". Dent was suppose to be the Two Face in Returns but was replaced by Shreck

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  72. Where is this mythical script in which Harvey Dent took the Max Shreck role, because I personally see no evidence that this was ever the case and I've read all the various early drafts for Batman 2/Returns.

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  73. Wasnt he in Sam Hamm's script?

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  74. That's all rumour and conjecture. Sam Hamm wrote the initial draft for the Batman sequel, which was to feature Catwoman and The Penguin as the two main antagonists. This screenplay was rejected by Tim Burton (partly because it was too early in the process and Burton's mind wasn't really on making a sequel for some time after the first Batman).

    Daniel Waters than wrote and early draft dated May 1992, which can be found online, which makes no mention of Harvey Dent, either as a potential villain or otherwise, but does however, feature Max Shreck, a name purposefully used as a homahe to the silent-era actor who played Nosferatu.

    Like i said, there's is nothing in the Max Shreck character that would have worked with Harvey Dent.

    Oh and another thing when TAS Harvey Dent was introduced in On Leather Wings episode, he was shown flipping his coin before he became Two-Face, something Billy Dee did not do in 89 Batman flick. All he did was puff cheap cigars, and say a few forgettable lines.

    We never even got to hear what he thought of Gordon, Batman, or The Joker.

    There was literally no meat to the character at all. He was such a non entity. Maybe that's why I don't hate on him as much as the other characters, because Burton did nothing with him.

    His only flaw was the silly mis-casting.

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  75. "Like i said, there's is nothing in the Max Shreck character that would have worked with Harvey Dent."

    I very much agree with it and think the Two face in BR was just a rumor based solely on the fact that Dent was in the first movie. After all, the story about Dent contracting top play in the sequel and play Two face was not true. However I dont mind Dent in 'Batman' at all. There were several instances where mayor and DA had to be present, so why not Dent? I think comparing his appearance in 'Batman' to "On Leather Wings' is very much in line. Just a DA thats there and that wants to make things right. While it was different than comic Dent, I liked Williams' reverend-like take

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  76. Like I said GothamStreets, if they have no use for Billy Dee in the first batman flick, then they shouldn't have bothered casting him at all. Ground work or not...

    Frankly i don't think Burton was EVER going to use Two-Face for his movies, Burton admitted that he thought it would be interesting to use Billy Dee as Two-Face but it was cut before any real substance could be given to it.

    Burton wanted to include only one villain in the third Batman film, The Riddler, conceptualized with Robin Williams but after WB asked him to be a producer and approve of Schumacher as director. The rest is history..

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  77. Even thought Dent's role is minimal, the name and the character was known for fans so I think casting Star Wars star was an interesting choice

    Going off the track a little bit, Im wondering what Jones thought after seeing TDK. He admittedly never heard of Two Face before he was casted in Forever and he played him like a mentally challenged cousin of Joker. I wonder what he thought after seeing how much potential, drama and pathos was in this character. Same goes for Schumacher who went on record constantly reminding everyone that this is Batman and cant be taken seriously

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  78. First things first, let's forget that Billy Dee Williams is a black man. When the hell did Harvey Dent ever have a moustache? Fair enough they cast Billy in the role, but couldn’t they tell him to shave? Secondly, was it really necessary to have Dent as a black man?

    Billy Dee Williams is a very charismatic actor, and it is admittedly fitting that he was cast as Harvey Dent, seeing as how he was on screen for 10 minutes, I see it personally that his talents weren’t properly used.

    Essentially he would have been suited in the role of Lucius Fox, seeing as how that is another role that requires a certain amount of charisma.

    Overall, I personally feel this was one of the instances where a change in ethnicity wasn’t needed, and they literally should have cast someone else as Dent, and kept Billy as Fox, however it is understandable, as looking back at the film he probably was the only good known black guy in the whole film.

    I have no with problem Billy Dee in the role, but he was just there in name only. But he wasn't Two-Face yet, so I can undertand why he was there in name only. It just stinks that his talents weren't put to any use in the flick.

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  79. Lucius? No, I cant imagine Williams as Lucius, hes too charismatic for such role, I really dont think it would fit
    I think even for this brief time he was onscreen Williams' talent and signature personality went through - during his reverend-like speech on TV when Jack is first introduced and with his breif talk to knox at Wayne's party

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  80. Oh and you think Morgan Freeman wasn't in Batman Begins/Dark Knight? If he can do it, so can Billy Dee...

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  81. Yeah but Morgan most often plays the secondary characters and played inmates, Muslim servants, main character's friends etc while Williams had roles like the charismatic and energetic leader of the Cloud City, the rich Brady Lloyd and here as Gotham's reverend DA

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  82. *Scoff* I think Billy Dee would have been better as the mayor of Gotham. Would've brought more life to the mayor than the guy who was originally cast as him.

    Still it was a waste of talent. Not to mention a waste of a good character. It would have been nice to have seen Harvey Dent's reaction to Batman, the Joker, whether he thinks Batman is a force of good or bad for Gotham.

    And yet Black Harvey Dent disappeared during Penguin's reign of Terror in Returns with no explanation whatsoever. I really felt ripped off from this. Abandonning that character is like abandoning Alfred or Commissioner Gordon - you just can't, especially in Batman's early years. He's a large part in Gotham's politics before his "acid trip", so they should not have overlooked him.

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  83. I think there's no contest between the Harvey Dents - the ones in the Animated Seroes and TDK are full fledged characters while Billy Dee Williams' part is little more than a cameo - all he has to do is look good and say his lines. Not that he couldn't play a "proper" Harvey Dent, it's just how the character was written for B89. Some more "casual" fans never realized the future Two Face was in the film - just Billy Dee Williams being one of the city officials. And... if I say my thoughts on TLJ's "version", you'll ban me from this blog forever :)

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  84. Like i said All Billy Dee did was puff cheap cigars, and say a few forgettable lines. It was rather pointless to establish a character like Harvey Dent in the first movie, and then abandon him completely without any mention in the sequel.

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  85. I agree, even when you look at his two Batman movies, it was obvious Burton had no interest in the Harvey Dent character. He was a forgettable non entity in Batman '89. Literally any actor could have played that tiny part. He was absent in Returns, with no mention of what became of him. He was unimportant in Burton's Batman world. That was why it diminished ingenuity for the character's presence to be even perceived that way.

    Some people thought it was to give a little inside joke/nod of Lando Calrisian from Empire Strikes Back to the fans of sci-fi movies and other so called "geeky" stuff on film and comic books, they would also be part of the target audience for Batman 1989 on theaters. Since Billy Dee was underused, it felt like he was just another token black guy in the flick. There was no reason for Burton cast Billy Dee.

    There's no way you're going to convince me that Burton did it because he thought Billy Dee was the best guy for the job acting wise. All the character did was go around smoking cigars and utter a few forgettable lines. If he wasn't named Harvey Dent, nobody would really care about the character at all.

    There was no valid reason to completely change the ethnicity of the character. It ranks along with the other pointless changes Burton made.

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  86. Why should they care about Dent? Hes not Two face yet, hes just a DA, thats all

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  87. Then explain Black Harvey Dent's absent in Returns, with no mention of what became of him. He was unimportant in Burton's Batman world. That was why it diminished ingenuity for the character's presence to be even perceived that way. It was rather pointless to establish a character like Harvey Dent in the first movie, and then abandon him completely without any mention in the sequel.

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  88. It's funny though, ever time i look back at Billy's role in Star wars where Chewie had his paws around Billy's neck and choking him, got me thinking "That's right teach that Phony Dent a lesson." Not trying to be rude about Billy Dee, But he did play a Two-Faced Lando by selling His friend Han Solo out to Vader and Boba Fett.

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  89. I just realized something, Billy Dee wanted to play Two-Face but never got the chance, even put a pay or play thing right? Well the thing is that it was easily bought out which WB just did when it came to Batman Forever. Billy Dee should have fought for that role but in a more civilized way unlike Sean Young who visited production offices dressed in a homemade Catwoman costume, demanding an audition. Don't you agree?

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  90. Before Billy Dee took the role of Harvey Dent, actors Don Johnson and Dale Midkiff were considered for it.

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  91. Eckhart was the perfect Two Face. Don't know what Burton was thinking casting a black actor as Harvey Dent.

    Typical of Burton to change everything from the comics.

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  92. ''Don't know what Burton was thinking casting a black actor as Harvey Dent.

    Typical of Burton to change everything from the comics.''

    The race of the actor has virtually nothing to do the with the quality of how the character is played. I actually thought Williams played Dent rather well, playing him as a this charismatic, intelligent politician.


    I'm sorry but I can't help but find your comment somewhat prejudice.

    And you can't really compare Williams take to Eckhart's especially since Williams Dent didn't have much material to work with to begin with
    Also read Gothamstreets changes for the movies article, it's not blasphemous to make changes. Changes can even improve on the comics(see the Penquin in Returns) I mean if your complaining about the race change of Dent, why not complain about the race change of Loeb for the Nolan movies?(in the comics he's white, but in Nolan's movies he's black.

    And Burton was truer to the comics then even Nolan was in someways, he changed very little from the comics(which were based on the Golden age comics).

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  93. Loeb is not someone who has his face scarred and becomes a criminal.

    It really makes me laugh at burton's alleged claims, "Oh yeah I wanted billy Dee as Harvey Dent cause i want to use him as two-face later on. Oh wait i forgot, i'm a Two-faced liar..."

    Still i find it odd at how Billy Dee's Harvey Dent was handled in the first film, as it merely serves to introduce the character to the audience and let them know he is the D.A. BUT, as it now stands it is stupid. Seeing as who Harvey Dent is, it is ridiculous to just ignore him like they did. Though I like Batman Forever for what it is, I really wish we could have had some real continuity with these films. Harvey would have been a perfect way to do this. I feel that this lacking continuity is what really hurt the franchise. I always envisioned the Batman series going for a long time like the 007 films, but right away they killed that chance with their odd approach. Oddly enough, you'd think that Burton would have been very interested in Harvey/Two-Face, as he is a grotesque adversary and a great dark character to work with. It is hard for me to understand his lacking interest with Two-Face.

    I still believe that Tim Burton was full of bullshit when he stated in that commentary of his that he was going to use Two-Face, cause there was no concrete evidence to back up his words. It felt like he was just lying to the public to cover up his real motive which was to get out of the Batman franchise.

    The only thing Billy Dee regrets to this day was that he was incredibly gullible enough to believe that he was going to play Two-Face and boy did he feel stupid after wards when he found out that he was replaced.

    The facts are, you should cast not only the best person for the role, but someone who has a strong physical resemblence to the character being portrayed. For all the people saying they see nothing wrong with a black man playing the role usually reserved for a white man, there would be just as many who would complain, and vice versa.

    Besides, how would they realistically explain the acid that Billy Dee would have to have half his face scarred with? Some say that half his face might be white, but that's not how acid works. Acid burns the same, no matter the color of the skin. Acid is generally dark, so acid on a black face would be harder to see, and make the difference between the two side of the faces less effective (a key element to Two-Face).

    Would you accept Batman as black? No. Would you have Superman be blonde or Hispanic. No! Why? Because that is not the way they are written.

    It is no knock on Billy Dee Williams. He was perfect for the role of Lando Calrissian, and color wasn't a factor, since I don't think it was defined what Lando looked like before he was introduced in "The Empire Strikes Back".

    My issue is accuracy, and faithfulness to the character, not anything else. I would say the same if someone was too tall, or too old, or not the right gender to play a role.

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  94. Also i like to add is that dramatic licenses is okay, but a director can't just totally change a character's appearance to suit themselves. It's what the fans expect that counts.

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  95. In Animated Series Dent was there since the earliest episodes and was just a cameo guy for a long time. At the beginning just for couple of seconds. Why? Because he was there just to show the character, just for introduction, cause he was gonna be used later and just popping out suddenly as Two Face wouldnt work. So the fact that Billy was just a cameo in the first movie to just show that the guy exist is a proof that he was there setup for the future use of Two Face.

    And you keep talking about completely changing someone's appearance yet you dont mind Loeb being black for some odd reason which is the exact same thing, you dont mind him not being corrupted and you dont mind Flass not being a tall and muscular blonde haired ex green berret, and you dont mind Scarecrow not being a a skinny, old as dirt college professor and on and on. DOUBLE STANDARD

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  96. Yeah well, I still believe that Tim Burton was full of bullshit when he stated in that commentary of his that he was going to use Billy Dee as Two-Face, cause there was no concrete evidence to back up his words. It felt like he was just lying to the public to cover up his real motive which was to get out of the Batman franchise.

    Burton doesn't seem to be very open minded to sequels as a rule. Same goes with Mike Keaton, regardless if it was the light tone in Batman Forever, he didn't want any part of the Batman franchise at all and was more interested in roles in other movies that only suited him.


    As for Billy Dee as Harvey Dent/Two-Face, according to the Batman 2-Disc special edition, in an interview with Billy Dee Williams, Williams admits to signing on to the project with the hopes of becoming Two-Face in a Batman Sequel. It is known that Two-Face was suppose to be in Batman Returns, but Max Shrek replaced the character. So did Tim Burton plan on using Billy Dee Williams in Batman III?

    This is a long arguement that will probably never get answered unless there is an interview out there with Tim Burton or Billy Dee on the legal details. In the Billy Dee segment on the Batman Special Edition DVD, Billy seems disappointed that Tommy Lee Jones replaced him in the tragic, 'Batman Forever'. Tim Burton also states in the commentary that he would of found it interesting to have Two-Face as a villain in a sequel with Billy Dee Williams, but says that he had no idea if there would even be a sequel. Burton had the chance to add Billy Dee to Batman Returns, but passed.

    And when the day came to do his Batman 3, Burton forsakened his Batman 3 film when WB let him go, he didn't put up a fight at all to keep on as a director for his 3rd film. Yes WB is to blame as well, but Burton was just tired of it after Returns and was glad that he got to go on to do his other films.

    Tim Burton only originally had one villain in the third movie, The Riddler (Robin Williams) with a Question mark shaved head, but those plans were given to Joel Schumacher.

    So what would Batman III been like if it was under Tim Burton? So gathering what little information could be obtain, seperating facts and rumors is difficult. Most 'facts' from the web are just speculation by die hard Burton fans.

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  97. Burton wanted to do Batman 3 and its a common knowledge, just like the fact that it was WB that didnt want him to direct the third movie because Returns was so dark for its times a lot of merchandise companies sat on their backs and backed out or got a lot of crap from media. WB got a lot of heat for Returns' tone and talked Burton out of directing the third one. Not only Burton had ideas for the third one but was also involved in Forever in a smaller scale, guiding the writers to focus on Wayne's duality and serving as a producer. he never wanted "out", he just wanted to direct different movies inbetween

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  98. Burton was kept on a leash for Batman 1989. The result was a movie that was acceptable for all ages. But Burton thought the movie was boring, so if they wanted him for a sequel he wanted full creative control. They gave it to him and it resulted in a Batman movie that got a backlash for being too disturbing for kids. No small backlash either. It was big enough to affect promotions related to the movie and make WB completely overhaul the direction of the franchise.

    That's why Burton wasn't allowed back. He wasn't going to come back under restrictions like with the first movie, and WB wasn't going to let him do his own thing again like with Returns.

    Burton was interested in doing a third Batman movie. He claimed to have ideas for it and everything. But it turns out he wasn't interested in a third Batman movie regardless what Burton fans believed he said in those interviews.

    It looks like Burton wasn't interested in a third Batman movie when they told him that they were going to go in a different direction (i.e. more "safe, commercial, kid-friendly and marketable") and he just said, "ok, whatever!" and bowed out gracefully. Still whatever Burton's ideas were for his so called Batman 3 will be taken to his grave.

    It's never been 100% clear what Batman Forever would've turned out to be had Tim Burton directed and/or Michael Keaton returned as Bruce Wayne/Batman.

    Even though he went to that blasted meeting in 95 to give his ideas, WB decided to let him go much to his amazement. But let me ask you this, did Burton fight to keep on as a director for his Batman 3? No of course not, why do you think that is? Because he was not interested in the franchise at all and was happy that he got to be free from it to go on with his life.

    All Burton did as a producer was give his blessing to Joel Schumacher and the writers and that was it. He did not give any ideas during the making of Batman Forever at all.

    It's "All rumors and conjectures" for Burton's Batman 3 by the fans themselves. There is no proof of Burton's Batman 3 script at all. Why? Because it doesn't exist....

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  99. Billy Dee's interview on him playing Two-Face differently then Tommy Lee Jones is a joke. Why you ask? You see money comes and goes, that Two-Face role was a one time deal and Billy blew it by playing a bear rug. He knew that role was at risk yet he didn't do a damn thing about it. So in the end Billy Dee has no one to blame but himself for not securing that role. I have seen several actors fight to keep the roles they want to play. Billy on the other hand is a joke. I know it's harsh, but it's the truth.

    Also bare these few things in mind...

    1.) Billy Dee Williams told Robert Wuhl that he took the part of Harvey Dent because he would become Two-Face in another movie. Boy was he ever gullible LOL

    2.) Billy Dee Williams got himself a Pay or Play contract, to ensure himself the part of Two-Face. That never works cause it can be easily bought out and it did!!!

    3.) Billy Dee Williams has said that he "Wanted desperately to do Two-Face". And "Was hoping his role in Batman would segway into that". Of course he never fought to keep that role instead he decided to play a bear rug. So much for his so called desperation. LOL

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  100. The thing is, Billy never had a chance to begin with. Schumacher wanted to change the cast. He didnt want Keaton. He wanted a "young and handsome" man. Also, Tommy Lee was a friend of his and they just did Client together, so Schumacher would pitch for him no matter what. Tommy Lee didnt come asking for the role, Schumacher wanted him for it cause they worked together before and had to be talked into it

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  101. And tbh, Im surprised Schumacher didnt recast Gordon and Alfred with George Michael and Ricky Martin since his cast consisted of mostly gay looking people - pretty boy blondie Kilmer, Over the top homosexual Carrey, ODonnel with his voice and earring and even Nygma's stached boss

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  102. Anyways, the joke's on Schumacher. He cast Tommy Lee-Jones presumably because the actor had just won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar at the time and was something of a hot commodity. Schumacher also lacked the imagination to cast the 'heroic' Dee Williams as anything other than an upstanding character, but if his film had carried on from Batman '89, audience members will already have seen a pre-Two-Face Harvey Dent (an opportunity we didn't get with Tommy Lee Jones), and therefore feel some degree of empathy for the character).

    However, Tommy Lee Jones notoriously became very difficult to work with on Batman Forever and was constantly belittling his co-star Jim Carrey. Despite his undeniable talent as an actor he has also been bestowed the dubious distinction of being recognised as giving one of the worst comic-book movie performances of all time (a grossly over-the-top rip-off of Jack Nicholson's Joker)...

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  103. "audience members will already have seen a pre-Two-Face Harvey Dent (an opportunity we didn't get with Tommy Lee Jones), and therefore feel some degree of empathy for the character)."

    This is such a great point. But Schumacher TOTALLY ignored the pathos and tragedy of Two Face's story and just turned him into a colorful cackling cartoon villain

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  104. Like i said, I'm still not convinced that Burton did it because he thought Billy Dee was the best guy for the job acting wise or his alleged claims on the Black & White concept which is total bullsh!t. It's pretty clear that Billy Dee's role was that of a Token Black guy.

    The only reason i can think of for Tim Burton to hire Billy Dee was that he needed another token black guy for it since he wasn't happy with the ones he had, (The black joker thug that did the beating on Bats, The Black cop that got the tip off on the Axis Chemical Factory, ect. After all he did have a hard time on the production set at the time.) So it was pretty obvious that Tim Burton had no interest in the Harvey Dent character at all that makes you wonder why they even needed Harvey Dent to begin with.

    Billy Dee being just a nod to the fans in that role is really stupid if he wasn't put to any use and not bothered to be brought back for Batman Returns since Burton doesn't even know the word *continuity* to his Batman films since he lacks brain cells to understand it and has already proved that he doesn't like making sequels.

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  105. Jones' Two face looks like half Italian mafia guy, half pimp

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  106. WB and Joel "I'm soooo GAY" Schumacher bought .................................

    Did Schumaker come up with the boy sidekick with shaved legs and pixie shoes?

    Bigotry spits into the wind.

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  107. Billy Dee Williams: "I had Adam Clayton Powell Jr. in mind when I played the character. He was not only a politician, but he was a reverend, a preacher, and he was a playboy. You talk about a romantic character."

    There was nothing romantic about his character. Playboy my ass, Harvey Dent is not the party type. He really didn't put any creative input that made him likeable or memorable. That was his only study to play as Adam Clayton Powell, not Harvey Dent. People wanted to see the REAL comic book character Harvey Dent with the coin flip and anger, not some ignorant work that is detached from anything even remotely resembling Harvey Dent.

    Billy Dee Williams: "The contract I signed was to play Harvey Dent, it wasn't a two or three picture situation. With Star Wars, I signed for two pictures. I think that at that stage, after the first Batman, some Japanese, Sony or something like that bought out the contract. I can't really recall it."

    *scoffs* If that's the case, then how come he put a stinking clause in that contract if he only signed up to play as Harvey Dent only? So much for his so called desperation... LOL

    People always blame the writing or the directing, but any talented actor can take nothing and make something. Take Benicio Del Toro in The Usual Suspects, for instance. The character's only reason for being there was to die, and Benicio turned him into one of the most memorable things about the film. Same with Jack Nicholson's Joker and Robert Wuhl's Alex Knox when he ad-libbed the lines "What a dick" (muttered after the newspaper artist shows Knox his rendering of Batman) and "He must've been King of the Wicker People".

    Billy Dee on the other hand brought NOTHING in his acting ability. It didn't help that the character he played was a generic District Attorney but if he had any creative input like the coin flip or getting angry before becoming Two-Face then he could have made the character somewhat likeable and more memorable. We never even got to hear what he thought of Gordon, Batman, or The Joker.

    Every line Billy Dee utters in the film had no heart or feeling in it. It's just a bland recitation of the script. It's like watching a child perform in a school play.

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  108. When it comes to Billy Dee, I like him and I think he's a good actor but I don't think he was the greatest choice for Harvey Dent. Plus I can't picture him as Two-Face anyways. I hate to bring up the racial part of it but somebody on here said were they to stick with the acid origin then it would just make his face darker and wouldn't be able to see the vast difference between the two sides of his face. And what did he do in this movie? Puffed a few cigars and said just a line or two....No coin, no getting angry, nothing that even resembles Harvey Dent

    Tommy Lee Jones: Everybody hates on him. Out of all of them though look at this one. Really. This one stayed true to the real origin of the acid to the face. And look at his personality. This one had the duality. The half 'n' half suit, the hideout, the girls...he said "we" and "us" Yea the look of the character was pretty stupid and he was a bit too funny but still between his and Eckhart's TLJ's had more duality than Eckhart's did

    And look at Eckhart. He was better as Harvey Dent. As Two-Face what did he do? He got what 7 combined minutes of screen time. Unlike TLJ's his never got a criminal organization. He killed 5 people (ooooo very terrifying) no duality. He hardly did shit as Two-Face and then Nolan in a total dick move kills him off. Nolan clearly never cared for Two-Face which is why they ruined him in the later part of that movie. Eckhart's role as Harvey Dent was great much better than BDW...But as far as Two-Face goes, it pains me to admit but TLJ did only a slightly better job as Eckhart's never got the chance to really do anything. TLJ's at least got a whole movie before his death.

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  109. These rumors that I heard that Billy Dee Williams was going to be Two-Face while Burton and Keaton was still on the project. The rumor states that Billy Dee Williams was going to be used in Batman Returns (this is true), but that turned into Max Shrek and Billy Dee would be Two-Face in the third film.

    This is simply not true. The fact is that Warner Brothers bought out Billy Dee Williams contract during Batman Returns. It is also a fact (if you look on IMDB Trivia for Batman Forever) that Burton would only use The Riddler as the only bad guy. Therefore, not only would Billy Dee Williams not be in the third film, but he wasn't even contracted by Warner Brothers. So if Burton wanted Billy Dee Williams, WB would have to fork out even MORE money to get him back. And believe me, Warner Brothers would not have been happy to buy him out and then back in.

    I feel that maybe in another sequel, Billy Dee would of been brought back to become Two-Face, but I think Tim Burton had the chance to add him to Batman Returns, but passed. In the Batman Special Edition Commentary, Burton admitted he loved the idea of Two-Face as a villain and wanted to use him in the future, but there is no proof that Burton wanted Two-Face as a co-villain along with the Riddler.

    This is from a magazine, interview with Billy Dee Williams.
    Somebody asked him how he felt about having the Two-Face role stolen from him by the Batman people.

    "Well," he said, "originally, when I picked the role, I was hoping to play Two-Face. But I think there were some changes, management changes or the... the... I think it was bought out by some people at that time. And they went along with... other ideas. But I was disappointed because I really wanted to play that character. I think it would've been an interesting character."

    I think this refers to Batman Returns and not Batman Forever.

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    1. A well-known internet rumor says that even though Billy Dee Williams wasn’t in Batman Forever that he wound up getting paid for the movie, because his contract was rumored to guarantee him the chance to play Two-Face. However, Billy Dee debunked that rumor.

      “You only get paid if you do the movie,” said Billy Dee. “I had a two picture deal with Star Wars. They paid me for that. But I only had a one picture deal for Batman 89 and that was it.”

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  110. Harvey Dent's presence in Batman 1989 was extremely valuable in the way all the little details in Tolkien's world are what makes it a lasting epic today. It is a more rich, realistic and self consistent world of fantasy... or was until WarnerBrothers removed Tim Burton and made the series kid friendly due to merchandising. Billy Dee Williams did an excellent job and it remains tragedy that he never got to play the role to its full potential. The character was set up in the first one, and he was supposed to become Two-Face in a cliff hanger and then be the primary villain in another sequel.

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    1. But all Billy Dee did was puff cheap cigars, and say a few forgettable lines and you say it's an excellent job? It was rather pointless to establish a character like Harvey Dent in the first movie, and then abandon him completely without any mention in Batman Returns. Still he's now voicing Two-Face in a Lego Batman movie. I don't like the style they used for the scarred half and it's not quite the two halves look we are used to. It's like a kid who never took an art appreciation class designed the character. I just wish they used a normal Lego Two-Face and have Billy Dee voice that instead of making one based on the actor.

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  111. Incidentally, I talked to Billy Dee Williams in 2007 on the set of Lost and he was still upset about the opportunity to bring something phenomenal to the Batman mythos being lost. Look what we got instead. What happened to Batman was exactly what happened to Richard Donner's Superman, where the creative visionaries at the helm were displaced by producers who lacked the vision and were motivated by financial concerns. In the end they lost, because it killed both franchises. Billy Dee Williams as the Two-Face under Tim Burton's direction and with Michael Keaton would have been amazing and kept that franchise going and DC in the movies for the next ten years.

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    1. Well FYI: The 1989-1997 franchise had a lot of missed opportunities when it came to Two-Face, he was barely in the first movie, he wasn't in the second movie at all, and in the third he was a Joker knock off. I think a 3 movie character arc for Two-Face would work well had Tim Burton taken an actual interest in the character instead of what we got already. That was my main Problem. You see Daniel Waters, one of the writers for Batman Returns, wanted to have Harvey Dent played again by Billy Dee Williams start to come back, and just have one scene of him where he flips a coin and it's the good side of the coin. Waters thought it was only to be a very small subplot, which would have developed into the next movie. Alas, Tim Burton didn't want Billy Dee to continue with the role once he got into Batman Returns and replaced his character with Christopher Walken’s evil business character instead whether this is true or not, I don't know.

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  112. Like i said, All Billy Dee did was puff cheap cigars, and say a few forgettable lines. It was rather pointless to establish a character like Harvey Dent in the first movie, and then abandon him completely without any mention in Batman Returns.

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