Should Two-Face & The Joker Return In Batman 3?

Published 6 years ago by , Updated September 15th, 2009 at 7:53 am,

batman 3 joker two face harvey dent Should Two Face & The Joker Return In Batman 3?

We here at Screen Rant recently asked the question, “What Will Batman 3 Be About?” The third installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise is easily one of the most anticipated sequels ever – as evidenced by the HUGE outpouring of reader reaction our article is STILL receiving.

Out of the 350+ comments left by you Batman fans, two clear points of debate raged longest and hardest throughout the thread of discussion. After seeing the sparks of that debate, we thought it only fitting that we should fan it into a brush fire. So, without further ado I now ask:

Should Two-Face and The Joker be brought back for Batman 3?


One of the things I really appreciated about Batman Begins and The Dark Knight was that it was clear with both films that scribes Chris and John Nolan and David S. Goyer all truly understood the character of Batman and the universe that he inhabited. More than that, the writers also had a keen eye for what made all of Batman’s supporting characters and (most importantly) the villains in his rogues gallery tick. If I have one criticism of Burton’s Batman films, it’s that the villains were mainly evil foils for Batman, there more for (wonderful) theatrics rather than any sort of pointed reason.

In Nolan’s films, the villains (for the most part) have carried much more dramatic weight. Certainly that’s true for The Dark Knight: The Joker wasn’t just there for show of a trademark smile (cough, cough), he added actual thematic meaning to the story, as did Harvey/Two-Face. And for that matter, so did Ra’s al Ghul in Batman Begins (Bruce Wayne twisted by anger).

There has been some debate about whether Batman 3 should position itself as a direct sequel to The Dark Knight, or perhaps as more of a standalone story, set long after TDK. In either case, if Nolan is at the helm you know that whatever villain(s) go into the script will only be in there if they add weight and meaning to the story. And while it would be a novel kick to see a few new villains rolled out for a flashy sequel, if Batman 3 is to be set directly after Dark Knight then there is still a lot of narrative weight still hanging on both The Joker and Harvey/Two-Face.

So do you bring them back?



two face harvey dent in car snapshot20080504112013 Should Two Face & The Joker Return In Batman 3?

Ok, so fans have said it; Nolan has said it; and even Dark Knight star Aaron Eckhart (eventually) said it:

Harvey Dent dies at the end of The Dark Knight. End of story.

However, as many of our readers have pointed out, that “death” marks the end of Harvey Dent’s story. Two-Face has a story all his (their?) own to tell.

I’m going to be honest: I’ve already argued that Batman 3 should bring back Two-Face, so I’m not going to pretend here that I’m not already in favor of that option. TDK did a great job exploring Harvey Dent, what he meant to Gotham and what it meant when he “fell from grace.” Nonetheless, I feel like there is still so much to explore in the character of TWO-FACE, and who that character becomes after the last remnants of Harvey Dent are (seemingly) gone.

Seeing Harvey fully transformed into Two-Face would add the kind of weight and hopelessness which (I think we all believe) is going to be a necessary starting point for Batman’s character in the next film. Picture it: The Caped Crusader is low. He’s hunted. He’s alone. He’s sacrificed much. Lost so much. He’s trying hard to maintain but there is Two-Face, always staring back as a testament to his failure, as morally complicated and conflicted as Batman himself.

Suddenly this character doesn’t sound as creatively exhausted as people are claiming, does he?

Another point of convergence in a lot of our reader comments was that any Dark Knight sequel should involve a flat-out war for control of Gotham City. Of those who held such an opinion, a large percentage also thought that B3 should be titled Gotham City for that very reason. If that is the direction the film goes in, then absolutely Two-Face would be an important cornerstone of the story. After all, as a D.A. Harvey Dent knew the entire inner workings of Gotham city’s businesses, political network, banking network, legal system, prison system, etc… If there was some kind of epic showdown for Gotham, then Two-Face would be one of the most crucial pieces on the chessboard.

black mask batman 3 Should Two Face & The Joker Return In Batman 3?

Black Mask in Batman 3? (Click image for source)

Of course a lot of people have said that B3 should feature the criminal mastermind Black Mask (above), a classic Bat-villain who has recently enjoyed something of a resurgence in the comic books. But I have to ask: why drag us all through yet another villain origin story, just to maneuver said villain into a position (a crime boss connected all over Gotham) that you could fill with a villain the audience already knows and (for the most part) loves? Putting Two-Face into play frees the story up to introduce whatever secondary villains it wants, without having to exhaust a lot of time getting into their origins.

For example: Two-Face could approach Black Mask, The Penguin or whoever, deliver a few expository lines of dialogue to fill us in on who the villain is, and how he/she fits into the scheme of Gotham (based on his knowledge as a D.A.), and bada-bing, bada-boom, we’ve got a new player in the game, no time wasted.

So where’s the down-side of bringing Two-Face back? “Because it’s boring?” “Because it’s beating a dead horse?”

batman 3 two face Should Two Face & The Joker Return In Batman 3?

IMHO, if you truly understand why the character has been so pivotal and important to the Batman universe (I’d rank him #3 behind The Joker and Catwoman), then you should also understand just how much cinematic juice is left in this character. How do you NOT go after that juice when you know you’ve got an actor (Eckhart) who can truly apply the squeeze? Do people really think performances like his just just come with every Summer Movie Blockbuster?

UPDATE: Here’s what Two-Face himself (Aaron Eckhart) has to say on the subject:

MY VOTE: Bring back Two-Face!

Continue reading for pro/con arguments on whether the Joker should return…

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  1. Black Mask? Yeah, I guess I could see that too. Nolan would have to come up with some creative direction to make it work with either The Riddler or Black Mask but he’s got the chops to do it.

  2. The Dark KNight, the best ending I ever saw

  3. LOL, fanboyism is a disease… ;-)

  4. Kofi Outlaw,

    You have very valid statements that I agree with. Such argumentative gem(s) as like to call it, for bringing back 2face.

    For example,(1) “There is still so much to explore in the character of TWO-FACE, and who that character becomes after the last remnants of Harvey Dent are (seemingly) gone.

    (2)Seeing Harvey fully transformed into Two-Face would add the kind of weight and hopelessness which (I think we all believe) is going to be a necessary starting point for Batman’s character in the next film.

    (3)”As a D.A. Harvey Dent knew the entire inner workings of Gotham city’s businesses, political network, banking network, legal system, prison system, etc… If there was some kind of epic showdown for Gotham, then Two-Face would be one of the most crucial pieces on the chessboard.”

    I know that you may say that I’ve just copy what you have already stated, and yes, you would be right, but I would be remise not to. We that said I think that Black Mask would be another villain to add B3 or “Gotham City.”

    Former D.A. who knows the legal system and a reclusive deranged crime boss, perfect villainy!(I think)

  5. you guys are nuts. TDK was the greatest cinematic achievement this decade. They must bring the joker back, theirs no doubt about it, its critical to the continuation of the story. if you throw white make up on johnny depp or someone that looks even kinda like ledger he will look exactly like the joker, any actor with skill can mimic the body language and gestures that ledger did. and after all nolan is the one who told ledger and directed ledger on the character and the character traits. he can bring him back. he must. its the only way batman3 can live up to TDK. the joker must return to continue pushing batman closer to his dark side trying to make him kill criminals like himself. lets not forget that he planned rachels death to push dent and batman closer to madness and it must not be forgotten. without the joker batman3 will fall short.

  6. I think the joker should come back and Harvey to face

  7. Yes I think the joker should return cause in dark night they never really showed what happened to him at the end and people will miss him
    in the movie

  8. I personally, would be abit distracted with no ledger. I feel like Ledger ultimately made Joker, hands down. However, I feel the character is a must for B3 and I feel Batman would definitely find himself haunted by all Joker has caused. I think you could have Joker in the Asylum, which would be an awesome way to introduce such a known place in the comics as well as a variety of villains. For joker, he could be completely in the dark of one of the holding cells or have shadows cast over his face and have someone with a similar voice as Ledger. I think after all Joker caused, I would think “Gotham” would want Joker executed in reality. But thats just what I think. But it would tie up the characters story or show his place or give that satisfying nod, I think. Especially, if they didn’t or couldn’t find another actor, which isn’t what I want, honestly.

    • daniel day lewis would be perfect for joker. he’s not to old becouse tdkr is 8 years after tdk.

  9. Great article man. I enjoyed reading it.

    I’m of the assertion that The Joker should be mentioned but not seen, even through a mist’ed up window. I’d even be hesitant to go to the cell beside the Joker’s cell, where you can see the nameplate saying ‘joker’. I think all that should be done is Batman (as part of a conversation not about the joker) says that the Joker’s in a padded cell in Arkham (or something like that; a throw-away sentence acknowledging he’s still around; but not involved in the storyline)

    It would be a nightmare and splitting fans seeing someone else fill Ledger’s big boots; so best to just avoid it as much as possible.

    I could see the absolute most Nolan would do with the joker is having Batman visit him in Arkham (to chat about something) …..but i don’t think that’ll happen.

    No love for Calendar man, eh :D

  10. No returns. Like he said, each film stands on its own. Look how different Gothan looks in Batman Begins, compared to The Dark Knight. Strange really. I think they should introduce the Riddler. Maybe brought in to find the Batman. In that case, he isnt a villain in the cities eyes, only ours and Batmans. Now, Batman has to make him the villain. I also think it should be titles KNIGHT FALL. It’d be awesome. This movie should have two villains. Catwoman and Ridderl maybe. Not really sure. But Im positive no returns will be made. PROMISE. It’d be a dumb move. I know we hate to think of the Joker as gone and two face too. But hey, whats best for the story? I think it’d be best to leave them out and to have new villains.

    • yes riddler. his harsh justifation for killing could be plato’s saying witch is’ the unexamd life is not worth lifing.

  11. Hmm i somewhat agree with your post, but since the passing of Heath Ledger i think its right for Nolan not have the joker in the 3rd film, but to better not have him there. I was thinking of this scene, we just see the back of the head of the joker, and Dr. Harleen Quinzel talking to him and then move on with the film maybe having Harly in it or not! thats my idea i dont if you agree or not!

    • what about mr freaze? without the stupid freaze gun and buble helmet. he’s called mr freaze becouse he leaves his victoms in a cold cellor.

  12. I’m a huge fan of the recent Batman films & feel that the Joker was used really well… I think it would be best to move on & lets get the Riddler & either Penguin, Catwoman, Harley Quin, & let some of these other villians get some screen justice.. Nolan knows what he’s doing & I think when you see the direction that he takes the new film, fans will forgive thats the Joker isn’t there & move on!!! JMO!!

  13. HQ should be the next joker because when there’s a woman that’s crazy, she’s not just crazy, but truly mad.

    Also…i thought two-face died…

  14. I am torn between having The Joker return in Batman 3 and the Fact that Heath Ledger {R.I.P} did such a bang up Job playing the Joker, that it would be hard to find someone that could do the role as well as he did. I do agree with one of the posters above tho. They could find someone to do the role by just shooting the back of a persons head and maybe do some voice work to get Heath Ledgers or The Jokers voice in the next film.

    As far as Two-Face? They should bring him back for the 3rd film. They really only scratched the surface with what he could do. Whatever Nolan decides to do with the 3rd film, I believe it will be an awesome movie. Regardless.

  15. my idea was for the joker to be heard and not seen…..but this was fine with me,gives us a look at arkham as well.

  16. to whom it may concern:Just change villians–how about Marsha , Queen of Diamonds or Egghead–personally I prefer Marsha!!George

  17. just have joker in a padded cell locked up and get on with the franchise, maybe a few bits of side shots or back of the head shots of DR. harleen talking and becoming infatuated with Joker so they could ease her character into the movies….

  18. My favourite villian in Batman is Two-Face. I love his appearance and his two personaltites( what is didn’t shown in the film). But i think he is a dead man right now and he won’t be in the third movie. His story was amazing in the movie. He had love, carrier and respect. And he lost it, and he didn’t care about his life. So he prepared to die. All he wanted just revenge. After that But that is my oppinion. Sorry for my English

  19. There are several reasons that I don’t see Two-Face coming back for the next movie. First of all, the ending of the Dark Knight only works if Two-Face is dead. Batman is sacrificing his reputation and standing in Gotham to protect Harvey Dent and give the city hope. If Two-Face is still around, people are going to recognize him as Dent and there would be no point to that sacrifice. They wanted to protect Dent’s place as the “good guy” and if people see him become corrupted and evil, there is no hope to be had there.

    Second, I don’t really think there’s anything to add to the character with another film. I know you feel that it would give a sense of hopelessness to the third film, but there is a difference between hopelessness and complete and utter despair. Because of my first point, if Two-Face is still around than why would Batman have any reason to hope for anything? HIs sacrifices were completely in vain and, with the city hunting him and hating him, what reason does he have to continue?

    Finally, and this is the biggest reason I believe Two-Face is not coming back, I don’t honestly see him still being alive. The man lost half of his face. He left the hospital before any skin grafts or recovery could happen. If Nolan is going for a realistic take on the Batman universe, which he has stated that he is, there is simply no way a man could live for long after that. Infection would set in, not to mention extreme shock, and he would die.

  20. I do some what agree with all that your saying as I am a diehard two face fan and was gutted when he dies ,,, Nolan is amazing director and I feel whatever way he goes with the 3rd film will be great as long as they stay away from the boy wonder eek !!!! and as the rumours are ever were like for the dark knight when heath was named we know now that the riddle played by Mr. depp is going to happen and he will be a dark psycho with a twisted brilliant mind ,, but as a two fan I thought of a even better scene for two face to be brought back u never really saw him dead u saw him flat out on the ground what if he wasn’t dead and groden has him locked up at ark an as someone different and as a person who can’t be in general or seen which makes havery more mad and his 2 personality’s kick in and then he is after batman’s blood ,with the joker I think he has been out acted by heath at this point and we will have to wait till a new actor can play the role but the thought of HQ sends my spider sense tingling she need to be induced I’m sick of guys getin off on cat woman it’s all about HQ peace out and remember u make your own luck you ,You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

  21. My Idea that maybe a new reason for Harley Quinn being in Batman 3 is That she is The Cousin of The Riddler and she enlists in his help [ refering to his computer haking skils and cyber Detective like Cyber Terrorism] to help her get personal revenge on Batman for her hubby’s imprisonment and maybe The Black Mask could use Catwoman as a Spy on Batman and maybe Targeted kill Batman in fistcuffs only to fall in love with Batman’s alter ego Bruce Wanye thus changing her plans and she seeks out The only Person who already knows Who is Batman and she goes To The Riddler for The info however she ends up working for him as a undercover agent only if she wants to find who Batman is she will have to do this in order to find out Batman’s Secret Identity herself, however The Black Mask is angery to find out Catwoman his Spy is working for The Riddler however he has The False Face Society hunt her down and kill her only for them to discover a already dead woman wearing a Catwoman Costume once they report this to Their Boss he tells them that woman they found dead used to work for him when she was alive and he now he plans a Personal vendetta upon Discovering an Conspiracy that has The Riddler had knew of that could have been why the woman who worked for him died.

  22. In my opinion, the villains best suited to appear in the next Batman film are Harley Quinn, Red Hood, Anarky, Firefly, Black Mask, Cat Woman and Firefly. All other characters have are either too small for the big screen, have back stories too close to characters from the first two [Riddler to Joker] or are just unrealistic [Mr. Freeze, Killer Moth, Solomon Grundy]. I think Harley Quinn would be best as her origin involves meeting the Joker in Arkham and doesn’t require him appearing. The idea of Two Face appearing doesn’t bother me as I was disappointed that he went from hospital bed to falling to his death in a matter of hours. However, since this will be Nolan’s last Batman I doubt he will waste a chance to explore a new character. If Two Face does appear it won’t be as the main villain. If Tom Hardy is cast as a villain Red Hood, Anarky, Black Mask and Firefly are the only characters with workable stories [IMO].

  23. Bring back Two-Face! That would be perfect, as Kofi Outlaw pointed out, it would be integral to the story without having to go into a whole new origin thing with another villain and as the former D.A., he is already so well entrenched and connected with Gotham City’s infrastructure, The character of Two-Face, a tragic, fallen hero beautifully and magnificently played by Aaron Eckhart would be in a position where he could wreak havoc on the city in a final act of revenge for feeling betrayed by the people he once defended as the District Attorney Harvey Dent. Yeah, he could team up with a guy like Black Mask, or Dr. Hugo Strange( who figures out Bruce Wayne’s secret identity), releases all the Arkham Asylum inmates like Scarecrow, Mr. Zsasz, The Joker, Killer Croc, etc. to run amok in the city an take on the Dark Knight in a final play for revenge on Batman and Gordon for what he considers payback in his twisted way. Maybe Christopher Nolan denied all those questions about Two-Face’s return, even to Aaron Eckhart as a clever ruse to fool the public on his real intententions on a surprise return of that glorious character. He could say later, “Yeah, HARVEY DENT died at the end of The Dark Knight, but TWO-FACE is now born and lives and was secretly whisked away to Arkham Asylum where in The Dark Knight Rises he returns in all his dual-glory.”

  24. I think they should have Riddler, Harley, and Catwoman. It would be an interesting trio, though it might seem like a bit of knock off of Spiderman 3 with Venom, New goblin, and Sandman…

  25. To me its not a rip off if its just done better. Which I have faith Nolan can do. Especially better than Spider man.

  26. Twoface could appear though The Arkham Asylum Security tapes as a means to help Batman to Protect Batman’s Image and make Batman a hero again despite Twoface still being Dead, which works however in case of The Joker Fans maybe The Joker is suffering from amnesia and does not remember Batman or Bruce Wanye and what he did to Gotham and quite possibly and mistakes himself for a Magician which prevents him from being released from his Jail cell, as he would do anything magically to the inmates in anyway Possible. however Terry Crews and Tom Hardy as a more human Version of Killer Croc and Bane in Solitary confinement cells but the case for Bane you should hear his voice and see his Shadow only but with Killer Croc You should see a a Big and Burly Bodybuilder with a full body Crocodile tattoo and wearing a suit made out of Crocodile skin who smoking cigars, Eva Green from Casino Royale as Poison Ivy as seen in a Heavily guarded but locked room in Arkham surrounded by her precious plants and plant life and she should have light Green colored skin and have bright Red colored hair, and lastly have The Batman Begins version of The Scarecrow wearing a Straw filled suit instead of The Business suit and be more clinically insane than ever before as he could be staring gleefully at his fear tocsin and laugh like a demented madman. feel free to browse!

  27. one idea that twoface could appear is in the mirror as a Ghost mirroring Both Bruce Wanye on his Human side and wearing the the right half of Batman’s Mask on the otnerside [referring to Batman] and the entire inner workings of Gotham city’s businesses, political network, banking network, legal system, prison system, etc… that Harvey Dent could had presumely sighed sercetly over To Wanye Enterpires which Luious Fox has saved on a USB Stick and Data Disks to be given To Bruce Wanye when the the time is right [when Gotham City is in a Criss] as Harvey Dent had his Suspions about who is Batman, and would be cool if Racheal Dawes was Sondra Fuller from The Mud Pack from The Batman Comics and her human skin and her hair melted off due to fire revealing that in fact she is made out of clay. and The Scarecrow [Cillain Murphy] says and qutotes ”That he is bitting his time in Gotham and is looking forward to seeing Batman again in or outside of Arkham”. which he says and quotes from his Jail cell,Terry Crews as a Big and Burly Bodybuilder with a full body Crocodile tattoo who smokes Cuban Cigars who’s Confemed to Solitary confinement due to killing not one but many Gotham city Cops in a rather Brutul unknown manner. and Edward Naston Jr\The Riddler as a computer haking Cyber Terrorist who has The Obessive Compulstion Disorder and Dilplomac Immuity [Due an unrelated Past Crime] and once worked for The FBI as a Gorvernment funded Sciecetist who’s Cheating now Ex Girlfriend cheated on him as a result it ”turned” him into The Riddler.

    Eva Green from Casino Royale as Pamala Isy\Poison Ivy a Plant loving Femmist Vegatiain flaming hot Redhead who’s Reserch on inceasing Plant life was used to Create Bane in Arkham Ayslum as a liquid known as Venom Poison Ivy interrupts a Wayne Enterprises press conference to propose a project that could help the environment. Bruce Wayne [Christain Bale] declines her offer, as it would kill millions of people So she became a freelance Eco Terrist so she in her own words clense Gotham of Enviormenal Corruption rather organized Crime.

    this are just some Ideas if you like them just let me know in the Comment Box Below. Enjot Browsing!