THE trailers for "The Dark Knight" have shown quite a bit of Heath Ledger's scabbier, surlier reinvention of the Joker (think of Malcolm McDowell's thug from "A Clockwork Orange" but with kelp-colored hair, scars and a hyena laugh), but the producers have been keeping the film's other Batman bad guy, Two-Face, under wraps. ¶ "That's right, people don't really know yet," actor Aaron Eckhart said with grin. "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. I can't talk about it beyond that because I don't want to give away too much of the plans by Chris." ¶ Chris is Christopher Nolan, the director of "Batman Begins," the acclaimed 2005 franchise reboot, and of "The Dark Knight," the sequel that hits theaters July 18 with a tale that looks far darker and more psychological than the other, sunnier superhero fare this summer. The darkness goes beyond the screen as well; 28-year-old Ledger died in January in New York after an accidental overdose of sleeping pills.
The death of Ledger and the word of his incendiary performance in this film have made him the natural focus of early media coverage of "The Dark Knight." But Nolan told The Times this year that the foundation of the film is the tale and transformation of Eckhart's character, Harvey Dent, from a crusading Gotham City prosecutor to Harvey Two-Face, a maniac whose face is ravaged on one side by a horrible injury.