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After a handful of outlandish Batman 3 casting rumors recently trickled online in a impressionistic stream of semi-consciousness, we may have found one that not only can't be attributed to a fanboy crack binge, but may actually be... true? And for the six of you who haven't yet seen The Dark Knight, spoilers follow, so consider skipping ahead: Aaron Eckhart, whose Two-Face/Harvey Dent ended up as killed as any TDK character got without going through the necessary franchise terminus of burial/cremation/being chopped into pieces, confirmed this week that, yes, his villain is dead, and no, he will not be returning in any forthcoming Batman sequels. That is, Eckhart added, if there are any Batman sequels to be made at all — at least with Christopher Nolan overseeing things:

I'll be a happy audience member this time. And what's gone on with Heath and everything... I think Heath was the one that was going to come back. And since he can't... (Pauses) You know, Chris hasn't said that he's going to make another one. ... I'm sure they drove the Brinks truck up to his house and dumped money on his lawn. But I think Chris wants to go out and make other movies, too. And he should. He's an independent filmmaker at heart. He's got a lot of ideas.

Now that's a fittingly bleak rejoinder to post-TDK gossip, though it should be mentioned that any Brinks visit was as much a reward for Nolan's current success as it was a down payment on his soul through 2011 — the presumed release date for the Dark Knight follow-up that (barring catastrophe) will be made by the same creative team in the years ahead. Hope you enjoyed your holiday, Mr. Nolan — now get to work! Cher's expecting your phone call!