Back in 1989 when the character of Harvey Dent was introduced on film in Tim Burton’s Batman, the comic book world thought they were finally going to get a look at Two-Face on the big screen. But it wouldn’t be until 1995 that he made his movie debut and it wouldn’t even be the same actor playing the part.
Billy Dee Williams, known best for his role as Lando Calrissian in Star Wars, was originally cast as Harvey Dent and played him in Batman but was cut out of Batman Returns and then let go from his contract before Batman Forever began filming. Despite rumors that he was in line to play the villain, the role never came about and instead was re-cast with Academy award winning actor Tommy Lee Jones filling his shoes.
Williams recently spoke about the whole ordeal at a comic-con in Nashville, stating that while he never got the chance to play Two-Face it wasn’t because he didn’t want to.
“I had hoped that I would have done Two-Face,” said Williams, via ComicBook.com. “But it changed hands before then, and I think Schumacher got involved, so they took a different direction with that.”
Williams also addressed rumors that he shad a pay or play contract to star as Two-Face in Batman Forever. As the story goes, director Joel Schumacher decided the production would buyout Williams to allow for the casting of Tommy Lee Jones. While Williams was re-cast, the rest of the rumor about the actor getting paid is not true.
“You only get paid if you do the movie,” said Williams. “I had a two picture deal with Star Wars. They paid me for that. But I only had a one picture deal for Batman.”
We will never know what a Billy Dee Williams portrayal of Two-Face would have been like but it’s no doubt one of those things we wished we could have seen. Apparently, Williams is in the same boat as it would have meant he’d have gotten the paycheck he was rumored to have received for so many years.