Harvey Dent, better known as Two-Face, has always been one of Batman’s most formidable foes — but what happens when you take the Bat out of the equation before Harvey even transforms into his villainous self? Well, according to “Gotham Knights” star Misha Collins, it actually makes some elements a bit easier.
Collins is making the jump from the world of the supernatural to a world of superheroes on Tuesday night, with the premiere of The CW’s new series. In it, he plays Harvey Dent, Gotham’s white knight of a District Attorney. Of course, we all know how his story progresses. But, in this series, Batman is dead within the first 10 minutes of the episode.
So, how do you play one of Batman’s fiercest villains, with no Batman to face off against?
“I think it actually works very well for creating a new series,” Collins told TheWrap ahead of the premiere. “Because first of all, not a lot of people know all of the nuanced details that go into Harvey Dent/Two-Face’s backstory, right? So like, we’re exploring stuff about that particular character that most people aren’t familiar with, unlike some other characters in the Batman universe, like Batman, right? Or the Joker.”
He continued, “It’s hard to tell those stories without people bringing baggage to the table. But this character, I think, is cool, because we know. We know that there’s going to be a turn, we know he’s going to become Two-Face, right? But other than that, we don’t know how he’s gonna get there or why he’s gonna get there. And by having the rest of the cast of characters made up of the children of notable Batman universe villains and heroes, we’re getting to basically play out a new story without having to be beholden to what everybody has in their mind.”
Collins noted that, free of any preconceived notions from DC fans, he and his cast were able to “create our own narrative, in our own world, without stepping on the toes of those who have gone before us.”
Granted, Collins had his own ideas of Harvey Dent. The actor admitted he was never a big comics reader, but he knew how important the character is to the universe at large. And, with some luck — and admittedly some hubris — Collins hopes that the Harvey Dent/Two-Face introduced in “Gotham Knights” will leave a long legacy.
“It was cool to get on the show, and then do a deeper dive into all of the existing lore about the character and to be able to cherry-pick the best elements to create this version of Harvey Dent,” Collins said. “Which I think, ultimately, will probably, in terms of like the on-screen iteration, end up being — maybe this is hubris, but I think it’s kind of like the definitive Harvey Dent story, with a Two-Face story.”
“Gotham Knights” premieres on Tuesday, March 14 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.