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The Batman Link Between These Two Actors In The Thriller Wander

If you're going to pull together a movie Batman reunion of sorts for your independent conspiracy thriller, why not go get the most thematically appropriate pair?

In the new film Wander, Aaron Eckhart plays Arthur Bretnik, a private eye with a traumatic past who's hired to investigate a murder in the small town of Wander, New Mexico. Arthur's mental instability leads him to believe the crime he's investigating is tied in with the same conspiracy cover-up that he claims led to the death of his daughter.

Opposite Eckhart, Tommy Lee Jones plays Jimmy Cleats, an out-there conspiracy theorist who encourages Arthur in his investigation, no matter how far from reason it might take him. In some scenes, Jimmy wears yellow-tinted sunglasses that call to mind another famous seer of things with little bearing in reality: Raoul Duke from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

To reach the truth, Arthur will have to battle a combination of sinister forces and his own paranoia, if he can determine which is which. Nothing may be as it appears. And with the connection between the cinematic legacies of those two, why would it be?

Face-to-face with Two-Face

Among the most famous roles of both Eckhart and Jones –– perhaps to the chagrin of Jones, at least –– are their portrayals of the duplicitous split-personality Batman villain Two-Face and his alter-ego Harvey Dent. 

Eckhart took the part in Christopher Nolan's highly acclaimed 2008 movie The Dark Knight. He spends much of the film as Dent, the crusading district attorney, before a horrific injury and the machinations of the Joker (played by the Heath Ledger) cause Two-Face to go on a vengeful rampage that threatens to undo Dent's efforts to clean up Gotham.

Jones, on the other hand, played Two-Face in 1995's Batman Forever, which depicted the character's disfigurement in a garish shade of fuchsia and his mental state as teetering more rapidly between mere cruelty and sadistic insanity. Unfortunately, Jones had a famously bad time working with Jim Carrey, who played his partner in villainy, the Riddler, on the film. Batman Forever was ... well, let's just say it was not as well received as The Dark Knight.

How appropriate, then, that the actors would come together for a film wherein their characters have one foot grounded in some very real criminal intrigue and another stretching out past the bounds of logic and sanity, both trying to determine just how far in either direction is the right balance. As Eckhart told The Hollywood Reporter when chatting about Wander, "Everything can't be a conspiracy theory. Now, some things can, but everything can't."

Wander is directed by April Mullen and also stars Katheryn Winnick, Heather Graham, and Raymond Cruz. It's scheduled to be released on December 4.