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Major Batman spoiler ahead.

I was checking out IMDB, as I do whenever it's slow, and there's a news item that caught my eye, and

From IMDB:

Aaron Eckhart would reprise his role from The Dark Knight - because working with Christian Bale is "phenomenal".

Eckhart, who plays District Attorney Harvey Dent in the sequel, confesses he "absolutely" would star in a third Batman film.

He tells WENN, "To work with Christian (Bale) all over again, and the cast, would be phenomenal. I think this movie is a movie of a lifetime."

Um, isn't he DEAD? I've been thinking about the third film pretty much since I walked out of the 2nd one, wondering who the villains would be, but... I mean... does this make any sense to anybody?
I thought he was dead too. They did show Gordon speaking at a memorial service for him, so bringing him back to life would be a bit awkward. I also felt like his character arc was pretty much through. Bringing him back would be strange, I don't know where else you would go with him.

They obviously left it open for the Joker to return, but I have no idea who they'd get to play him now. I don't even know if Heath could have pulled off that kind of performance again, and replacing him would seem a bit uncouth, you know?

I'm voting for a dark version of the Riddler, but it sure would be nice if the Joker was involved too. I'm torn.
After talking about it with some other people, they all felt pretty confident that he's not dead; Batman and Gordon are pretending he's dead, but they actually secretly moved him back to the Asylum. Not sure I follow that logic, or why it would be necessary to keep him alive - like you, I felt like his character arc was pretty much complete by the end of the movie.

As for the third film... I don't know the villains in the Batman universe all that well, but it seems to me that Christopher Nolan's strict adherence to realism pretty much rules a lot of them out. Catwoman is tossed around as a possibility (maybe played by Charlize Theron?)... Riddler would probably work (if they could get someone to successfully scrub Jim Carrey out of our minds)... Penguin, maybe, although I'm not sure he's the strongest villain in the canon.
Seems like a stretch to me, but okay. The question then becomes, if you're bringing Dent back, why not bring the Joker back, who was far better than Dent anyway? I think it would be a bit of a cheap way out to bring him back, and honestly, I don't think Eckhart could carry a movie the way he'd need to in that role. It would take some wizardly writing, and they are certainly capable of it, but I don't know how that would work.

I fear that there is no way they will ever match this movie, no matter what they do. The Joker is THE Batman villain, and they did it perfectly. If and when they do a third, I'm sure that it will be great, but it won't be this movie. They have outdone themselves with this one, and I don't see how they could top it.

Having said that, I think a ruthless Riddler would be pretty interesting, and I could see the Penguin being good fodder too just because of how dark and weird he is. But I think they'd have to drop a lot of the mythology around the character and just make him a freaky crazy dude. Catwoman doesn't even seem like a villain to me, so I don't see how she would work. I basically think it will be a letdown no matter what, but I'll still be there.
Harvey Dent Returns
It could make sense. Had they put in a scene wherein the audience is left to believe that Dent escaped. but they didn't. or had the movie simply ended with batman running away. but Nolan chose to show scenes of Gordan and co, destroying the Bat Signal, which implies that Dent's body was removed. not to mention the actual FUNERAL they had for Harvey Dent. However, that could be explained away simply because Dent ceases to exist once the two-face persona became a reality. but who knows, it's the movies.

personally i'd like to see them draw from the current comic villians, and have someone like Hush be the next villian. No Catwoman. If you can't punch it in the face, then it shouldn't be a bad guy in a batman movie.