HistoryEditEckhardt was one of the many corrupt officers on the payroll of crime lord Carl Grissom. Although Eckhardt never directly came face to face with Batman, he discarded all claims about the mysterious vigilante, and even belittled reporter Alexander Knox for his belief in him. Moments afterward, Eckhardt met with Jack Napier, one of Grissom's enforcers, to accept a bribe. Napier informed Eckhardt that newly-elected District Attorney, Harvey Dent, was nosing around one of Grissom's front companies, but Eckhardt brooded that if there's a problem, it's best to bear with it. Napier then told Eckhardt of his plan to overthrow Grissom, but Eckhardt merely scoffed at him, and told him that he had no future. A brief struggle ensued, and Eckhardt only decided not to shoot Napier when Napier's Hood, Bob, aimed a gun in his face.
Eckhardt later received a call from Grissom, who informed him that he set up a trap for Napier and his men at Axis Chemicals (Napier had an affair with Grissom's mistress, Alicia Hunt, something Eckhardt himself apparently informed Grissom about, and Grissom wanted revenge), and requested that Eckhardt ambush and kill Napier with a squadron of police officers. A gunfight erupted at Axis Chemicals between the police and Napier's Hoods, during which Commissioner James Gordon arrived, took control, and ordered the police to apprehend Napier alive. Eckhardt attempted to escape, but was shot in the chest and killed by a vengeful Napier, who fell into a vat of chemicals moments afterwards during a fight with Batman, and started his transformation into the Joker.
Behind the ScenesEdit
When Eckhardt said "Where have you been spending your nights?", it’s likely a hint that he found out about the affair that Jack had with Grissom’s mistress, Alicia, and therefore told Grissom. That was confirmed in the Novelization.
Although that was not been directly confirmed by the film's screenwriters, it was widely believed that Max Eckhardt was inspired by the comic characters Detective Harvey Bullock and Detective Arnold Flass, both of whom were, at least at one point, corrupt policemen on crime's payroll, and were partners of Commissioner Gordon. Also, Eckhardt's physical structure and attitude: overweight, unshaven, and gruff, were also characteristics of Bullock.