With the sad and shocking passing of 1990s legend Coolio, fans are recalling the two times he appeared in superhero cinema — namely, in 1997’s Batman & Robin and the director’s cut of 2003’s Daredevil. But the most fascinating connection between the “Gangsta’s Paradise” singer and the comic book world has to be the role he almost played in the canceled fifth Batman movie, which — if it had come to pass — would’ve changed the DC franchise forever.
You see, Coolio briefly turns up in Batman & Robin as Banker, the man behind a street race Robin and Batgirl compete in. According to the man himself, this was supposed to be just a brief teaser for a much bigger gig for him in the never-made sequel — which would’ve revealed that he was actually playing Dr. Jonathan Crane aka Scarecrow. As the rapper said in a 2017 interview (via The Hollywood Reporter):
“The only reason I did that part was because they promised me the villain part in the following Batman, which they didn’t do because Joel Schumacher — they fired him. Me and him didn’t get along that great anyway. … The next Batman the villain was supposed to be the Scarecrow.”
In the wake of Coolio’s death, this wild fact is once again doing the rounds on social media, as folks reflect on what could’ve been.
25 years later and it’s still a bummer.
We’re jealous of the universe out there where that happened.
The movie in question was to have been called Batman Unchained with Schumacher pitching it as a darker follow-up to the campy B&R. It has to be said, though, that the director maintained Nicolas Cage was his first pick to play Crane, so it’s unclear if Coolio really would’ve returned, especially given his admittance that he and the filmmaker didn’t get on. Still, it’s weird to think that, in one version of the timeline, Coolio could’ve been our Scarecrow instead of Cillian Murphy.