Perhaps more so than any other category in Hollywood cinema, when it comes to casting, the superhero genre is filled with remarkable stories of near misses and almosts. Think of how close Tom Cruise came to landing the role of Iron Man, or Tom Hiddleston testing for Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, before ultimately landing the role of his scheming step-sibling, Loki.
When it comes to the Caped Crusader, one actor that came awfully close to donning the cape and cowl is Josh Hartnett. Back when Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was still in its infancy, Hartnett was linked with the title role in Batman Begins, but as is often the case, was ultimately forced to pass up the opportunity due to issues with scheduling.
For Josh Hartnett, losing out on the chance to play Gotham’s Dark Knight wasn’t even the biggest disappointment; instead, the actor laments his decision to pass up the opportunity to collaborate with Christopher Nolan.
I would welcome the opportunity to be in a relationship with a great artist in our film culture, no matter where they’re making films. In that instance, I think my regret mostly was not forming the friendship or the creative partnership with that director, more than it was [not] doing Batman.
It’s a missed opportunity that Hartnett has spoken about in the past, and here, the Black Hawk Down actor goes on record to clarify previous comments.
It wasn’t about not doing studio films. At the time, what I was interested in was… the film that I did instead of that was a tiny film about a guy with Asperger’s Syndrome, falling in love with a woman with Asperger’s Syndrome. It was a true story, Mozart And The Whale. It was more a question of what I wanted to do as opposed to what I didn’t want to do, and I always try to look at things that way.
As for Warner Bros. and Ben Affleck’s muscly new incarnation of The Batman, he’ll help form the mighty Justice League when Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon’s long-anticipated ensemble movie swoops into theatres on November 17th.