Batman Begins: Josh Hartnett on Turning Down Batman Role

Josh Hartnett was apparently down to the last three to play Batman in Batman Begins. So why did he pass on the chance?

Back when Christopher Nolan was putting together his cast for 2005’s Batman Begins, the shortlist for the new Dark Knight was apparently whittled down to three names. Christian Bale was one of them, of course, and he would eventually take the role, playing Batman across a trilogy of films. Cillian Murphy was in the running too, and he would instead take the role of Dr. Jonathan Crane in the movies.

And then there was Josh Hartnett, who in his career has also been linked with, and apparently passed on, playing Spider-Man and Superman.

He passed, too, on the idea of playing Batman, but in a new interview, he concedes that he has a regret there.

“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”, he told the Associated Press. “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.”

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The perception was that Hartnett was resisting blockbuster movies, but that wasn’t entirely correct.

“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.”

The interview clip with Hartnett can be found right here. And here’s the trailer for Mozart And The Whale, in case you’re interested too…