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Josh Hartnett regrets turning down Christopher Nolan's offer to play Batman

04.16.2015

For every great role there's an actor or actress kicking themselves about turning it down. In a recent interview with Playboy actor Josh Hartnett revealed his regret at not accepting Christopher Nolan's offer to appear as Bruce Wayne/Batman in what would become BATMAN BEGINS.

I’ve definitely said no to some of the wrong people. I said no because I was tired and wanted to spend more time with my friends and family. That’s frowned upon in this industry. People don’t like being told no. I don’t like it. I learned my lesson when [writer-director] Christopher Nolan and I talked about Batman. I decided it wasn’t for me. Then he didn’t want to put me in The Prestige. They not only hired their Batman for it, they also hired my girlfriend at the time.

At the time Josh Hartnett was concerned about being typecast in only blockbuster type roles, which is why he ended up turning down Nolan's offer.

I was so focused on not being pigeonholed and so scared of being considered only one thing as an actor. I should have thought, Well, then, work harder, man. Watching Christian Bale go on to do so many other things has been just awesome. I mean, he’s been able to overcome that. Why couldn’t I see that at the time?

Christopher Nolan's trilogy of BATMAN BEGINS, THE DARK KNIGHT, and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES would go on to gross billions of dollars worldwide and elevate Christian Bale, the actor who did say yes to Christopher Nolan, to even greater heights of success. It's easy to look back on that and regret not being a part of it, but it did end up teaching Hartnett a lesson about not judging a role by its cape.

I know now that I wouldn’t turn something down just because it’s a superhero role.

While he may not be throwing on a cape and cowl, Josh Hartnett can be seen on Showtime's Penny Dreadful, which returns for its second season on May 3.

What say you? Would Josh Hartnett have made a good Batman? While we're at it, what superhero do you think he'd be a good fit for?

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Source: Playboy

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1:45PM on 04/17/2015
I'm several episodes into Penny Dreadful and anyone who says he is a terrible actor should watch the show. He was a bad actor when he was younger and thank the gods he wasn't cast as Batman over Bale, but I would absolutely support his casting in a major role like that today. Also, I really appreciate the humbleness and wisdom of the quotes from him above. He seems to get it now, and I predict that we are all in store for something great from him.
I'm several episodes into Penny Dreadful and anyone who says he is a terrible actor should watch the show. He was a bad actor when he was younger and thank the gods he wasn't cast as Batman over Bale, but I would absolutely support his casting in a major role like that today. Also, I really appreciate the humbleness and wisdom of the quotes from him above. He seems to get it now, and I predict that we are all in store for something great from him.
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7:01AM on 04/20/2015
Good comment, agree with all of it.
Good comment, agree with all of it.
5:21AM on 04/17/2015
Just goes to show you that some actors have no common sense just like us everyday schmoes.
When someone asks if you are a god you say YES!
Just goes to show you that some actors have no common sense just like us everyday schmoes.
When someone asks if you are a god you say YES!
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+4
5:07AM on 04/17/2015
These always make for interesting stories...but as is almost always the way...I like what we got. Dougray Scott, anyone? :o)
These always make for interesting stories...but as is almost always the way...I like what we got. Dougray Scott, anyone? :o)
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5:04AM on 04/17/2015
well it's not so bad cause now he's in penny dreadful which is supposed to be pretty good from what I understand (I've only seen the first episode).
well it's not so bad cause now he's in penny dreadful which is supposed to be pretty good from what I understand (I've only seen the first episode).
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3:32AM on 04/17/2015

But we don't.

Josh Hartnett has been cool in a movie or two (Lucky Number Slevin), but he really isn't a very good actor. I don't think he would've been much worse than Clooney and Kilmer (My word they were horrible and they're actually GOOD actors as well).

What he's actually regretting is not getting Christian Bale's $10m-$20m paycheck per film, but Hartnett forgets that Bale is actually really good at his job, even when miscast as Moses. Josh Hartnett must just make do with the millions he is already
Josh Hartnett has been cool in a movie or two (Lucky Number Slevin), but he really isn't a very good actor. I don't think he would've been much worse than Clooney and Kilmer (My word they were horrible and they're actually GOOD actors as well).

What he's actually regretting is not getting Christian Bale's $10m-$20m paycheck per film, but Hartnett forgets that Bale is actually really good at his job, even when miscast as Moses. Josh Hartnett must just make do with the millions he is already worth and with the fact that he gets to look at Eva Green almost everyday as reward for turning down that level of fame and fortune.
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+2
3:29AM on 04/17/2015

You reap what you sow.

For the record, I don't think he would've been better than Bale.
For the record, I don't think he would've been better than Bale.
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1:55AM on 04/17/2015
somewhere in a another parallel universe, Josh Hartnett did play Batman
somewhere in a another parallel universe, Josh Hartnett did play Batman
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1:32AM on 04/17/2015
Looking forward to the new season of Penny Dreadful. Awesome show.
Looking forward to the new season of Penny Dreadful. Awesome show.
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+3
1:13AM on 04/17/2015

I never knew this...

but I'm glad he didn't take the role, as Christian Bale ended up being a terrific Batman. I'm not saying Hartnett would have been bad, but I like we what got.

I wouldn't mind seeing Hartnett pop in in some other superhero role, I think he can pull it off.
but I'm glad he didn't take the role, as Christian Bale ended up being a terrific Batman. I'm not saying Hartnett would have been bad, but I like we what got.

I wouldn't mind seeing Hartnett pop in in some other superhero role, I think he can pull it off.
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11:55PM on 04/16/2015

BUNRAKU

If you want to see his rendition of a badass, brooding man in dark attire seeking revenge for his deceased Father, watch BUNRAKU (I think it's still on netflix)
If you want to see his rendition of a badass, brooding man in dark attire seeking revenge for his deceased Father, watch BUNRAKU (I think it's still on netflix)
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11:48PM on 04/16/2015
He could still play Green Lantern, he'd be good at that.
He could still play Green Lantern, he'd be good at that.
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11:33PM on 04/16/2015
As much as I like Josh Hartnett (big fan of him since Halloween H20 and The Faculty), I can't see him as Batman. However, I can see him as a more seasoned Robin. Should the new Batman / Superman movie decides to have Robin in the movie, he can be that Seasoned Robin alongside Tim Drake's Robin or something like that.
As much as I like Josh Hartnett (big fan of him since Halloween H20 and The Faculty), I can't see him as Batman. However, I can see him as a more seasoned Robin. Should the new Batman / Superman movie decides to have Robin in the movie, he can be that Seasoned Robin alongside Tim Drake's Robin or something like that.
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11:29PM on 04/16/2015
I think Christian Bale was slightly less known than Hartnett at the time, and that worked in favor of both him and the movies.
I'm not sure audiences can realistically see someone who was a lead in a major Blockbuster like Pearl Harbor as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Ummm, I mean, good luck with the new movie.
I think Christian Bale was slightly less known than Hartnett at the time, and that worked in favor of both him and the movies.
I'm not sure audiences can realistically see someone who was a lead in a major Blockbuster like Pearl Harbor as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Ummm, I mean, good luck with the new movie.
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11:27PM on 04/16/2015
I love Christian Bale, but I could see a million different actors in that role, Hartnett would have equally fine
I love Christian Bale, but I could see a million different actors in that role, Hartnett would have equally fine
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10:52PM on 04/16/2015

He made the right decision.

I don't think he was a good enough actor at that time to tackle the role believably. He has grown as an actor and I think he's great on Penny Dreadful.
I don't think he was a good enough actor at that time to tackle the role believably. He has grown as an actor and I think he's great on Penny Dreadful.
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10:27PM on 04/16/2015

Hindsight is 20/20

Yes The Dark Knight Trilogy is great and yes Bale has gone on to great things because of it, but at the time that wasn't set in stone. This could have been a Superman Returns situation or worse. Yes he missed out on something great but would he really trade in the time with family and friends for that? I know it's cliche but when he looks back it al those things was Batman really worth it.
Yes The Dark Knight Trilogy is great and yes Bale has gone on to great things because of it, but at the time that wasn't set in stone. This could have been a Superman Returns situation or worse. Yes he missed out on something great but would he really trade in the time with family and friends for that? I know it's cliche but when he looks back it al those things was Batman really worth it.
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10:16PM on 04/16/2015
I really can't see him as Batman. He would have made a good Spider Man or an even better Gambit.
I really can't see him as Batman. He would have made a good Spider Man or an even better Gambit.
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11:25PM on 04/16/2015
Gambit, yes. Spider-Man? Nope.
Gambit, yes. Spider-Man? Nope.
7:46AM on 04/17/2015
I still can't believe that Ben Afleck I doing the role now.
I still can't believe that Ben Afleck I doing the role now.
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