Katie Holmes skipped the sequel to make a terrible comedy.
Memento filmmaker Christopher Nolan rescued the World’s Greatest Detective from the train wreck of glossy camp that was Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin with 2005’s Batman Begins, a serious minded reboot adored by fans and critics. Katie Holmes co-starred as Bruce Wayne love interest Rachel Dawes, but the Dawson’s Creek actress passed on making the sequel, opting instead to join Diane Keaton and Queen Latifah in the comedy Mad Money, which bombed with audiences and critics.
Four A-listers were considered to replace Katie Holmes.
Katie’s fellow WB Network veteran Sarah Michelle Gellar, star of the long-running genre series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was among the actresses considered to play Rachel in The Dark Knight. Nolan reportedly also contemplated casting Isla Fisher, Emily Blunt, and Rachel McAdams before hiring Maggie Gyllenhaal.
At least five A-listers were considered for Two-Face.
The Joker of course isn’t the only villain in The Dark Knight, which combines noir detective themes and post-9/11 dread with several comic based concepts, including elements of the storyline played out in Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s Batman: The Long Halloween. Aaron Eckhart delivered a memorable performance as Harvey “Two-Face” Dent, a character played by Billy Dee Williams in Tim Burton’s Batman and Tommy Lee Jones in one of its sequels, Batman Forever. Before Eckhart was given the job as Gotham’s White Knight turned conflicted avenger, producers looked at Hugh Jackman, Ryan Phillippe, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Damon, and Liev Schreiber.
Heath Ledger was the only actor considered for The Joker.
Nolan has famously stated that Heath Ledger was the only actor he ever considered for The Joker. Onetime Joker Jack Nicholson complained that he wasn’t asked back and a number of actors publicly expressed interest in the role, including Steve Carell, future Avenger Paul Bettany, and the late Robin Williams, who had starred opposite Al Pacino in Nolan’s Insomnia. Ledger was chosen as Nolan’s Clown Prince of Crime before the script was even finished. The rest, as they say, is history.
Christopher Nolan encouraged the Batman voice.
The voice Christian Bale uses in The Dark Knight trilogy to differentiate between Bruce Wayne and the Caped Crusader became a defining characteristic, often parodied, sort of imitated by Ben Affleck in the DCEU, and absolutely an inspiration for Will Arnett’s voice performance in The LEGO Movie and its subsequent spinoff, The LEGO Batman Movie. In interviews, Bale explained that he came up with the voice during his audition for Batman Begins, where incidentally, he wore Val Kilmer’s suit from Batman Forever. He thought Bruce Wayne should make a beast of himself when he dresses up in the suit; after the fact, he was worried that the voice had cost him the role. But not only did Nolan give him the gig, but he reportedly encouraged the Batman voice, including its modified sound in The Dark Knight.