Josh Harnett is opening up about his decision to pass on playing Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, as well as showing some regret. An interesting fact: Harnett has turned down to play three of the biggest superheroes in the universe. Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, and Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns. Nolan ended up casting Christian Bale to play Batman in all three of the Dark Knight movies, and now Ben Affleck is doing his own version of the Caped Crusader for the DCEU.
“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 film 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 as opposed to what I didn’t want to do, and I always try to look at things that way.”
Now that makes complete sense and it’s a respectable decision. But one has to think back to what Batman was at that time and that was a joke, thanks to Joel Schumacher. Go do a role that means something to you or go jump around in tights with a suit that highlights your nipples. Seems like a no-brainer at that point in time even with Christopher Nolan on board.
Harnett also went on to talk about his regret for not working with Nolan. Hartnett likes to keep creative relationships. Read what Hartnett had to say below.
“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. For 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.”
Josh Harnett was simply not interested in playing Batman, or any superhero for that manner, no matter whom the director was. But he does seem to wish that he would have started a friendship up with Christopher Nolan. Christopher Nolan’s trilogy started with 2005’s Batman Begins and went until 2012 with the release of The Dark Knight Rises and all three movies are considered to be a high mark for all comic movies that have come before and afterwards. Nolan took the work of previous Batman director Joel Schumacher and destroyed it, took away all of the silliness and the bloated crap, to bring a more refined, dark version of the character. Some have criticized Christian Bale’s portrayal to lack emotion, but people always find something to whine about, even a trilogy as great as Nolan’s is.
Christian Bale is Batman to many after his powerhouse portrayal of the character so it’s hard to imagine someone else stepping in. Even Ben Affleck who has been Batman for years is still running into comparisons. But one can’t help but wonder what Josh Harnett would have done with the character or how the chemistry would have been between Harnett and Heath Ledger. Let the debates begin.