Josh Hartnett has recently opened up about the regret of turning down Batman a few years ago. Before Christian Bale, he was offered the chance at playing the iconic superhero, but decided to say no. It was all because he was tired, too, rather than other commitments and that was his biggest mistake.
Christopher Nolan wanted the Pearl Harbour actor to take on the superhero role. Who knew that the Batman trilogy would have become the success that it is today? Hartnett possibly had an idea, because one of his reasons for turning the role down was to avoid getting typecast. It was a reason for turning down other superhero characters including Spiderman and Superman. That had always been a fear, and something that he says now that she should have ignored. If he really feared about getting typecast, he should have worked harder in the other roles. Other actors and actresses have managed it and gone into star in some other popular movies, such as Daniel Radcliff and Jennifer Lawrence. While they are still remembered for the roles that made them famous, other movies are also mentioned on a regular basis.
The chance to play the iconic role came on the back of a number of successful movies, including Pearl Harbour and Black Hawk Down. He had many offers and admits that he said “no to some of the wrong people.” One of those that Hartnett really regrets is turning down Batman because it led to missing out on other roles. Nolan overlooked him for The Prestige, despite his girlfriend at the time, Scarlett Johansson, being chosen for a role.
He said the biggest mistake was his reason for saying no. While he did not want to be typecast, there was also the preference to spend time with his family and friends. That reason is frowned upon, and it certainly cost him other roles. People within the industry especially hate being told no, and Nolan is certainly one of them.
Hartnett says that he is still trying to find himself in the industry, and it looks like turning down Batman has forced that on him. He went on to take on some smaller roles, including Lucky Number Slevin and Sin City, but nothing was as successful as he could have been in the Dark Knight trilogy.
Part of the sting comes from Bale being so successful in the role, but being able to walk away from it without being pigeonholed into another superhero movie. Hartnett now realizes that that was something he could have done. The fear was irrational and cost him some of the success in his career.
However, it does not seem to be something he is dwelling too much on. He has said that he is looking forward to what people want from him in other roles, and looks forward to future opportunities. He will not turn something down for irrational fears anymore, and would love to work with Nolan in the future if he would have him. Hartnett just regrets that he gave up that chance years ago by turning down the Batman role.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham
Photo by Gage Skidmore – Flickr License