When it comes to DC Entertainment, Batman still reigns supreme. The hero has had numerous films made in his honor, and Christopher Nolan’s take on the Dark Knight still stands as one of Hollywood’s best adaptations yet. Critics and fans were quick to praise Christian Bale’s take on Bruce Wayen, but the actor very nearly had his role usurped by Josh Hartnett. Now, the latter actor is speaking out about his would-be role and why he chose to pass up on the Gotham vigilante.
In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Hartnett admitted his decision to pass on The Dark Knight had nothing to do with studio drama. The actor’s choice came down to what he felt passionate about acting in.
“It wasn’t about not doing studio films,” Hartnett said. “At the time, what I was interested in was the film that I did instead of that - a tiny film about a guy with Asperger’s Syndrome falling in love with a woman with Asperger’s Syndrome, a true story, [which] ended up being called Mozart And The Whale. It was just a question more 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.”
When it comes to regrets, Hartnett stressed he isn’t upset that he missed out on playing Batman. The actor’s only complaint is that he passed up a chance to work with Nolan. “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 and 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,” Hartnett explained.
For Batman fans, it is difficult now to place Hartnett in the hero’s shoes after Bale has his outing. The trilogy’s dark tone and gritty aesthetics somehow suited the latter actor with ease, even if fans are still bitter about Bale’s so-called Batman voice. Hartnett’s decision to forego a shot at superhero stardom came down to personal preference and a want to pursue a more low-key story, but who knows? There’s always a chance the DCEU could come knocking on the actor’s door one day. If Hartnett’s schedule is free, the actor might just say yes this time around.
With the help of allies Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman (Christian Bale) has been able to keep a tight lid on crime in Gotham City. But when a vile young criminal calling himself the Joker (Heath Ledger) suddenly throws the town into chaos, the caped Crusader begins to tread a fine line between heroism and vigilantism.