Cillian Murphy Reveals How He Landed Scarecrow Role After Trying out for Batman

While Heath Ledger basically stole the spotlight of Christopher Nolan's entire Dark Knight trilogy, he was one of a couple standout villains to leave their mark on the series as a whole. Before he wreaked havoc in The Dark Knight in 2008, Cillian Murphy terrified audiences as Scarecrow three years earlier in Batman Begins, using his trademark toxins to pump fear into the minds of his victims. What may surprise you is that, before eventually landing the role of Scarecrow, Murphy was actually up for the part of Bruce Wayne.

During an interview with GQ, in which Murphy broke down the most famous roles from throughout his career, he explained that he had originally screen tested for the Batman role. When that didn't work out, Nolan came to him and said there might be someone else he could play, which led to his casting as Scarecrow.

"I had seen Chris' movies prior to Batman Begins and I was a huge fan of them," Murphy said. "About 10 of us went up for Batman and I was aware that I was clearly not the right material for Batman. So I did a screen test in the whole suit and everything. But Chris said there might be another part. So we met and we chatted, and I ended up playing Scarecrow in the end."

Missing out on Batman and becoming Scarecrow instead was possibly the best outcome for Murphy as he earned rave reviews for his portrayal of the villain.


"He's one of the oldest villains in the series so they gave me some of the very early comics, which I read," Murphy continued. "Even though it's a big studio picture, big studio production, it's only Chris, his cameraman, and the first AD who are around when you're shooting. It's a very private, very calm, very quiet set. There's not monitors, there's no video village, there's none of that stuff. So even though it's a huge movie it feels like an independent film, and I've always felt that the only difference between those films is the resources you have and it's how you utilize the resources. So Chris is very confident in delivering scale but also he concentrates very much on performance."

What do you think of Cillian Murphy's portrayal of Scarecrow? Would he have made a good Batman? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!