Josh Hartnett Regrets Turning Down ‘Batman’
About 15 years ago, Josh Hartnett was the next big thing – one of Hollywood’s most sought-after stars. He as offered the role of Batman and possibly Superman, but passed on both.
Hartnett now said he regrets turning down the lead role in Christopher Nolan’s 2005 blockbuster, Batman Begins. The actor said the decision had a disastrous effect on his career.
“I’ve definitely said no to some of the wrong people. I said no because I was tired and wanted to spend more time with my friends and family. That’s frowned upon in this industry. People don’t like being told no,” he told ‘Playboy’ magazine. “I don’t like it. I learned my lesson when [director] Christopher Nolan and I talked about Batman. I decided it wasn’t for me. Then he didn’t want to put me in ‘The Prestige.’ They not only hired their Batman for it, they also hired my girlfriend [Scarlett Johansson] at the time.”
“That’s when I realized relationships were formed in the fire of that first Batman film and I should have been part of the relationship with this guy Nolan, who I felt was incredibly cool and very talented,” he admitted. “I was so focused on not being pigeonholed and so scared of being considered only one thing as an actor. I should have thought, Well, then, work harder, man. Watching Christian Bale go on to do so many other things has been just awesome. I mean, he’s been able to overcome that. Why couldn’t I see that at the time?”
Hartnett’s most recently appeared in the gothic TV drama ‘Penny Dreadful’ and will next star alongside James Franco and Robert Duvall in ‘Wild Horses’.
As for the people who ask, “Whatever happened to Josh Hartnett?”
“I’m curious to see what people want of me in this business, if anything,” Hartnett reflected. “I’m very happy with my personal life—we’re just kicking the can down the road, trying to make some sense of it. I’m very open these days about what I used to feel and what I used to take away from the business when I was young and kind of in the center of it all. I’m still trying to do similar kinds of things.”