Christopher Nolan Clarifies Report Josh Hartnett Nearly Played Batman in ‘The Dark Knight’ Trilogy

While confirming he did approach the ‘Pearl Harbor’ star for the superhero movie, the ‘Oppenheimer’ director says the actor never screen tested for the role.

AceShowbizChristopher Nolan claims Josh Hartnett didn’t ever screen test for Batman in his “Dark Knight” trilogy because he was “more interested” in “The Prestige“. The 52-year-old filmmaker directed “The Dark Knight” trilogy from 2005 to 2012, with Christian Bale in the lead role as Bruce Wayne/ Batman, and while he spoke to Harnett about possibly playing the Caped Crusader, Nolan says the actor liked the idea of the 2006 movie instead.

“No, it never got that far. I met with Josh and if I recall, he was a young actor whose work I was very interested in. I had an initial conversation with him but he had read my brother’s script for ‘The Prestige’ at the time and was more interested in getting involved with that. So it never went further than that,” Nolan told the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast when asked if Hartnett ever screen tested for the role.

Bale went on to star as Batman in “Batman Begins“, “The Dark Knight”, and “The Dark Knight Rises“, and he also appeared in “The Prestige”. The psychological thriller was directed by Nolan, and written by the filmmaker and his brother Jonathan, based on the 1995 novel of the same name by Christopher Priest.

However, Nolan and Harnett finally teamed up in his latest movie, “Oppenheimer“, which also stars Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., and Florence Pugh.

In 2015, Harnett admitted he “learned his lesson” after he said no to Batman, because Nolan then didn’t select him for “The Prestige”, but did cast Hartnett’s then-girlfriend Scarlett Johansson. He told Playboy Magazine at the time, “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. I learned my lesson when 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 at the time.”

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