Actor Josh Hartnett spoke to Playboy about talking to Christopher Nolan about playing Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins. The director confirmed on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast that negotiations were underway, but were unsuccessful.
“I dated Josh, and as far as I can remember, he was a young actor whose work really interested me. I had a conversation with him, but at the time he was reading my brother’s script for The Prestige and was more interested in being involved. So it didn’t go beyond that,” Nolan said.
Hartnett did not star in Batman Begins or The Prestige. Christian Bale did it in his place. And Hartnett didn’t work with Nolan until more than a decade later on Oppenheimer, playing nuclear physicist and cyclotron inventor Ernest Lawrence, who becomes close friends with J. Robert Oppenheimer at UC Berkeley.
Cillian Murphy, who played Oppenheimer, also auditioned for the role of Batman. Nolan recently said that they both knew this role wasn’t right for the actor, but the director wanted to showcase his skills to studio executives. As a result, Murphy landed the role of the Scarecrow.
It was previously known that Christopher Nolan’s daughter Flora starred in Oppenheimer. The heroine of her will die from a powerful explosion. We talk about it in more detail here.