Josh Hartnett of Penny Dreadful was offered many superhero movie roles back in the day including Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man, but he turned them all down as he didn’t want those roles to “define him” as an actor. Hartnett now is feeling a deep sense of regret, as he is no longer as relevant as he once was. More than anything, he regrets not taking Christopher Nolan up on an offer to play Batman in his critically-acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy.
“I’ve definitely said no to some of the wrong people,” the actor told Playboy magazine. “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 don’t like it. I learned my lesson when [writer-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. 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?”