Josh Hartnett has the distinction of passing on the opportunity to play the three most iconic superheroes of all time, having turned down the leads in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, and Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins.
Speaking with the Associated Press (via The Playlist), Harnett has explained his decision to pass on the role of The Dark Knight, stating that his biggest regret from the experience is missing out on the chance to work with Christopher Nolan, rather than not donning the cape and cowl.
“I would welcome the opportunity to be in a relationship with a great artist in our film culture, no matter where they’re making films,” he said. “In that instance, I think my regret mostly was not forming the friendship or the creative partnership with that director, more than it was [not] doing ‘Batman.’ It wasn’t about not doing studio films. At the time, what I was interested in was…the film that I did instead of that was a tiny film about a guy with Asperger’s Syndrome, falling in love with a woman with Asperger’s Syndrome. It was a true story [called] Mozart And The Whale. It was more a question of what I wanted to do as opposed to what I didn’t want to do, and I always try to look at things that way.”
You can watch Hartnett talking about turning down the film here: