With the amount of superhero roles Josh Hartnett has turned down he could have filled every costume in a Justice League or Avengers movie. Having passed up the opportunity to swing with Sam Raimi for Spider-Man, or be Nolan’s Dark Knight, he has recently opened up about his decision to choose the smaller roles over Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns.
Speaking with Mr Porter, the Penny Dreadful actor brought up the subject of his infamous decision to turn down a three-picture deal as the Man of Steel, asking “Why would I turn down the role of Superman?”
Fresh off the back of 2001’s Pearl Harbour, Harnett shunned the franchise fortune in favour of smaller films such as O, Mozart and the Whale, and Lucky Number Slevin, revealing that he did so because “At the time, it was so obvious to me to turn it down. I was being offered movies by the very top directors. And Superman was a risk. Yes, there was a lot of money involved, but I didn’t think that was the be-all and end-all.”
He continues, adding that “A lot of people will find the most expeditious way to get from A to B. If that means losing a little bit of baggage, meaning your friends or your connection to your home, so be it. It’s going to be much easier if you just socialise with people who are in the industry, because they’re gonna hire you for the next job.
“A lot of people get caught in that trap, but I feel very strongly about friends I’ve known for a long time and my family. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t losing those relationships. Those people make me who I am. I put those concerns ahead of chasing a Hollywood dream.”
It’s a refreshing approach from Hartnett, who throughout the fascinating interview (which you can read in its entirety here) expresses a desire to avoid becoming a commodity for the Hollywood machine.
In an alternate reality would you have liked to see Hartnett suit up for a comic book movie? Let us know what you think using our social channels @FlickeringMyth…