Josh Hartnett Opens Up About Turning Down Superhero Roles

by Chris Foti
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Article by Chris Foti

Once upon a time, in the early 2000’s, a man named Christopher Nolan was prepping to make a new Batman film. To make a new Batman film, you needed a new Batman. Propelling to stardom at the time, thanks to films like Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down, was Josh Hartnett. However, at the time Hartnett decided to take himself out of the running for roles such as Batman and Superman.

As a rising star at the time, Hartnett said that a big factor

At that age it is very easy to become someone else’s tool or someone else’s puppet. I was aware of the choices I was making and I wanted them to be my choices.

As I mentioned earlier, Nolan was looking for an actor to play his vision of Batman, and Hartnett was one of the talents that he met with.

I’ve definitely said no to some of the wrong people. 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.

You see, Hartnett’s fear was he felt that in that time, actors who played superheroes were typecast into that role.

Back then, a lot of actors had to fight really hard to get their career back after they played those characters.

Beyond The Cape

When Hartnett looks back at his decision to say no to Christopher Nolan on Batman, he saw how it then cost him opportunities to be in other Nolan films that are not superhero related. One need only look at what Christian Bale has done with his career. Hartnett explains:

I was so focused on not being pigeonholed, and so scared of being considered only one thing as an actor. 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?

Another actor that has certainly overcome this is Henry Cavill. Ever since taking up the mantle of Superman, he’s gone on to perform other iconic character roles such as Geralt of Rivia in Netflix’s The Witcher and Sherlock Holmes in Enola Holmes. Not to mention prominent roles in films like Mission Impossible: Fallout and The Man from U.N.C.LE.

Hartnett definitely seems like he’s learned his lesson and is now open to the possibility of being in a superhero movie, should the opportunity present itself.

I know now that I wouldn’t turn something down just because it’s a superhero role.

With Josh Hartnett opening up his skills to the superhero genre, what role do you think suits him best? Let us know!

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