Cillian Murphy: „It Was Better I Didn’t Become Batman”

MOVIE NEWS – Cillian Murphy, who once auditioned for the role of Batman in Christopher Nolan’s famous “The Dark Knight” trilogy, revealed in an interview with GQ Magazine UK why he thinks it was better that the role eventually went to Christian Bale.



Before Christian Bale won the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy, the director tested Cillian Murphy, the star of the film “Oppenheimer”, for the role. Both men later acknowledged that Murphy was never a serious threat to take the role from Bale. In a recent interview with GQ Magazine UK, Murphy explained why he believes it was “for the best” that Bale ultimately won the coveted role.

“I think it was for the best because we got Christian Bale’s performance, who interpreted the role wonderfully,” Murphy said. “I never considered myself ideal for the role of Batman. For me, Christian Bale was always the real Batman.”

According to Nolan, Murphy wasn’t suitable for the role of Batman, but he still invited him to audition so that Warner Bros. executives could see what a talented actor he was. Originally, the director intended for Murphy to play the film’s main villain, the Scarecrow, but at the time, Murphy was not a big movie star. The old custom of Batman films was to have the heroic villain played by a big star, but Nolan wanted to change this.

“Everyone was so excited seeing [Cillian’s] performance, that when I said to them: ‘Alright, Christian Bale is Batman, but what if Cillian played Scarecrow?’ there were no objections,” Nolan recently told Entertainment Weekly. “All previous Batman villains were played by huge movie stars: Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Carrey, and others. It was a big step for them, and they really decided based only on this test. So that’s how you became Scarecrow.”

“Batman Begins” was the first collaboration between Nolan and Murphy. He played Scarecrow in two more Batman films, then had a supporting role in “Inception” and “Dunkirk”, before getting his first lead role in a Nolan film with “Oppenheimer”. It turned out that Murphy had been considering the role of the theoretical physicist almost a decade before Nolan’s biographical drama.

In a recent article published by Vanity Fair, television creator Sam Shaw looked back on the making of the WGN America series “Manhattan”. The period drama covered the same ground as Nolan’s “Oppenheimer”, telling the story of the Manhattan Project’s efforts to build the first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The acclaimed series ran for two seasons in 2014 and 2016. Oppenheimer was a recurring character in the series, played by Daniel London, but the series’ writer, Lila Byock, said Murphy was on the team’s wish list.

“When we were casting Oppenheimer, we went through a variety of different ideas,” said Byock, adding: “It was clear that Cillian Murphy was on our list.”

“We wanted Oppenheimer to simultaneously have a certain undeniable charisma and stage presence, but also to feel as if he was playing a different instrument,” said Shaw. “In some ways, he had to feel alien – or different. He stood out from the crowd.”

Almost 10 years later, Murphy finally became Oppenheimer, and is receiving the best reviews of his career. Nolan’s film is now playing nationwide in theaters under Universal Pictures.

Source: Vanity Fair

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