Cillian Murphy
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 13: Cillian Murphy attends the "Oppenheimer" UK Premiere at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on July 13, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Cillian Murphy Reflects on Almost Playing Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy

Actor Cillian Murphy reflected on almost playing Bruce Wayne/Batman in Christopher Nolan‘s Dark Knight trilogy.

Murphy stars in Nolan’s newest movie Oppenheimer, a historical thriller about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the person who would go on to be known as the father of the atomic bomb. However, this is only another of Nolan and Murphy’s long history of collaborations with each other. The actor-director duo have worked together on Inception, Dunkirk, and The Dark Knight trilogy.

Although Murphy became known as the villainous Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow in Nolan’s three Batman movies, Murphy nearly played the Caped Crusader himself. He went as far as to screen test for the role.

“It was more exciting than nerve-wracking, because I’d never considered myself to be the sort of perfect physical specimen for Batman,” Murphy told GamesRadar+. “It was just the opportunity to get to work with him, even in a brief way. They had built the whole sets, and it was all shot on 35mm. So, it was a proper screen test. And it always felt to me like it should be Christian Bale, always. But then something happened in that test, and he gave me that other part in Scarecrow. And we just continued to work.”

Nolan shares his side of the story, saying, “The first time I met Cillian was for Batman Begins, and I was looking for who could play Batman, and I’d seen a photograph of him from Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later. I’d just been very struck by his appearance and his amazing eyes and that gaze.” The two had dinner, and Nolan said Murphy “didn’t feel right for Bruce Wayne, the Batman,” but said he was, “someone I want to create with. This is someone I want to work with.”

What is Cillian Murphy’s next movie?

Murphy plays J. Robert Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer, releasing on July 21, 2023.

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