Christopher Nolan has revealed that Heath Ledger was once in the running to play Batman.
The director met with several actors before casting Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne in 2005’s Batman Begins. During a talk at a New York theatre earlier this week (November 28), which was attended by The Playlist, Nolan recalled approaching Ledger for the part.
Although the actor agreed to a meeting with the director, he apparently turned down the opportunity to get involved immediately. Nolan explained: “He was quite gracious about it, but he said, ‘I would never take a part in a superhero film.'”
However, Ledger was apparently so impressed with Batman Begins that he actively sought the role of The Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight Rises. According to the director, Ledger was clearly “hungry” and began getting into character before seeing a script. Nolan recalled: “Heath spent months and months [preparing], we cast him even before the script was written so he had a very long time to obsess about it, think about what he was going to do, to really figure it out.”
The late actor would go on to win a posthumous Oscar for his memorably manic performance as The Joker. Nolan concluded his trilogy of Batman films with this year’s The Dark Knight Rises and has recently insisted that he has no plans to return to the series.