“It was just an experience”: Cillian Murphy Doesn’t Regret Losing Batman to Christian Bale After Leading Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer With Robert Downey Jr.

“It was just an experience”: Cillian Murphy Doesn’t Regret Losing Batman to Christian Bale After Leading Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer With Robert Downey Jr.
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Cillian Murphy and Christopher Nolan are once again working together in the upcoming movie, Oppenheimer. Featuring an ensemble cast, the biopic about J. Robert Oppenheimer, is set during World War II, starring the Peaky Blinders actor taking up the role of the ‘father of the atomic bomb’ whose creation changed the world forever.

Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer (2023)
Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer (2023)

Murphy, who eventually played Scarecrow in Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy, was a frontrunner for the role of the caped crusader. Before Oscar-winning Christian Bale donned the Bat-suit in Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan was almost convinced that he had found his Batman in Murphy whilst his hunt among most young actors. Murphy, on the other hand, doesn’t regret losing this role to Bale and prefers calling it an experience.

Christopher Nolan Wanted Young Actors To Projecting The Extraordinary Iconography

Cillian Murphy and Christian Bale have worked together on over five projects, including less-recalled movies like Aloft and Red Lights. But it was their association with The Dark Knight Trilogy that often make fans wonder about the fate of Christopher Nolan‘s Batman movies if Murphy could have lived up to the caped crusader’s dark psyche, considering that he was so close to donning the Bat suit.


During the substantial casting process of Batman Begins (2005), it is fair to state that Cillian Murphy was a finalist for Batman’s role, meeting each of Nolan’s requirements. It was reported that the Interstellar director was looking for “somebody without too many past associations,” as well as an actor who could, “project this extraordinary iconography” through the challenging role.

Also Read: Director Chad Stahelski Wants Peaky Blinders Star Cillian Murphy in John Wick 5 after Chapter 4’s $152M Box Office Decimation: “Oh my God, Cillian Murphy!”

Cillian Murphy and Christian Bale
Cillian Murphy and Christian Bale in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (2005)

Murphy revealed that there were around 10 actors, who were auditioning for Batman’s role, but after a clip of Murphy’s audition tape broke on the internet, the actor later revealed that he was extremely close to landing the role. But again, Murphy doesn’t regret losing this role to Bale, rather, he couldn’t think of anyone more perfect for Bat suit. He said:


 “I don’t believe I was close to landing that role. The only actor who was right for that part at that time, in my estimation, was Christian Bale, and he absolutely smashed it. So, for me, it was just an experience.”

Even though Nolan felt that Murphy wasn’t right for the part, he was impressed by Murphy’s audition and advised Warners to cast him as Scarecrow/ Dr. Jonatthan Crane and the rest is history.

Oppenheimer Has The Potential For An Oscar

Back in 2005, Christopher Nolan expressed that Cillian Murphy wasn’t right for Batman’s part in the way that Bale was. What is also true is that Nolan couldn’t get Murphy out of his head, considering his incredible auditioning for the role. Murphy may not have been prepared then for a lead role, but more than a decade later, the actor has convinced Nolan of a role that holds potential for an Oscar.

Cillian Murphy will be starring as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the “father of the atomic bomb”, in Oppenheimer, which is based on the 2005 book American Prometheus. The movie will take viewers through the process of the Manhattan Project, which changed the world forever.


Also Read: “He’s everything you would want him to be”: After Rejecting Christopher Nolan’s $1B Movie, Matt Damon is All Praises for Oppenheimer Lead Cillian Murphy

Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer
Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, “father of atomic bomb”

During a recent interview, Murphy discussed how he prepared for this role, skipping the mechanics of making an atomic bomb and instead, focusing on its creator. The actor stated:

“[I prepped by doing] an awful lot of reading. I’m interested in the man and what [inventing the atomic bomb] does to the individual. The mechanics of it, that’s not really for me — I don’t have the intellectual capability to understand them, but these contradictory characters are fascinating.”

Not only this, but Cillian Murphy also drew a connection between the contradictory nature of Oppenheimer’s character and Tommy Shelby from Peaky Blinders, stating, “People identify with that because we all walk around with these contradictory ideas coexisting in our heads.” Well, Murphy may just be paving his way for the Osars.

Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan

Nolan has assembled the most star-studded cast to date for this biopic, which includes A-listers like Emily Blunt as a biologist, Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer, Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss, a founding commissioner of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Matt Damon, Rami Malek, and Florence Pugh plays psychiatrist Jean Tatloc.

Interestingly, Josh Harnett, who is starring as Nobel Prize-winning nuclear physicist, Ernest Lawrence in Nolan’s Oppenheimer, also tried to convince the director of Batman’s role. Nolan may not have seen Murphy in Batman’s role, but he didn’t see Bale in Oppenheimer’s role either! The director is surely marching forward to that much-awaited Oscar with this movie.

Oppenheimer hits theatres on July 21, 2023. One can rent or purchase Batman Begins (2005) on iTunes.


Also Read: “I’d never found him intriguing”: Christian Bale Said Batman Was ‘Boring’ Before Christopher Nolan’s Iconic ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’ Broke Box Office Charts

Source: Film


Written by Mallika Singh

Articles Published: 204

I am Mallika Singh, a lawyer and writer by profession. Writing gives me a sense of freedom and independence. I am a keen observer and an ardent reader. When not at work, you can find me at the stable. Horse riding is another passion that keeps me going.