Christian Bale’s Batman was one of the realistic depictions of the character exploring his story arc in depth. Christopher Nolan took his time with The Dark Knight trilogy to establish who Bruce Wayne is, beyond the Caped Crusader. Bale, for this matter, is widely regarded as one of the best actors to take on the iconic superhero role.
The script of Batman Begins was co-written by Nolan and David S. Goyer. Bale wasn’t the only choice in mind for both writers and the producers. Goyer recently admitted that he had preferred this Marvel villain actor for the role.
One Marvel Actor Nearly Took Batman Role From Christian Bale
David S. Goyer appeared on the Happy Sad Confused podcast with Josh Horowitz. Goyer discussed his projects including The Dark Knight trilogy, Blade films, Man of Steel, and Foundation series. Goyer shared some behind-the-scenes insights with Horowitz, who also asked him about several rumors surrounding these projects. Horowitz wanted to know whether it was true that Goyer advocated for Jake Gyllenhaal to play Batman.
Goyer confirmed the story and shared that he and Christopher Nolan had discussions about potential actors for the role. After auditions and screen tests, there were different preferences among the Batman team. While Goyer backed Gyllenhaal, the role eventually went to Christian Bale. Goyer told Josh Horowitz:
“There were a number of people who screen-tested and I had advocated for Gyllenhaal. I mean, Gyllenhaal’s amazing. Christian Bale’s amazing. So who knows what…”
Interestingly, the Blade: Trinity director’s pick for Ra’s al Ghul, Liam Neeson, was finalized for the role. Horowitz wanted to know whether there was footage of the Brokeback Mountain actor in the Bat costume, to which Goyer replied that he believed there was one.
Jake Gyllenhaal Almost Replaced Tobey Maguire As Spider-Man
Before he was the writer’s favorite for playing the Dark Knight, Jake Gyllenhaal was Columbia Pictures’ (a division of Sony) potential replacement for Tobey Maguire in the Spider-Man films. This casting drama unfolded after salary negotiations between Maguire’s team and Sony went sideways. Maguire felt that he was not compensated enough for the sequel of a successful superhero movie.
The Great Gatsby actor claimed that he was healing from back pain after playing two physically demanding roles back-to-back in Spider-Man and Seabiscuit. Sony called this out as a negotiation tactic and wanted to recast the role. Gyllenhaal was one of their primary recasting choices among other actors. However, Maguire’s team did some damage control and he reprised his role as Peter Parker. About the potential role, the Enemy actor told Yahoo!:
“I heard the same thing. The truth of the matter is, in the end, [Tobey Maguire is] Spider-Man. There are so many roles in my career where I was up against another actor, or there was something happened that possibly could’ve happened but didn’t happen but maybe it would have. Eventually, my belief is when an actor’s played a character, particularly in a movie, the character’s theirs, and that’s that.”
The Prisoners actor would eventually get a Spider-Man role, this time as the villain Mysterio in Marvel Cinematic Universe.