“They stress me out”: Cillian Murphy Claims He Hates Auditions, Lost Batman Role to Christian Bale Only for Christopher Nolan to Force WB to Cast Him in $373M Movie

"They stress me out": Cillian Murphy Claims He Hates Auditions, Lost Batman Role to Christian Bale Only for Christopher Nolan to Force WB to Cast Him in $373M Movie
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Cillian Murphy and Christopher Nolan’s duo is regarded as one of the most popular duos by ardent moviegoers. The actor-director combo has worked together for six films with the latest one to be released soon this year. The Irish actor first collaborated with Nolan in Batman Begins as Dr. Jonathan Crane aka Scarecrow. But interesting it is to know that the Batman nemesis was actually planning to become the Dark Knight of Gotham himself.

Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy

Cillian Murphy had a long journey with the Inception director. The Thomas Shelby fame has slowly paved the way from being a side character to the main protagonist in his upcoming Oppenheimer. But this would have never happened if he didn’t audition for the role of the caped crusader in The Dark Knight Trilogy. 

Also Read: “No one gives a f**king shit”: Cillian Murphy Admitted Feeling Incompetent Despite $100 Million Oppenheimer Marking the Most Momentous Project of His Career


What led Cillian Murphy to play Scarecrow after auditioning for Batman?

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

Earlier also, the Peaky Blinders star spoke about he never liked going to auditions much. In an interview with GQ, Cillian Murphy opened up about his perspective on auditions. The actor feels that auditions are tiresome and try to test the potential of the actors in a limited timeframe.

“I’m not good at auditions. I think if you really want to be outstanding at acting, you have to go through a big process of getting in touch with the character you’re playing, recognising what’s going on, and getting involved with what you’re going to create. Auditions are the opposite. They stress me out. You can’t get into the role in 15 seconds and that’s all you have.”

But surprisingly, it was his audition for the role of Batman in the 2005 Christopher Nolan movie that gifted us a series of collaborations that’s going on for more than two decades now. According to Cillian Murphy, he knew very well even before the audition that he was not Batman material but he had a buzz to try the suit and felt that those screen tests had high production values.

Cillian Murphy and Christopher Nolan
Cillian Murphy and Christopher Nolan

The Interstellar director also voiced a similar opinion but he also had some other plans. Watching his skills, Christopher Nolan wanted to convince the higher WB officials to cast him as the Scarecrow.


“When we had our first conversation I think both of us knew that you weren’t going to wind up playing Batman. But I really wanted to get on set with you, I wanted to get you on film. We did those screen tests very elaborately, on 35mm, with a little set. There was just an electric atmosphere in the crew when you started to perform. We did two scenes — there was a Bruce Wayne scene and a Batman scene — and I made sure that executives came down and watched what you were doing on set.” 

What happened ultimately is not unknown to the fans as Cillian Murphy delivered an iconic performance as the Scarecrow in The Dark Knight Trilogy. On the other side, Christian Bale also played a memorable version of Batman.

Also Read: “I was absolutely blown away”: Christopher Nolan Claims Cillian Murphy Will Eclipse Christian Bale’s Batman Performance in Oppenheimer

According to the Dunkirk director, many big names like Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jim Carrey have been seen as Batman villains and he wanted Murphy also to have that same leap. But little did anybody know then that the two would turn out to be such notable collaborators and the Sunshine star would lead a Nolan flick.


How did Christopher Nolan fulfill Cillian Murphy’s dream?

Christopher Nolan used real Explosives for Oppenheimer

After being a part of The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, and Dunkirk, Cillian Murphy wanted to lead a Christopher Nolan flick himself. The actor got his wish fulfilled when one of the greatest directors of the present era approached him to play the role of J. Robert Oppenheimer aka father of the atomic bomb.

“He’s so understated and self-deprecating and, in his very English manner, just said, ‘Listen, I’ve written this script, it’s about Oppenheimer. I’d like you to be my Oppenheimer.'”

Then the 28 Days Later star confessed that even though he has always admitted to doing any role of any size offered by Nolan but deep down he always had an urge for a lead role.

Also Read: “Making a MOAB for Hiroshima and Nagasaki set?”: Christopher Nolan Used Actual Bombs Instead Of CGI For ‘Oppenheimer’ Nuke Scenes


The upcoming Oppenheimer is one of the most anticipated movies of this year and stars Murphy alongside an ensemble cast consisting of Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Emily Blunt, Rami Malek, and many others. Focusing on the Manhattan Project and the development of the first nuclear bomb, the biographical drama is going to be huge and also looks very promising.

Oppenheimer will hit the theaters on July 21, 2023, while The Dark Knight Trilogy can be streamed on HBO Max.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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Written by Subham Mandal

Articles Published: 1222

Subham Mandal is currently working as a content writer for FandomWire with an ardent interest in the world of pop culture. He has written more than 1000 articles on different spheres of modern pop culture and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He’s also an experienced student journalist having demonstrated work experience with the Times of India. He aspires to be a column writer in the future.