Among the stars who almost played huge roles, Tom Selleck was nearly Indiana Jones, Will Smith nearly played Neo, Sean Connery passed on Gandalf, and Emily Blunt passed on Black Widow. According to Batman Begins writer David S. Goyer, Jake Gyllenhaal nearly became Batman.
In a recent interview with the Happy Sad Confused podcast ( via Deadline), screenwriter David S. Goyer shared some insider information regarding the filming, or rather casting, of 2005’s Batman Begins. Apparently, Goyer campaigned for Jake Gyllenhaal to play the Caped Crusader, but the role ultimately went to Christian Bale, who not only kept the role for three films, but his portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman is often regarded among the best.
Batman Begins writer David S. Goyer says he campaigned for Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.
Goyer added that there might be some footage of Gyllenhaal auditioning in a Batman costume, collecting dust on some shelf.
Apart from sharing information about Jake Gyllenhaal as the potential Batman, Goyer also added that a higher-up from Warner Bros. wanted Leonardo DiCaprio to play The Riddler for the third film, but the writers turned down the idea because the movies were centered around a particular theme, rather than the villains they featured.
Instead, it was Tom Hardy who played the muscle-bound Bane in the third film, 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.
Jake Gyllenhaal didn’t land the role of the Caped Crusader, but he did become a prince for a short while in 2010’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time…
Jake Gyllenhaal didn’t land the role of the Caped Crusader, but he did become a prince for a short while in 2010’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time—a live-action adaptation of the same-name video game published by Ubisoft. It was initially conceptualized as a trilogy, much like the gaming franchise.
Considering that James Gunn burst everyone’s dream bubble of John Krasinski being getting the gig by publicly addressing the rumors, it’s still not too late for Gyllenhaal to land the role of the Caped Crusader.
Unfortunately, the disappointing box office returns, combined with mediocre reviews, led to any sequel plans being abandoned. With that said, the original game remains a beloved action classic in the gaming community and perhaps one of the nicest love stories ever told in gaming.
If we allow ourselves to fan-cast, the idea of Jake Gyllenhaal portraying Batman isn’t so far-fetched either. Sure, Christian Bale made Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy perpetually his, but Robert Pattinson did a wonderful job with Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Considering that James Gunn burst everyone’s dream bubble of John Krasinski getting the gig by publicly addressing the rumors, it’s still not too late for Gyllenhaal to land the role of the Caped Crusader.
In his statement regarding Krasinski’s supposed casting as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Gunn stated that they still don’t have the final script and that the casting hasn’t even started because of the SAG-AFTRA strike.
The upcoming Batman movie, titled The Brave and the Bold, centers on the Batman & Son comic book storyline, making Jake Gyllenhaal a really good fit for the role—still young enough to stick around for the franchise development but old enough to have fathered a 12-year-old Damian Wayne. Just food for thought.