Christopher Nolan has revealed that Heath Ledger was incredibly close to playing Batman.
The director of The Dark Knight saga met with that the Australian actor, as well as several other thespians, before ultimately deciding to cast Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne in 2005′s Batman Begins.
Nolan described how the actor agreed to a meeting, but then immediately turned down the opportunity to get involved in the film. “He was quite gracious about it, but he said, ‘I would never take a part in a superhero film’.”
Of course, it would later transpire that Ledger would star in the sequel to Nolan’s original, 2008′s The Dark Knight. But this was only because he was incredibly impressed with Batman Begins, to the point that he pursued Nolan for the role of The Joker.
Nolan went on to explain how Ledger got into character before even seeing a script, noting, “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.”
Unfortunately, Ledger died before he could receive the acclaim that his performance deserved. The late actor would go to win a posthumous Best Supporting Actor Oscar at the 2009 ceremony.
Nolan has also confirmed that The Dark Knight Rises is his last edition of the series, stating, “For me, The Dark Knight Rises is specifically and definitely the end of the Batman story as I wanted to tell it, and the open-ended nature of the film is simply a very important thematic idea that we wanted to get into the movie, which is that Batman is a symbol.”