Josh Hartnett Shuts Down Longtime Rumors Over Which Superhero Roles He Turned Down

Jeff SpicerGetty Images

Josh Hartnett was one of the biggest names in the entertainment industry in the early 2000s, appearing in blockbusters like Black Hawk Down and Pearl Harbor. The actor decided to take a step back from the craziness of Hollywood later on in the decade only taking on a select few roles a year, mostly independent, to spend more time with family. Now, the 41-year-old is making a comeback in 2020 and is working with big-time directors again like Guy Ritchie. Whether any superhero roles lie in his future remains to be seen, but the actor is setting the record straight on what comic book movie roles he had been offered in the past.

While catching up with Variety, Hartnett addressed the longtime rumors that he turned down three separate major superhero roles when he was younger. For over a decade, the actor was said to have turned down the roles of Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire version), Batman (Christian Bale version) and Superman (Brandon Routh version). It turns out, only one of those roles was offered to him and he subsequently declined. The other two were never on the table.

“I didn’t turn down Spider-Man. I don’t know where that came from. I’d only turned down Superman as a straight-up offer. But I was, at that time of my career, where a lot of people were asking me to do those types of movies. I was having meetings with those directors and people were saying: ‘Would you be interested?’ I talked to them about what they were doing and I ultimately decided I wasn’t, but that was a very privileged place for a young man to be in.”

Josh Hartnett arrives for the 6th Annual 'Reel Stories
Featured image credit: Christopher PolkGetty Images

It looks like the role of Peter Parker was something Hartnett was never tied to at all, given that he has no clue how those rumors might have started.

When it came to playing the Dark Knight in Christopher Nolan’s mega-famous superhero trilogy, Hartnett remembered meeting with the acclaimed director one time, and that there was no offer and no audition. The Penny Dreadful actor believes knowledge of his conversation with Nolan started a web of lies and got completely blown out of proportion. Hartnett also seemed annoyed by the rumors and said he was tired of telling the story about the Batman role over and over again.

Fans of Hartnett can catch him in Target Number One which premieres this April. Other projects include the new television series Paradise Lost on Paramount Network and Guy Ritchie’s Cash Truck which is currently filming.