When it was announced that the Batman series was going to receive a gritty reboot directed by Christopher Nolan in the middle of the noughties, the casting rumour mill went into overdrive with regard to who would play Bruce Wayne.
Several names were linked with the role including Eion Bailey, Henry Cavill, Billy Crudup, Hugh Dancy, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joshua Jackson and David Boreanaz, with Christian Bale eventually cast as Batman.
At the time, it was believed that Josh Hartnett was also considered, but Nolan has confirmed that this isn't true as the actor was more interested in featuring in The Prestige, Nolan's next movie after Batman Begins.
"I met with Josh and if I recall, he was a young actor whose work I was very interested in," Nolan recalled on the Happy Sad Confused podcast.
"I had an initial conversation with him but he had read my brother’s script for The Prestige at the time and was more interested in getting involved with that.
"So it never went further than that."
Nolan and Bale would work together not only on Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, but also on The Prestige.
Hartnett regrets turning down Nolan
Hartnett previously admitted to having a meeting with Nolan about Batman, only to say no as he wanted to spend time with loved ones before campaigning for a role in The Prestige.
"I’ve definitely said no to some of the wrong people," he said in a conversation with Playboy.
"I said no because I was tired and wanted to spend more time with my friends and family. That’s frowned upon in this industry. People don’t like being told no. I learned my lesson when Christopher Nolan and I talked about Batman. I decided it wasn’t for me.
"Then he didn’t want to put me in The Prestige. They not only hired their Batman for it, they also hired my girlfriend at the time."
Hartnett and Nolan would eventually work together on Oppenheimer.