Jake Gyllenhaal almost became Batman before Christian Bale

September 23, 2023
The Happy Sad Confused podcast revealed that actor Jake Gyllenhaal was almost Batman.

While actor Christian Bale may have donned the mantle of Batman in director Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight trilogy’, it was not always going to be the case as actor Jake Gyllenhaal was considered to wear the batsuit in ‘Batman Begins’, according to screenwriter David S. Goyer.

During an episode episode of the ‘Happy Sad Confused’ podcast, Goyer, who helped develop the trilogy’s story and co-wrote Nolan’s first ‘Batman’ film, said that after a number of people screen-tested for the part of the superhero’s alter-ego Bruce Wayne in the first film, he “advocated for Gyllenhaal.”

“We would chat about all sorts of things. There were a number of people who had screen-tested, and I had advocated for Gyllenhaal,” said Goyer. “I mean, Gyllenhaal is amazing, Christian Bale is amazing, so who knows what,” as per The Hollywood Reporter.

When host Josh Horowitz asked him if there’s any footage somewhere of Gyllenhaal auditioning in the Batman costume, the scribe said, “I believe there is, yes”.

As for other roles in Nolan’s trilogy, Goyer said: “There were a couple of different candidates in the running for Ra’s Al Ghul,” but that he voted for Liam Neeson because he “was a little older.” He said it made more sense with the story they were trying to tell regarding “this paternal story about the shadow of his (Bruce’s) father.”

In ‘The Batman Begins’, Japanese actor Ken Watanabe had portrayed the League of Assassins (renamed League of Shadows in the movie), though his role was revealed to be that of a decoy, with the actual Ra’as Al Ghul being Liam Neeson.

The Oscar-nominated actor at the time was fresh off his success with the film ‘Brokeback Mountain’, a Western-gay-romance film where he starred alongside Heath Ledger who later ended up becoming the Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’.

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