TV & Movies

Cillian Murphy Says Losing Out On Batman Role Was “For The Best”

Christian Bale was eventually cast as the DC superhero.

Originally Published: 
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 13: Cillian Murphy attends the "Oppenheimer" UK Premiere at Odeon Luxe Leices...
Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

With acclaimed performances in Peaky Blinders, Inception, and the recently released Oppenheimer, Cillian Murphy is deemed one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood. The actor is also known for his role in Christopher Nolan’s hugely successful Batman trilogy. However, Murphy missed out on the leading role of the Dark Knight to his eventual co-star, Christian Bale.

Speaking to GQ, Murphy disclosed that he was almost cast as the DC superhero in 2005’s Batman Begins, revealing that losing out on the role was “for the best.” The actor continued: “We got Christian Bale’s performance, which is a stunning interpretation of that role. I never considered myself as the right physical specimen for Batman. To me, it was always going to be Christian Bale.”

In a joint interview with Entertainment Weekly, Murphy and Batman director Nolan recalled the film’s audition process, sharing that the 28 Days Later star was encouraged to film a screen test in order to convince studio executives that he should be cast in the movie in some capacity. “I made sure that executives came down and watched what you were doing on set,” Nolan told Murphy during the interview. “I then said to them, ‘Okay, Christian Bale is Batman, but what about Cillian to play Scarecrow?’”

Despite missing out on the trilogy’s lead role, Murphy was eventually cast as the villain Dr. Jonathan Crane (aka The Scarecrow) in Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises.

Including the 2023 thriller Oppenheimer, Murphy has starred in a total of six Nolan movies. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, the famed director opened up about his professional relationship with the Irish actor, sharing that he’s “not at all” tired of working with Murphy. “If I could cast Cillian in every film I ever do, and just lean on him for the rest of my career, I’d be a happy man.”

This article was originally published on