Irish actor Cillian Murphy and director Christopher Nolan have had a long-standing working relationship that started almost 20 years ago. It began when Murphy auditioned for the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in Nolan’s “Batman Begins.” Although they both knew from the outset that he wasn’t going to be Batman, Nolan wanted to screen test him for the role anyway.
How Cillian Murphy almost became Batman in Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” trilogy, instead landing the role of Scarecrow.
Nolan set up the screen test for Murphy with the purpose of getting studio executives on board with casting him as the villainous Scarecrow. The screen test featured two scenes: one with Bruce Wayne and one as Batman. Nolan made sure the executives watched Murphy’s performance on set, and they were so impressed that they agreed to cast him as Scarecrow.
Murphy reminisced about the excitement of trying on the Batman suit and the experience of being directed by Nolan during the high-production-value screen test. Although he knew he wasn’t Batman material, he cherished the experience of working with Nolan.
The director and actor continued to work together on the “Batman Begins” sequels, “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” as well as on other critically acclaimed films such as “Inception” and “Dunkirk.” Their upcoming movie, “Oppenheimer,” is their sixth collaboration, but the first time Murphy has a leading role in a Nolan film.
While Murphy has said that he is always willing to work on a Nolan project, he was eager to take on a bigger responsibility and play a lead role in “Oppenheimer.” He spoke of his excitement to be the lead in a Nolan film and the “huge responsibility” that comes with it.
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“Oppenheimer” is set to release on July 21 from Universal Pictures. With Nolan’s and Murphy’s track record of critical and box office success, the film is highly anticipated by fans and moviegoers alike.