David S. Goyer is spilling a lot of insider information these days. After revealing that he and director Guillermo del Toro almost made a Star Wars movie together, the screenwriter has now shared that Jake Gyllenhaal was actually a frontrunner to play Batman.
Not only that, Leonardo DiCaprio was also floated to play the villain Riddler too. The two actors were reportedly meant to play their respective roles in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
The competition to play the Caped Crusader was fierce and ultimately went down between Gyllenhaal and Christian Bale. Director Nolan, as fans would know, chose Bale. Meanwhile, Goyer had cast his vote for Gyllenhaal.
“I was involved in the casting process. In the early days it was me, Chris [Christopher Nolan], Emma Thomas and Nathan Crowley, the production designer in the garage next to us while Chris and I were writing. We would chat about all sorts. There were a number of people who had screen-tested for Batman, and I had advocated for Jake Gyllenhaal. He’s amazing, Christian Bale is amazing, so who knows?,” said Goyer (via Happy Sad Podcast).
He added, “I believe there is footage. [He would have been a solid Batman], yeah. It’s hard to know.”
As for DiCaprio, Goyer shared that a Warner Bros executive had suggested casting the actor as the Riddler in the next installment. Goyer shut down the idea, saying that “that’s not the way we work”.
By that, Goyer means that he and Nolan don’t pick villains first. Instead, they would create as story of Batman for each film and pick the corresponding villain to match that story. Bane (Tom Hardy) was later selected for The Dark Knight Rises as Batman was a lot more physically challenged, as compared to the intellectual warfare he had with the Joker (Heath Ledger) in The Dark Knight.
“I had a sense – with the Spider-Man movies or when superhero movies started getting made and you had sequels – that the studios would always say ‘OK, who’s our villain of the next movie going to be? And let’s build a movie around that.’ Chris was staunchly against that… let’s figure out what story we want to tell [first], and what we thematically want to explore with Bruce. Then let’s figure out a villain that fits the story.”
That said, DiCaprio still managed to work with Nolan in 2010’s Inception and Gyllenhaal realised his comic book superhuman movie in Marvel’s Spider-Man Far From Home as Mysterio.
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