Josh Hartnett recalls turning down Superman

Gregory Wakeman
70th Cannes Film Festival - Screening of the film "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" in competition - Red Carpet Arrivals – Cannes, France. 22/05/2017. Actor Josh Hartnett poses. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

In the early 2000s, thanks to his starring roles in the likes of Pearl Harbour, Black Hawk Down, and 40 Days And 40 Nights, Josh Hartnett was one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood. 

Unsurprisingly, this saw Hartnett linked with a plethora of blockbuster movie roles, including numerous parts in superhero movies. In a recent interview with Variety, Hartnett looked to clear up this speculation, admitting that he turned down Superman but not Spider-Man.

"I didn’t turn down Spider-Man I don’t know where that came from,” Hartnett explained. “I’d only turned down Superman as a straight-up offer. But I was, at that time of my career, where a lot of people were asking me to do those types of movies.”

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But while most actors would jump at the chance to lead any kind of superhero movie, Hartnett thought long and hard about whether or not he was actually interested, before making the rather brave decision of turning Superman down. 

Henry Cavill in Man Of Steel

“I was having meetings with those directors and people were saying: 'Would you be interested?' I talked to them about what they were doing and I ultimately decided I wasn’t, but that was a very privileged place for a young man to be in. I’m a little bit outside of the box and had the leverage to do that, and that’s the direction I chose."

Hartnett even admits that he had a preliminary conversations with Christopher Nolan about starring as his Batman instead of Christian Bale, however these discussions never got as far as an actual audition or offer as has been previously rumoured. 

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“I think there’s a lot of misinformation out there. When you say one thing one time about it, and now it gets blown up. But I don’t really care to tell that story over and over again.”

Hartnett isn’t doing too bad, though. He starred in all three seasons of Penny Dreadful, while this year he’ll appear in Inherit The Viper, The Long Home, Valley Of The Gods and Gut Instinct, while he has also been cast in Guy Ritchie’s Cash Truck, too.