40 Days and 40 Nights 40 Days and 40 Nights

Josh Hartnett on Why He Turned Down Batman and Others


There was a point in his career when Josh Hartnett was the “it” guy in Hollywood. He starred in films like 40 Days and 40 Nights and Pearl Harbor in his 20s, and was a hot commodity. So much so that was offered roles as some of the biggest Superheros on the silver screen.

From an interview in Details:

"DETAILS: You’re 35 now, but in your twenties, you got offered pretty much everything. You turned down Superman Returns, and you were in talks to play almost every other superhero.Josh Hartnett: Spider-Man was something we talked about. Batman was another one. But I somehow knew those roles had potential to define me, and I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to be labeled as Superman for the rest of my career. I was maybe 22, but I saw the danger.DETAILS: Your agents must have been slitting their wrists.Josh Hartnett: I didn’t have those agents for much longer after that. There was a lot of infighting between my manager and agents, trying to figure out who to put the blame on. It got to the point where none of us were able to work together.DETAILS: What would you say if Warner Bros. called you tomorrow and said, “Josh, we’d still love you to wear the cape. We’ve got a great new concept . . . “?Josh Hartnett: I’d say, “Let’s talk about how it would be done, see if we can get on the same page.” Compromise doesn’t scare me anymore."

I remember Hartnett’s name being bandied about for those roles and I remember being glad he never took one. Whether or not he would have been pigeon holed by them, I was never convinced he was right for any of them. He was pretty good in his brief role  in Sin City,  but that’s as close as he got to the comic movie world. Maybe if they’re re-casting Green Lantern… 

Here’s a clip from Hartnett’s new show

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