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    “Not Going To Go Anywhere”: Robert Downey Jr. Reveals He Wanted To Play A DC Villain, But Christopher Nolan Turned Him Down

    Robert Downey Jr. is most popularly associated with his role as Iron Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although he has majorly contributed to the industry through several excellent characters too. But before he donned the iconic Iron Man suit, he had his eyes set on a role in Christopher Nolan‘s Batman movies.

    The world of cinema fans is divided into two — Marvel fans and DC fans. While both cinematic universes bring outstanding performances and stories to the screen, people who vouch for one of the two are generally weary of the other. So when Iron Man himself says that he once wanted to be a part of DC, many Marvel fans find it difficult to digest.

    Related: Christopher Nolan Had Originally Planned To Bring Back Heath Ledger’s Joker For One Final Act In ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

    Robert Downey Jr. Recalls Meeting Christopher Nolan For ‘Batman’ Role 

    Still from 'Batman' (Image: Getty)
    Still from ‘Batman’ (Image: Getty)

    In a recent Q&A at Los Angeles’ American Cinematheque theater, Downey Jr. revealed that he once vied for the part of the villain Scarecrow in director Christopher Nolan’s 2005 film, ‘Batman Begins.

    I’m pretty sure I heard about [this role] and I was like, ‘I’m Scarecrow,’ ” the actor said in a video from the event shared by film critic Griffin Schiller on social media. “And then I remember meeting [Nolan] for tea and I was like, ‘He doesn’t seem like he’s really in on this interview.'”

    And he was polite and all that,” Downey Jr. added. “But you can tell when someone is kind of like, ‘It’s not going to go anywhere.'”

    Ultimately, the role of Scarecrow went to Cillian Murphy, who brought the character to life opposite Christian Bale’s Batman. Murphy was even initially considered for the Batman role but later auditioned for and landed the part of Scarecrow.

    In case you missed it: “Directors Would Give Eye Teeth To…”: Christopher Nolan Reveals Why He Makes Large-Scale Movies

    Cillian Murphy Wanted To Be ‘Batman’ But Ended Up Being The Villain

    Still from 'Batman' (Image: Getty)
    Still from ‘Batman’ (Image: Getty)

    Speaking during a July 2023 appearance on the WTF with Marc Maron, Murphy said that both he and Nolan quickly felt he “was wrong for” the Batman role. “But I did the test, and then he saw something in that and cast me as Scarecrow [in Batman Begins] and we continued on making movies,” he said at the time.

    This was the beginning of the solid partnership between Murphy and Nolan, with the actor appearing in all three of Nolan’s Batman films and also getting pivotal roles in 2011’s ‘Inception and a lead role in ‘Oppenheimer. Murphy has been open about his perpetual excitement about working with Christopher Nolan.

    I have always said publicly and privately, to Chris, that if I’m available and you want me to be in a movie, I’m there. I don’t really care about the size of the part,” Murphy told the Associated Press about working with Nolan back in May. “But deep down, secretly, I was desperate to play a lead for him.”

    Though Downey Jr. was presumably disappointed for not landing a role as the Batman villain, his journey in the world of superhero cinema took a different route. He became synonymous with Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, starting with the character’s debut in ‘Iron Man‘ in 2008.

    It was in ‘Oppenheimer‘ in 2023 that Downey Jr. worked with Nolan after leading the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a decade. With the Oscars approaching, all three – Downey Jr., Nolan, and Murphy – find themselves nominated for Academy Awards.

    The 96th Oscars ceremony will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel on March 10.

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    Aishwarya is a Senior Sub-Editor at First Curiosity. Working as a news writer for over 3 years, she has written on an array of things for a couple of media houses in different capacities. With writing as her outlet, she is now exploring the world of art and glamour. She has previously been associated with ETV Bharat and India Today as part of national editorial teams. With a fair share of work done covering national and international issues, she is now navigating through her abilities in the field of films and art. A movie and TV show buff, Aishwarya at First Curiosity tries to bring forth what a layman's eye might easily miss out on. Her flair for words and ability to convey what's between the lines are her biggest strengths. Her love for films and writing stems from her fondness for words and all things artsy. An avid reader and writer alike, Aishwarya likes to delve into any and all forms of art. When not tapping on her keyboard churning out articles, she can be found staring at books or screens, trying to find stories that'll help her explore the world and its portrayal through art better.

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