Robert Downey Jr. Met With Christopher Nolan For A Key Batman Begins Role – SlashFilm


Both Downey Jr. and Murphy starred alongside one another in Nolan’s “Oppenheimer.” While the former’s character, Lewis Strauss, only gains prominence in the second half of the film, Downey Jr. gives a nuanced performance worth remembering. Meanwhile, Murphy had starred in various Nolan films before this, including “Inception” and “Dunkirk,” and his performance as Scarecrow in the director’s “Batman” films injects enhanced dynamism into Jonathan Crane. Bear in mind, Scarecrow is plenty terrifying in DC’s comic books and video games (the Scarecrow sequences in “Batman: Arkham Asylum” are some of the best in the history of the “Batman” games). Still, Murphy’s rendition is pointedly chilling and calculated, especially in “Batman Begins.”

Nolan, along with Murphy, spoke to EW about the casting process for the film, explaining that the director was impressed by Murphy’s performance in “28 Days Later” and had initially envisioned him playing Batman himself. To quote Nolan on the matter:

“I saw a picture of you (Murphy) with your shaved head and your crazy eyes — no offense. I remember being struck by your presence, literally from that one photograph, and then started to look into who you were, and what you’d done, and got very excited about the idea of meeting you, and having you screen test for Batman.”

However, Murphy insisted that he wasn’t “Batman material” and felt that the part innately belonged to Christian Bale after donning test suits and having discussions with Nolan. As Nolan wanted to work with Murphy, he instead offered him the role of Scarecrow, as the actor had aced the screen tests rather brilliantly. Understandably, there was “no dissent” about him taking the role, and Gotham’s agent of fear came alive on the screen, with nefarious schemes (and fear gas) up his sleeve.

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