Cillian Murphy auditioned for Batman as part of a sneaky casting plot 4 months ago

Cillian Murphy auditioned for Batman as part of a sneaky casting plot

Cillian Murphy wore Val Kilmer's Batman Forever costume for his audition.

The publicity campaign for Cillian Murphy and Christopher Nolan's summer blockbuster/Oscar potential Oppenheimer is now in full swing, between the brand-new epic trailer, and a deep-dive interview with the duo for Entertainment Weekly. During the interview, Nolan brought up their first time working together, specifically the audition for Batman Begins.


"When we had our first conversation I think both of us knew that you weren’t going to wind up playing Batman," Nolan said. But I really wanted to get on set with you, I wanted to get you on film. We did those screen tests very elaborately, on 35mm, with a little set. There was just an electric atmosphere in the crew when you started to perform."

You can watch Murphy's screen test for the role from 5.10 in the video here:

Cillian Murphy followed in the footsteps of Jack Nicholson and Jim Carrey


Batman Begins would be the first of now six movies that Cillian Murphy and Christopher Nolan have worked on together, including The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, Dunkirk, and the upcoming Oppenheimer. Nolan continued about that first day of auditions:

"We did two scenes - there was a Bruce Wayne scene and a Batman scene - and I made sure that executives came down and watched what you were doing on set.

"Everybody was so excited by watching you perform that when I then said to them, ‘Okay, Christian Bale is Batman, but what about Cillian to play Scarecrow?’ There was no dissent. All the previous Batman villains had been played by huge movie stars: Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Carrey, that kind of thing. That was a big leap for them and it really was purely on the basis of that test. So, that’s how you got to play Scarecrow."

Cillian Murphy added: "It was clear to me from the beginning that I wasn’t Batman material. It felt to me that it was correct and right that it should be Christian Bale for that part. But I remember the buzz of trying on the suit and being directed by you. Those tests were high production values."


Oppenheimer arrives in Irish cinemas on 21 July, the exact same day as Barbie.

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