It’s been nearly 20 years since Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy first teamed up Batman beginsAnd now with Oppenheimer This July, the two just completed their sixth collaboration. But in a recent interview with Entertainment Weeklythe couple revealed that their professional relationship had a slightly odd starting point: Nolan invited Murphy to do a screen test for Bruce Wayne, only to decide that the up-and-coming actor was better suited to Scarecrow.
while searching for Batman begins Nolan had seen a picture of Murphy in a newspaper and wanted to set up a screen test. But by the time the two men began discussing the opportunity, they both began to feel that another role might be more suitable.
“When we had our first conversation, I think we both knew you weren’t going to end up playing Batman,” Nolan told Murphy in the interview interview. “But I really wanted to be with you, I wanted to shoot you on film. We did these screen tests very elaborately, on 35mm, with a small set. There was an electric vibe in the crew when I started performing.”
This electric atmosphere proved to be the deciding factor. While both men wanted Murphy in the movie, Nolan worried about how he would sell it to executives who were looking for bigger names to cast. However – even though neither man thought he was right for the role – Murphy’s screen test for Bruce Wayne/Batman ended up being the perfect tool for getting him on executives’ radars.
Everyone was so excited to see you perform that when I said to them afterwards, ‘Well, Christian Bale is Batman, but how about Cillian to play Scarecrow?’ There was no opposition. All of the previous Batman villains have been played by major movie stars: Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Carrey, that sort of thing. That was a huge jump for them and it was really based on that test. That’s how it played Scarecrow game.
Murphy explained that he was in awe of the process. “It was clear to me from the beginning that I wasn’t Batman,” he told Nolan. “I felt it was right and true that it should be Christian Bale for the part. But I remember the fuss of trying on the suit and being directed by you.”
Nolan and Murphy also joked about the fact that Scarecrow still lives in Batman’s universe. “He never died, but it’s fitting that he’s kind of been away from the screen in a way,” Nolan said. “So [I was] able to call you and say, “Come put the bag over your head one last time.” In response, Murphy said, “Yeah, it’s still there.” “
Murphy plays the “father of the atomic bomb,” J. Robert Oppenheimer, in Nolan’s new movie Oppenheimerwhich hits theaters on July 21.