Christopher Nolan's Batman: Jake Gyllenhaal ''is happy that the director called him to tell him he wasn't taken''

Gyllenhaal shared the feeling of disappointment that accompanied the loss of these opportunities on Batman

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

In a recent interview on The Howard Stern Show, Jake Gyllenhaal shared his thoughts on losing two notable roles during the final stages of casting: Batman in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins and Christian in Moulin Rouge! by Baz Luhrmann. The competition for the latter role saw the actor compared to Heath Ledger and Ewan McGregor. Gyllenhaal shared the feeling of disappointment that accompanied the loss of these opportunities on Batman but also expressed gratitude for the opportunity to receive direct feedback from the directors. David S. Goyer, co-writer of Batman Begins with Nolan, confirmed that Gyllenhaal was his personal choice to play the Dark Knight, but the role ultimately went to Christian Bale. 

“Both directors called me personally to tell me I didn't get the role,” Gyllenhaal shared. “And they explained to me why… When you get this close to a role, you start to believe that you can actually get that thing.” The actor reflected on the personal phone call he received from Christopher Nolan, describing it as a moment that made him appreciate his journey. Although he didn't get the role of Batman, Gyllenhaal found comfort in the fact that he was seriously considered for the part. The actor also highlighted the importance of maintaining a positive outlook and moving forward after disappointment, recognizing that the loss of a role can often pave the way for new opportunities. 

Even though he didn't play the Gotham superhero, Gyllenhaal achieved significant successes with films like Brokeback Mountain and Jarhead, released around the same time as Batman Begins. Despite the passage of time, Gyllenhaal reiterated his interest in playing Batman in the future, calling the role an honor and a classic in the cinematic world.