Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy originally tried for Bruce Wayne when Cristopher Nolan was casting Batman Begins, and the actor recently opened up about his failed audition. This week, Murphy appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers to speak about his upcoming role in A Quiet Place Part II. The pair also discussed some of Murphy's other work as an actor, such as the Netflix series Peaky Blinders which features the actor in the lead role of Tommy Shelby. For his part, Meyers seems very impressed with how the series has become a worldwide phenomenon despite its humble beginnings as a BBC series with "no advertising budget."
The conversation with Cillian Murphy and Seth Meyers eventually turned to Batman Begins, at which point Meyers admits he had no idea Murphy had actually auditioned for Batman at the time. Though he realized his chances of nabbing the role were slim compared to who was ultimately cast, Murphy says he still made it as far as actually trying on a Batsuit and doing the Batman voice. While the casting as Bruce Wayne ultimately wasn't meant to be, the failed audition still seems like it was an interesting experience for Murphy. As the actor explains.
"It was obvious that Christian Bale was going to be Batman. At that time, it was clear, and he's such a magnificent Batman and Bruce Wayne. But I did get to - I think it was the Val Kilmer suit, they let me try it on, which they had to adjust slightly. But it's a weird thing. You put it on, you put the cowl on, and your voice drops. It drops a couple of octaves. You can't do the Batman voice without doing the [deep voice] 'Batman.'"
Perhaps there was no replacing Bale once Nolan had him in mind for the part, but the director still definitely saw enough potential in Murphy to cast him anyway. He'd wind up playing the villain known as Scarecrow in the movie, later reprising the role for cameo appearances in the sequels The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. While he did a fine job playing Dr. Crane, one can't help but wonder how Nolan's Batman trilogy would have turned out had Murphy instead been cast as Bruce Wayne. It's really not difficult at all to picture him in the role, and had Bale not been available, it's possible Murphy would have been our Batman (at the time).
On the big screen, Batman has already been recast twice since we last saw Bale in the role in 2012. Ben Affleck stepped into the Batsuit for the crossover movies Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, though he ultimately stepped away from playing the caped crusader before he could get his own solo movie. Batman will next be played by Robert Pattinson in Matt Reeves' upcoming superhero movie The Batman, rebooting the character once again for what could potentially be a new movie franchise. For better or for worse, it doesn't appear like we'll ever see Murphy providing his own take on superhero.
In any case, we can all still see Murphy doing his thing on the big screen when A Quiet Place Part II is released in theaters on March 20. You can watch a clip of Murphy speaking about his Batman Begins audition in the YouTube video below, courtesy of Late Night with Seth Meyers.