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Batman Begins Chris Cooper On His ‘Batman Begins’ Near Miss

Antonello Blueberry

Inglorious bastard
Oct 8, 2000
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For all our endless talk in recent months about how well new stars Aaron Eckhart and, especially, Heath Ledger would fit in with the rest of the Gotham city crowd, one thing we’ve never revisited is what we make of the original cast — so beyond reproach, in our minds, are Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and the rest of the “Batman Begins” veterans. But at least one of those now familiar faces was almost quite different, Oscar winner Chris Cooper revealed to MTV News, admitting that he was initially offered the role of Lt. James Gordon well before Gary Oldman took the reigns.
“I was approached about that and chose not to do it,” he matter of factly confessed.
According to the “Adaptation” star, declining the role had less to do with the character itself than it did the time he would be forced to spend away from his family on such a big-budget enterprise.
“If I’m going to choose a particular role and be away from home for months on end — whether it’s a long shoot or a short shoot, I’m going to put my energies into it — it’s something I want to be totally involved with,” he insisted. “I don’t like to work back to back — just work for work’s sake. I like to do one job, go home and recuperate and look for another piece of material once I’m ready.”
Even now that the movie has become a worldwide phenomenon, Cooper says that, looking back, he has no regrets.
“Not at all,” he insisted. “There’s any number of scripts that I passed on — some that got huge recognition — but I have no regrets.”
very interesting... i think he would have been good in the role... but Oldman is fantastic...
Interesting read, but I for one am glad he did turn it down.

Gary Oldman was perfect in the role...he literally transformed into the character IMO.

Nothing against Chris Cooper, but I think he would have been missing something that Gordon needs. Can't put my finger on what just a certain characteristic.
Cooper was my choice, but Oldman nailed it. :up:
I'm sure Cooper would have been fine, but as has been said, when Oldman takes a role, he transforms into that character for it. And he was no different as Gordon. He IS Gordon in these movies.
Im glad we got Oldman but Cooper woulda been good too I think.
I would still consider Cooper for another part in the Batman franchise.
when Cooper was first announced as a candidate, I was all for it. When he turned it down I was very disappointed. However after seeing Oldman in Begins I wouldn't want to have it any other way
I say bring Cooper in as a one time mob boss... with maybe a few minutes of shooting for later films... so he doesn't have to be away so long.
I remember when his name was in the mix, some people thought he was gonna do it for sure. No biggie...
When his name started to pop up as a potential cast member, I was all for it, seeing as how the fan faves and most rumoured actors back then were guys like Kurt Russel and Dennis Quaid (blech). I was disappointed when he turned it down, but that went by quickly once Gary Oldman was cast!
If Oldman ever needs to be replaced:

Hmmm, Cooper would have been interesting.
Cooper could've been interesting but Oldman as Gordon not many thought of that.
Cooper is solid and would have been very good, but Oldman's Gordon pwns the world.
Whoa whoa whoa Cooper, THAT'S why you turned the role down? Cause I significantly remember you being quoted as saying that the script wasn't up to your standards...
Whoa whoa whoa Cooper, THAT'S why you turned the role down? Cause I significantly remember you being quoted as saying that the script wasn't up to your standards...

Yeah, I recall him being quoted as saying something like 'there wasn't as much of the character there in the script as I expected.'

I thought he was a great choice too when rumoured but am so glad Oldman did it. As 'zero hour films' said, there's a quality to Gordon that Oldman got down that Copper may not have conveyed as well, I don't know, a quality of friendliness? Cooper has a bit of grouchiness about him, sure he can always act past that, but it helps if there's a quality in the actor that's more leaning that way in the first place.

edit to add: Found the exact quote from Cooper: "I read the script and decided the substance of the script and the character was not up to what I expected."

I'd read it over here before at bof:


Suppose it could be a bit of both, he may not have wanted to stay away from his family for that length of time for a supporting role. He does seem to be dissing the script a little there in general though, perhaps he thought better of saying something like this again in order to respect the filmakers.
Speaking of Chris Cooper, I just found out that he initially was part of a small sub-plot in the 2002 horror film The Ring, but it got completely cut out except for a small hint in a newspaper.

He also almost turned down his role in American Beauty...
While I can't say for certain, because Oldman (with his long history of villainy) certainly surprised me, I just can't see Cooper bringing that uvuncular quality to Gordon that he needs. His would certainly be intense, but I could see it lacking the warmth that Oldman brought.
Wasn't Daniel Day-Lewis offered to play Ducard/Ra's? If I remember right, Anthony Hopkins was offered to play Alfred. The back-ups for these two parts were Liam Neeson and Michael Caine. The casting for BB was truly amazing for a superhero movie. Talk about settling for nothing but the best (except for Holmes). :wow: :yay:
Cooper is an amazing actor, I'm sure he could've been every bit as good as Oldman. I'm very happy with who they got though.

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