A massive uptick in critical and commercial success wasn’t the only difference between Batman Begins and its sequel, The Dark Knight. An important supporting actor, Katie Holmes, didn’t return for the second film, and was replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal.
In 2005’s Batman Begins, Holmes’ character, Rachel Dawes played a significant role in Bruce Wayne’s life. Director Christopher Nolan admitted that he was quite upset that Holmes didn’t return.
Nolan told Business Insider in 2016, “Katie wasn’t available for the role, which I wasn’t very happy about, but these things happen, and I was very, very fortunate that Maggie was able to take it over.”
Gyllenhaal even reached out to Holmes to seek her blessings before taking on the role. Rachel Dawes, as fans would remember, is murdered by Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight.
Holmes said in an interview to Business Insider that she didn’t regret not returning for the Oscar-winning film, which many consider among the best comic book movies ever made.“You know, I really enjoyed working on the first one and I wish I could have worked with Chris Nolan again and I hope to work with him again,” Holmes said. “It was a decision that I made at that time and it was right for me at that moment, so I don’t have any regrets. I think that Maggie did a wonderful job. But I really hope that I get to work with Chris some day.”
While Batman Begins was a modest success with a $370 million gross, The Dark Knight made over $1 billion at the box office. Nolan and star Christian Bale returned for a third Batman film — The Dark Knight Rises — in 2012, but have said that they do not want to make a fourth.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros is preparing to bring together Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck’s Batmans in the upcoming Flash movie. Robert Pattinson is playing the iconic superhero in a separate film, currently filming under the direction of Matt Reeves.
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