Jake Gyllenhaal, while promoting boxing action movie Southpaw reflected a bit on what could have been with superhero roles that he was once considered for. Don't you think he could pull it off? He's got the looks, acting chops, and has played heroic roles before.
Apparently, while filming 2002's Seabiscuit, Tobey Maguire injured his back, possibly jeopardizing his return to Spider-Man 2 in 2004. Sam Raimi had no choice but to choose an alternate/standby... and who was that? None other than our guy, Jake. Maguire, of course, was able to recover from his injury and reprised the role of Peter Parker.
Then in 2003, director Christopher Nolan auditioned Gyllenhaal to be Bruce Wayne/The Dark Knight in Batman Begins (2005). As we all now know, he ended up going with Christian Bale instead.
Gyllenhaal was pretty open about the fact that he was semi-disappointed in both near-miss superhero opportunities.
"I believe whatever happens, happens for good. I was definitely open to both the roles (of Spider- Man and Batman). However at a certain point you realise there is always someone more interesting, talented and ready to do the role. In any case, you are not going to get every role you go for. So you can say I neither rue nor am I thankful for having not worked on these superhero films."
Seems like a good outlook to have on these things. He was so close, and yet, so far from fulfilling his dream of getting an iconic superhero role. And twice! I really hope he gets an opportunity from either Marvel or DC at some point. The dude really dives into his roles and I think he could do great!
Here he was last year sitting down with our very own [Kristin Lai](user:2161284) discussing Nightcrawler.