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The Superhero Film Ethan Hawke Regrets Passing On

Since the mid-1980s, Ethan Hawke has honed his craft on screens big and small as a professional actor. From director Richard Linklater's "Before" trilogy to 2017's "First Reformed," he has consistently proven himself as one of Hollywood's strongest talents. As such, he has received numerous awards and nominations over the years, as well as praise from his many fans across the globe. However, as someone who rarely touches blockbusters, it should come as no surprise that Hawke is only now beginning to dip his toe in the increasingly deep and vast comic book movie pool.

In an effort to expand the reach of the already massive Marvel Cinematic Universe and offer both creators and fans new formats to enjoy, Marvel Studios has made a second home for itself on Disney+. So far, this approach has worked wonders with the likes of "WandaVision," "Hawkeye," and "Loki" finding great success during their time on the air. "Moon Knight" is next up on the docket, and it seeks to keep the momentum going while opening up a new, darker corner of the franchise. Oscar Isaac will take on the title role, with Ethan Hawke serving as the villainous Arthur Harrow.

Hawke was an undeniably huge grab for "Moon Knight," and his take on Harrow will likely be a highlight of the series. Considering his track record, though, it's surprising that he jumped on the project at all. Perhaps it had to do with the regret he felt over a previous superhero role that he let slip through his fingers.

Hawke regrets not donning the cowl for Batman Forever

As the 1980s wrapped up and the '90s began, DC Comics' Batman was quite the hot commodity. Moviegoers were blown away by director Tim Burton's "Batman" and its sequel, "Batman Returns," which told Warner Bros. that they had a cash cow franchise on their hands. Naturally, this led to the creation of "Batman Forever," though this production saw Burton replaced by the late Joel Schumacher in the director's chair. As a result, the actor behind the Dark Knight, Michael Keaton, departed as well, meaning Warner Bros. had to find someone new to fill the cowl.

Val Kilmer eventually signed the dotted line to carry on Keaton's legacy, but he wasn't the only actor in consideration. In an interview with Details (via Comic Book Movie), Ethan Hawke revealed he had the chance to be the next Batman in "Batman Forever." Ultimately, he turned it down since he had no desire to be recognized as the Caped Crusader for the rest of his life. Per his own admittance, he has come around on the idea to some degree, at least in terms of what it could've done for his career. "Now I wish I'd done it because I could have used it to do other things."

Say what you will about "Batman Forever," but it's hard to deny that Val Kilmer at least put in the best performance he could as the titular hero. It's interesting to wonder how Ethan Hawke would have handled the campy material had he taken the job.