Chris Cooper On His ‘Batman Begins’ Near Miss

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.”

In our never ending game of “what if” casting, Cooper as Gordon is a doozy. What do you think he’d have made of the role? Sound off below.