Guy Pearce Was Up For Ra’s Al Ghul In ‘Batman Begins’

Guy Pearce gets good work with good reason. He brings a type of detached cool to every part he plays, along with immense emotional versatility — like Jason Statham, but with more acting chops. For whatever reason, Pearce has never really broken out as a star in his own right, though not for lack of trying (remember “The Time Machine”?). That might have changed had he been cast in “Batman Begins” as the Caped Crusader’s first real nemesis: Ra’s al Ghul, a part that ended up going to Liam Neeson.

Speaking to ComicBookMovie.com at a press junket for “Lockout,” Pearce didn’t mince words: talk of him being involved with Batman was “pretty much rumor.” Still, he talked a little bit about the role with director Christopher Nolan, whom he’d worked with on 2000’s “Memento.”

“As soon as people knew [Nolan] was doing ‘Batman,’ I think people just linked me to him anyway,” Pearce said. “But I was too young. Too handsome, too young. Too talented,” he added with tongue planted in cheek. “Sorry, Liam.”

Indeed, it’s hard to imagine Pearce bringing the same type of authoritative wisdom to the Ra’s role as Neeson did, simply because he’s not that much older than Christian Bale (they’re separated by only six years, compared to 21 for Bale and Neeson). Still, who knows how it might have turned out? Maybe having a handsomer Ra’s would’ve worked wonders for “Batman Begins”’s box office take, though I suppose it doesn’t matter at this point. At any rate, it’s a nice little hypothetical to speculate about.

“Lockout,” Pearce’s new movie about a space prison (space prison!!) is out on April 13.

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