Christopher Nolan has revealed that he approached Heath Ledger to take on the role of Bruce Wayne in his Batman movies.
Ledger went on to win a Best Supporting actor Oscar for his portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight but Nolan originally wanted the actor for the lead role when he was casting for Batman Begins - but Ledger turned it down.
Speaking to The Playlist the filmmaker said: "He was quite gracious about it, but he said, 'I would never take a part in a superhero film'.
"I explained to him what I wanted to do with Batman Begins and I think maybe he felt I achieved it."
Christian Bale took on the role of the caped crusader in Nolan's franchise which spanned three movies - two of them breaking $1 billion at the box office.
Nolan's final outing at the helm of a batman film came this summer with the release of The Dark Knight Rises - which came four years after the colossal success of The Dark Knight.
The movie brings the trilogy to an epic conclusion and may yet be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
And Nolan is set to return to the superhero genre as he is serving as producer on Man of Steel.
The Dark Knight Rises is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now