Anthony Hopkins Rejected Batman, Plus 5 Other Roles He Passed On

At last count, Sir Anthony Hopkins has 121 acting credits to his name, with 6 more in various stages of development currently on the table. The guy has has a successful acting career a few times over at this point. Earlier this week we got a glimpse of probably the most terrifying wardrobe dressing ever with Anthony Hopkins testing out various Hannibal Lecter masks, and now we’re shifting the focus to the roles that the iconic actor didn’t take.

Presumably, Anthony Hopkins can pretty much walk into a room at this point in his career and pick any part that suits him — just so long as it’s not a terrible Batman movie. In honor of Sir Anthony’s 77th birthday, here are six roles the actor didn’t land for one reason or another.

Batman & Robin (1997) — Sir Anthony was considered for the part of Mr. Freeze along with actor Patrick Stewart, but that was before Joel Schumacher decided Mr. Freeze should have the body of Mr. Olympus. At that point, the director shifted his sights toward Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hulk Hogan with Schwarzenegger of course securing the part. So Anthony Hopkins was up for the same role as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hulk Hogan and lost — just let that sink in.

Meet the Parents (2000) — The actor’s name was tossed around the table along with Christopher Walken, before producers decided that Robert De Niro was fit to play head of the Focker household.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) — Tim Burton originally wanted Gregory Peck for the part of Uncle Joe, but the iconic actor passed away before the movie went into production, and Anthony Hopkins was next in line. The actor decided to pass on the role to work on Proof and The World’s Fastest Indian instead. The part went to David Kelly.

Batman Begins (2005) — Maybe he was still bitter about not getting to deliver that “Let’s kick some ice” line, or maybe wearing a tuxedo and mentoring a rich billionaire just wasn’t interesting. Either way, Sir Anthony passed on his second chance to hang out with the Dark Knight and Michael Cain took the part instead.

Superman Returns (2006) — Sir Anthony Hopkins ditched Batman and the Man of Steel was no different. At one time though, Hopkins was considered for the project as Superman’s biological father, Jor-El, way off on the planet Krypton. That was when Rush Hour director Brett Ratner was attached to the project, though. Hopkins was even interested in the role, but when the film moved over to the hands of Bryan Singer, Sir Anthony was out and CGI Marlon Brando was in.

“[There was] some political movement,” he said. “I think Brett was out of line with something and they said thank you very much. I never heard from Brett since then, but I was all set to do it.”

American Neurotic (probably never) — This probably-never-going-to-happen project had some legs in 2002 with both Jim Carrey and Anthony Hopkins attached to the dark comedy. The Sony/Columbia Pictures project would have revolved around Jim Carrey as a man with a wild sex life who meets the right girl and enters therapy to spill all of his sexual exploits only to later find out that his therapist is the girl’s father. The project reportedly was stalled because of Jim Carrey’s shooting schedule with Bruce Almighty and never managed to pick up any steam.