Cillian Murphy received plenty of worldwide praise for his portrayal of the Scarecrow in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, and the 43-year-old revealed how he managed to land the special gig.
Murphy was the first actor to portray Scarecrow in a live theatrical film in Batman Begins (2005), the first of the Nolan-Christian Bale Batman series. Murphy discussed in an interview with GQ (h/t Charlie Ridgely of ComicBook.com), about how he was assigned the role.
As you may know by now, Murphy was actually auditioning for the role of the Dark Knight. However, Nolan talked to Murphy and was able to find another role for the 28 Days Later and Intermission star.
"I had seen Chris' movies prior to Batman Begins and I was a huge fan of them," Murphy explained. "About 10 of us went up for Batman and I was aware that I was clearly not the right material for Batman. So I did a screen test in the whole suit and everything. But Chris said there might be another part. So we met and we chatted, and I ended up playing Scarecrow in the end."
Murphy then prepared himself for the role by reading some of the Scarecrow comics that were handed to him by the crew. Simply put, everything turned out just fine for Murphy, Bale and everybody else associated with the film.
Ra's al Ghul, played by Liam Neeson, was the main villain in the Batman film. Scarecrow (Dr. Jonathan Crane), also played a key role in the film's plot - where he tortured others by spraying his signature fear gas.
Murphy's Scarecrow also made an appearance in The Dark Knight (2008) early in the film. However, Batman arrives and manages to subdue Crane, who is tied up and left for law enforcement.
Scarecrow also shows up in the trilogy's final film, The Dark Knight Rises. Dr. Crane oversees trials and offers citizens of Gotham (including Commissioner Gordon and his crew), the choices of "death" or "exile." The latter option came with a twist, "death by exile."
The Scarecrow is the lone Batman villain that appeared in each of Nolan's three Batman movies. The character was also one of the main villains in the Batman: Arkham Knight video game. Murphy deserves all the credit in the world for bringing more attention and relevance to this somewhat overlooked Batman character.