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15Pierce Brosnan and John Lithgow turned down the lead roles

Pierce Brosnan and John Lithgow

Pierce Brosnan met with Burton to discuss playing the Dark Knight, only to turn the role down.

Batman and the Joker are iconic figures in pop culture history, so you'd think actors would have been dying to play them onscreen. It's true that many big names were under consideration, but two notable stars also passed.

During a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session, Brosnan explained, “I just

couldn’t really take it seriously. Any man who wears his underpants outside his pants just cannot be taken seriously.” He added that he viewed the role as “a joke.”

John Lithgow, meanwhile, was Burton's first choice for the Joker – and he only has himself to blame for not getting the role. “I tried to persuade him I was not right for the part, and I succeeded,” Lithgow told Vulture. “I didn’t realize it was such a big deal.”

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