Peter Sarsgaard first joined the DC Universe in 2011's Green Lantern, portraying one of the film's main villains - Hector Hammond. With the critical and box office failure that Green Lantern turned out to be, it would not be a surprise for an actor like Sarsgaard to distance himself from any future superhero outings. Well, unless Batman calls, of course.
It was announced that Peter Sarsgaard would be returning to DC in Matt Reeves' The Batman. Playing a district attorney named Gil Coulson, not much is known about Sarsgaard's character besides the fact that he's an original creation for the film, and that he has "trouble telling the truth." As the film gets ready to resume production, Peter Sarsgaard is providing a few more hints about his mysterious new role.
In an interview with Collider, actor Peter Sarsgaard talked about his upcoming projects, including his experience with The Batman. When asked in particular about how he compares his role in The Batman to his role in Green Lantern, Sarsgaard states:
Well, it’s very different. With Green Lantern, the character was mythic. I’m playing a person in The Batman. The guy that I was playing in Green Lantern was as big as my imagination would let me make him. So yeah, it feels different.
Sarsgaard also revealed how he felt reading The Batman's script for the first time, saying:
I find those scripts really hard to read because they’re visual. And so, when they describe what’s gonna happen, I’m like, “What?”! And it’s actually denser, harder reading than an Alexander Payne script, which you can like rip through because it’s just a bunch of people saying stuff to each other, with back and forth dialogue lines. This was long description action.
The actor was also asked if he had to sign an NDA before reading the script, to which he responded:
A lot of times, you do... I don’t remember, with this Batman. I actually remember, when my wife [Maggie Gyllenhaal] did Batman, somebody sat outside. With this one, it was on Embershot, or one of those things, and it self-destructed.
WHAT THIS MEANS
When Peter Sarsgaard played Hector Hammond in Green Lantern, the character was definitely a classic over-the-top villain, as he got infected with an alien disease and his head swelled on his quest for power. From what's been revealed about Gil Coulson so far, it seems Sarsgaard's The Batman role is very much the opposite of Hammond.
While still a villain, it will be interesting to see Sarsgaard take a completely new approach to portraying a character in a comic book film. It also looks like Gil Coulson's grounded characterization may mean that the already confirmed villains for the film (Catwoman, The Riddler, The Penguin) will be relatively grounded portrayals as well, and it will be fascinating to see just how Matt Reeves differentiates them from the iterations seen in Burton's and Nolan's films.
Sarsgaard also talked about the amount of action description in the film's script, which means that even though Reeves' version of the Dark Knight will be a more noire-style detective film, the director will not be leaving out the exciting action sequences that make comic book films so fun to watch. Fans will just have to wait until next year, though, to see exactly what Matt Reeves and Peter Sarsgaard have in store for the Caped Crusader.
The Batman is set to release on October 1, 2021.