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Superheroes Josh Hartnett didn't want to play

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After appearing in teen-oriented horror and sci-fi/fantasy films such as Halloween: H20 and The Faculty, Josh Hartnett was considered to be Hollywood's next big thing thanks to Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down.

With great power comes great responsibility to be Spider-Man, to fight crime and corruption as Batman, and stand up for truth, justice, and the American Way as Superman. These are three of the superhero roles that was turned down by Hartnett, who now stars in Showtime's Penny Dreadful, which has been renewed for a second season.

The role of Spider-Man went to Tobey Maguire in director Sam Raimi's blockbuster trilogy; the franchise is now rebooted with Andrew Garfield as The Amazing Spider-Man and this summer's follow-up.

Christian Bale put on Batman's cape and cowl for The Dark Knight trilogy from Jonathan and Christopher Nolan, while Brandon Routh channeled the late Christopher Reeve in 2006's Superman Returns from Bryan Singer.

Come the summer of 2016 will be Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck as the superhero yin and yang of DC Comics with Dawn of Justice, aka Batman vs. Superman, the sequel to last summer's Man of Steel.

From Robert Downey being reborn as an action hero thanks to the Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes films to Bale winning an Oscar for The Fighter, being a superhero can be a blessing.

But it can be considered a curse from time to time, which includes fears of being typecast, such as the case of Adam West (ABC's Batman) and the late George Reeves (The Adventures of Superman)' unsolved murder -- or suicide. However, the late Clayton Moore might be the exception due to the actor's love of playing The Lone Ranger. Though not considered the definition of a superhero, the Masked Man fought for law and justice during the early days of the American West with the aid of his Indian companion and friend Tonto: paving the way for the Green Hornet and Kato, and Batman and Robin.

Superheroes: love them ... or hate them.


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