Christopher Nolan, Al Pacino, and Robin Williams—these three names together are enough to send shivers of excitement down the spine of any cinephile. So, in 2002, after Following and Memento, when Nolan came up with this slow-burn indie thriller, it set an example of his mastery in Hollywood. 

Christopher Nolan and Al Pacino in Insomnia
Insomnia (Image by WB)

One would be surprised to know that it is the only film in Christopher Nolan’s career that he did not write or co-write, yet it is one of those rare remakes that ranks higher than the original in critics’ hearts. With an unconventional story, morally ambiguous characters, and a loss of self, the movie managed to cross $114 million over a $46 million budget. The ability to turn unconventional storytelling into a commercial success that has always defined his career gets a proper jumpstart with Insomnia

According to reports, one of the esteemed cast members, Robin Williams, was interested in working with Nolan in his epic Batman trilogy as a villain but that never materialized.

Robin Williams Wanted To Be This Batman Villain In Christopher Nolan’s Epic Batman Saga

We have seen Robin Williams inspire a generation by being their “O Captain! My Captain” as well as making everyone clutch for their stomachs with Mrs. Doubtfire. However, it has not been just sugar and spice and everything nice with the roles he chose. Be it One Hour Photo or Insomnia, he has proved time and time again that he can trade the murky road of method acting if need be.

Also Read: Christopher Nolan May Have Won the Oscars But Even He Can’t Boast of a Feat Steven Spielberg Has Achieved: Only Video Game to Win an Oscar

Al Pacino and Robin Williams
Al Pacino and Robin Williams (Image via. WB)

Perhaps that is why one of his greatest wishes was to play a villain in none other than the comic book legend Batman’s movie. He wanted to work with Christopher Nolan on his Batman sequel before his untimely and tragic death in 2014. He desperately wanted to play The Riddler, one of the most popular Batman villains after the Joker. However, he remarked (via. Looper) that—

“I’ve been s*rewed twice on that. Years ago they offered me the Joker then gave it to Jack Nicholson, then they offered me the Riddler and gave it to Jim Carrey.”

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While the original cast did a stellar job in the Batman trilogy, it can only be imagined what it would have been with Robin Williams as a frontman. 

Christopher Nolan Believes Insomnia Is His Most Underrated Film

While critics, including the original filmmaker, heaped praise on Christopher Nolan’s work, he still holds the film as one of his most underrated films. (Source: Tom Shone’s book The Nolan Variations)

Insomnia (Image via. WB)

“I’m very proud of the film. I think, of all my films, it’s probably the most underrated. […] The reality is it’s one of my most personal films in terms of what it was to make it. It was a very vivid time in my life. It was my first studio film, I was on location, it was the first time I’d worked with huge movie stars. […] That’s not really for me to say, but every now and again I meet a filmmaker and that’s actually the film that they’re interested in or want to talk about. Yeah, very proud of the film.”

Also Read: “The answer is always the same”: Christopher Nolan Reveals What Will Be His Next Movie After Disappointing Update on James Bond

Even though it is very unlikely that Nolan would attempt yet another medium-budget indie film, especially after the gargantuan heights he has reached recently, one can always hold on to the past memorabilia as a golden reminder. 

Insomnia is available to watch on Prime Video.

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