If his career had gone a little differently, you'd know Josh Hartnett as more than the hot guy in Pearl Harbor. In fact, if he is to be believed, Hartnett could have been in every superhero franchise since the genre's rebirth.

In an interview he did with Details to promote Penny Dreadful (well, at least he's getting work), Hartnett acknowledged that he had plenty of opportunities to don various hallowed spandex costumes in the earlier parts of the last decade.

DETAILS: You're 35 now, but in your twenties, you got offered pretty much everything. You turned down Superman Returns, and you were in talks to play almost every other superhero.

Josh Hartnett: Spider-Man was something we talked about. Batman was another one. But I somehow knew those roles had potential to define me, and I didn't want that. I didn't want to be labeled as Superman for the rest of my career. I was maybe 22, but I saw the danger.

DETAILS: Your agents must have been slitting their wrists.

Josh Hartnett: I didn't have those agents for much longer after that. There was a lot of infighting between my manager and agents, trying to figure out who to put the blame on. It got to the point where none of us were able to work together.

DETAILS: What would you say if Warner Bros. called you tomorrow and said, "Josh, we'd still love you to wear the cape. We've got a great new concept . . . "?

Josh Hartnett: I'd say, "Let's talk about how it would be done, see if we can get on the same page." Compromise doesn't scare me anymore.

Somehow, it's hard to believe the studio will replace their current Superman with some guy they wanted for the role back in 2004.

[H/T Uproxx, image via Getty]