Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise
Hollywood goss

Katie Holmes' Batman blunder

With The Dark Knight breaking all box office records, the actress is wondering why she knocked back this chance at super stardom. Katie Holmes is bitterly regretting pulling out of the latest Batman movie The Dark Knight — reportedly on the advice of her husband Tom Cruise — after the movie raked in an astounding $155 million on its opening weekend. While Katie's career continues to suffer from a series of flops and she's reduced to filming a guest role on obscure US TV show Eli Stone, the latest instalment of the Batman franchise has set box-office records around the world. It's a final slap in the face for the 29-year-old actress, who starred in the previous Batman movie, 2005's Batman Begins, and whose career was on the upswing before she married Tom in November 2006. Katie had initially agreed to reprise her role as Batman's love interest Rachel Dawes in the film, saying, "They can have me if they want me for two more [movies]". But her attitude to the role suddenly changed after she married Tom, 46, surrounded herself with Scientologist advisors and dropped her long-time manager. She then backed out of the film, citing "scheduling difficulties". Insiders say the actress was convinced by her new entourage that as the wife of superstar Tom Cruise she should consider other roles. "Katie wasn't available for the role, which I wasn't very happy about," confirmed The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan earlier this month. "But these things happen, and I was very fortunate that Maggie [Gyllenhaal] was able to take over." "We never got to the negotiating stage," Katie's spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal. "Katie was offered but was unable to accept the role. She was in the process of negotiating another role." However, insiders say Tom objected to love scenes in The Dark Knight, and instead persuaded his wife to sign up for the disastrous all-female comedy Mad Money alongside Diane Keaton and Queen Latifah. "Tom feels compelled to oversee Katie's career," a friend told US Star magazine. "Katie's agent chose this role for her because it is a female buddy movie," another insider revealed to the New York Post. "There is no love interest and she wouldn't be kissing anyone or have a sex scene." When Mad Money flopped, Katie pinned her hopes on Broadway, but advance ticket sales for her performance in All My Sons have also been underwhelming. Meanwhile, her replacement for The Dark Knight has garnered rave reviews. "A measurable improvement over Katie Holmes," wrote website Daily Camera of Maggie Gyllenhaal's performance. Now, in a move that signals how desperate she's become, Katie has filmed a cameo in the TV series Eli Stone. The show, which airs on US network ABC, consistently struggles to bring in the audience. "Eli Stone? Emmy-nominated? No? A hit? No? A cult hit? No. Left over because of the writers strike last winter? Yes ... So this is what Katie Holmes' career has become," comments Fox News entertainment columnist Roger Friedman. "By now, Holmes must be wondering where things have gone wrong. Nicole Kidman managed to get a terrific career out of her marriage to Tom Cruise. Penélope Cruz's stock only rose after her brief association with him. "But Katie? From Eli Stone, it's hard to imagine where she can go next."