Matt Damon Auditioned To Play Robin In 2 Different Batman Movies

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Matt Damon‘s association with the comic book genre only stretches to a brief cameo buried under prosthetics in Deadpool 2 and a surprise guest spot as an Asgardian actor in Thor: Ragnarok, a role he’s set to reprise in next year’s sequel Love and Thunder.

However, he’s flirted with DC’s Batman franchise more than once in the past, and we’re not just talking about him being up for Harvey Dent in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight before scheduling conflicts ruled him out of the running. In a new interview, the actor revealed that he auditioned to play Robin twice during the formative stages of his career in both Tim Burton’s Batman and Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever.

“There’s two stories there. There’s the Robin role, we went down to New York. 1987 maybe, ’87, 88′. I would have been 16 or 17. I remember that we didn’t have sides, it wasn’t like you’re reading a scene with Batman. It was so secretive that you’re reading this other scene from some other movie. Chris O’Donnell already had the part, but they were haggling over money. The studio was flexing, basically, by flying in two other people to screen test. They wanted Chris, but they just wanted him for a price. I remember at that stage in my career, you would go in and read, even if you knew you weren’t going to get the part.”

Dick Grayson was included in early drafts of the Batman script before ultimately being dropped, while Marlon Wayans was actually cast as the Boy Wonder in Batman Returns, with plans to introduce him in a third film after the studio told the told Burton there were too many characters in the sequel, meaning there wasn’t enough room for Robin.

Now that we can add Matt Damon the equation, Batman Forever‘s shortlist for Robin makes for incredible reading when viewed through a modern lens. Not only did Leonardo DiCaprio turn down the part, but Ewan McGregor, Jude Law, Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg were all reportedly under consideration, and while it might sound a little harsh, all of them went on to enjoy much more fame, fortune and accolades than the person who actually played the character.

Matt Damon was a complete unknown each time he auditioned, but shortly the second screen test he and Ben Affleck’s script for Good Will Hunting was sold for $600,000, resulting in an Academy Award win for Best Original Screenplay and the springboard to 25 years of success.