Matt Damon as the Boy Wonder? It could have happened. Twice. While speaking with Josh Horowitz for the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Matt Damon revealed that he has actually auditioned to play Robin in two different Batman movies — Tim Burton’s Batman and Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever.
Although the role of Robin wound up being cut from the script in Tim Burton’s movie, Matt Damon remembers auditioning when he was still a teenager. “We went down to New York. 1987 maybe — ’87, 88′. I would have been 16 or 17,” Damon said. “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.” A few years later, Damon once again auditioned for the role in Schumacher’s movie, but Damon recalls that he was just being used by the studio to force Chris O’Donnell to accept a smaller deal.
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 knew Chris, and I remember calling and saying, “I’ll work for a quarter of what that dude’s working for!”
As the studio clearly wanted Chris O’Donnell, Matt Damon knew he wasn’t going to get the part, but he went in to do the screen test anyway. “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,” Damon said. It’s hard to imagine a world in which Matt Damon could have played Robin, but despite missing out on wearing tight green pants, I’d say Damon has done okay for himself.
Matt Damon will next be seen in Stillwater, a crime drama directed by Tom McCarthy that opens in theaters tomorrow (check out a review from our own Matt Rooney). Damon will also be starring alongside Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, and Ben Affleck in Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel, which is set to hit theaters on October 15, 2021.