Ben Affleck and Matt Damon both auditioned to play Robin in Tim Burton’s Batman, before the Boy Wonder sidekick was cut from the script. Affleck revealed this scintillating slice of information on Jimmy Kimmel Live, highlighting a great “what could have been” moment from movie history.
Affleck, decades later, wound up being cast as the DC Extended Universe’s big-screen Batman, portraying Gotham’s Caped Crusader in live-action form across Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Justice League. Affleck is currently “contemplating” a solo Batman movie, which is being prepped by War for the Planet of the Apes writer/director Matt Reeves.
Related: Ben Affleck is a New Batman in Justice League
Damon, who starred alongside Affleck in Good Will Hunting, Chasing Amy, Dogma and many more memorable movies, also showed up in a comic book film recently – fans will remember that he had a funny cameo in Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok. Additionally, Affleck and Damon both appeared in a superhero parody trailer to mark Jimmy Kimmel’s 50th birthday. Still, it’s interesting to hear that, back in the day, both of them wanted to play Robin in Burton’s gothic Batman flick from 1989. Affleck spilled these beans while promoting Justice League on Jimmy Kimmel’s couch, as you can see in the video above.
This interesting audition anecdote began with Affleck recounting his childhood friendship with Damon. Affleck got into acting first, with Damon getting jealous when Affleck first got an agent. Damon soon signed with the same agent, and they all regularly went to New York to audition for child actor roles in major projects. They would often go up for the same roles, including the Robin part.
As Affleck recalled in his interview with Kimmel, they weren’t told what they were auditioning for ahead of time. It was a “secret project” and they each had to learn a “dummy generic scene.” However, when they got to the audition, the casting directors told Affleck and Damon that they were auditioning for the role of Robin in Burton’s Batman film.
Ultimately, neither of them got the part and Robin did not feature in Burton’s Batman film. As Affleck puts it, “they ended up deciding it was an ambiguous relationship”, and Robin was cut from the story. He eventually showed up in Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever, years later, with Chris O’Donnell landing the role.
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Source: Jimmy Kimmel Live