When Tim Burton’s Batman opened in movie theaters in 1989, there was no Robin in sight. However, a recent interview with Ben Affleck reveals Burton had originally planned to add the Boy Wonder, and that he and Matt Damon auditioned for the part.
While appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Monday, Affleck chatted about what it was like growing up as a child actor, talking about his birthday parties as a kid (one of them even included a belly dancer) and helping BFF Damon get an agent. As he recounted going to New York with Damon to audition for roles, Affleck zeroed in on one particular audition: a top-secret project that turned out to be Tim Burton’s landmark comic book movie.
“The best one, and in retrospect one that hurts me still to this day, we weren’t sure what it was because they told us it was a secret project,” Affleck said. “And so they gave us what was obviously a dummy generic scene about a kid who wanted to race BMXs or something. We go down there, and when we get into the room they tell us, ‘We didn’t want anyone to know about this and you need to keep it secret, but this is actually an audition for…Tim Burton is making a movie of Batman, and this is for Robin.’ So we both auditioned for Robin, and we were both pretty sure we got the part.”
Ultimately, neither of them got it because “they ended up deciding it was an ambiguous relationship.”
Warning: Spoilers ahead for Thor: Ragnarok — yes, Thor.
Affleck has since gone on to play the Caped Crusader himself after debuting in last year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and he'll appear next Justice League, out Friday. As for Damon? Well, the Jason Bourne actor popped up in a small cameo in Thor: Ragnarok as an Asgardian actor playing the role of Loki — a fact that Kimmel hilariously teased.
“That’s so sad though, that in a way, you went on to be Batman," the talk-show host told Affleck. "Not only he didn’t get to be Robin, but he’s, like, begging for little bit parts in Thor.”