Matt Damon Was Originally Cast As The Best Batman Villain

Matt Damon was initially cast as Two-Face in The Dark Knight but turned down the role.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

matt damon

Matt Damon was originally tapped to play Two-Face in the Christopher Nolan-directed 2008 film, The Dark Knight. But the actor passed on the opportunity because he felt the role was too small. The 52-year-old made the revelation on the Happy Sad Confused Podcast. “It wasn’t Heath [Ledger] or Christian’s [Bale] part,” he said via The Play List.

After confirming the role in question was popular Batman villain Harvey Dent, the actor explained the reason for his decision. “There was some other big movie I was doing, where I was like, ‘I can’t play Harvey Dent, this is a relatively small role. But I am headlining this other thing,’” Matt Damon continued about skipping the Two-Face gig.

Interestingly, Matt Damon being offered the Two-Face role wasn’t the only time he circled the superhero franchise. The Academy Award winner auditioned to play Robin in the first draft of Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie. However, the character’s inclusion in the story was later scrapped. Years later, he was one of the Robin finalists for Batman & Robin directed by Joel Schumacher.

“In 1993, I was one of the final three to play Robin in the George Clooney/Joel Schumacher Batman,” the actor explained. But the part was never really his. He only read for the part due to a pay dispute between Chris O’Donnell and movie bosses.

two face movie home feature
Aaron Eckhart as Two-Face

“The studio was flexing by flying other people to test. But they wanted Chris,” Matt Damon said, comparing the experience to the Two-Face role.

Although Matt Damon would have been great as Two-Face, the role ultimately went to Aaron Eckhart. While he might not be as famous as his counterpart, the actor’s portrayal of Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight is fantastic as a hero and villain. Harvey Dent is initially seen as a politician who wants to be the hero the city of Gotham deserves.

Unlike Batman, Dent fights crime by cleaning up the city with transparent legal processes. But after the Joker kills Rachel Dawes and leaves half his body scarred, Dent becomes Two-Face. That’s when he starts methodically gambling for the lives of those who failed to stop The Joker.

The character’s inner turmoil makes him more complex, nuanced, and human than other villains in the franchise. Matt Damon would have made for an interesting Two-Face.

Meanwhile, Matt Damon has passed on quite a few opportunities in Hollywood besides Two-Face. He also walked away from award-winning films like Spotlight, where Mark Ruffalo eventually took the lead. He turned down a part in Brokeback Mountain directed by Ang Lee.

Matt Damon also turned down starring in James Cameron’s sci-fi magnum opus Avatar.

Matt Damon has been rather vocal about that missed opportunity, unlike the Two-Face role. In 2021, a clip of the actor admitting his mistake at the Cannes Film Festival went viral after he reveal that Cameron also offered him a deal in which he would get 10 percent of the box office profits. “I will go down in history,” he said via Deadline.

Matt Damon said that there will never be another actor who would turn down more money.