We don't think the rapper would have suited the role
We’ve been waiting for Neill Blomkamp’s directorial follow up to District 9 for some time now. At first, the general consensus was that a sequel to the alien hit would be in line – perhaps District 10 – but when Elysium was announced, people soon forgot about that and started focussing on what this burgeoning sci-fi master was going to bring to the table.
Damon is desperate to get behind the camera
Rather worryingly, though, is that if Blompkamp had his own way, we’d be seeing Eminem step into Max’s shoes instead of their current owner, Matt Damon. It’s true; the Detroit rapper was first choice, and Damon was actually third in line.
"I don't even think [Eminem] was my competition. I think Neill went to him, so there was no competition," Damon said to MTV. "He got the offer, but that's probably 75 percent of the things that I do — somebody else got the offer before — that's kind of the nature of the business. I think you end up getting the part you're supposed to get. The right actor gets the part, ultimately. In terms of me, I never asked Neill. I just found out about Eminem because I read it somewhere."
For Damon - who excelled recently in Behind The Candelabra opposite Michael Douglas, and is showing his diversity as an actor by taking on Elysium - this is just part of the job. "I think Neill called him, and he passed, and then Neill called me," Damon added. "It's not like they bring us all in for the cattle call: 'Goddamn it, Clooney's here! I knew it.' It's the kind of thing like — before I was married — asking your girlfriend about ex-boyfriends. You don't want to know, and it doesn't affect your relationship. You just get the parts you get."
The story follows Max in 2154. An outer-space utopia exists in the form of Elysium – a place with no crime, illness or poverty. Earth, of course, is a shadow of itself; ridden with war, corruption and sparse recourses. Only the rich and powerful enjoy a life up on Elysium, and Max is willing to break into it to save himself and the rest of his suffering population.
The highly anticipated follow up to District 9 from Blomkamp also stars Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Brada and Diego Luna. It is due for an August 9th release in the U.S, and hits the U.K later on this month on the 21st.
Matt Damon at Cannes 2013