Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time!
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Cover
Does Star Wars Have A Brain Trust?
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
Edgar Wright Heads For Grasshopper Jungle
He's attached to the YA adaptation
Joaquin Phoenix In Early Talks For Doctor Strange
He could be the Sorcerer Supreme
Comic-Con: Jonathan Pryce & More Join Game Of Thrones
Alexander Siddig, Keisha Castle-Hughes and more set for Season 5
Patrick Wilson Departs Ant-Man
Matt Gerard and Kevin Weisman are also leaving the film
Comic-Con: Maze Runner Sequel In Development
The Scorch Trials should be on the way
Comic-Con: Sam Raimi Is Writing An Evil Dead TV Show
Along with Ivan Raimi and Bruce Campbell
Comic-Con: The Walking Dead Unleashes First Season Five Tease
'We don't know what's coming next...'
Comic-Con: Sam Raimi Talks The Last Of Us Movie
And reveals Maisie Williams in talks
Comic-Con: New Avengers: Age Of Ultron Image
Black Widow finds a LiveWire
Working Title Acquires Enid Blyton's The Famous Five
Five on the development trail
See The Avengers: Age Of Ultron Concept Art Posters
Updated! Now with Black Widow, Captain America, The Vision & more
Gallery: Toys, Models And Stalls From The 2014 Comic-Con Floor
Check out the sights and stalls of 2014's San Diego convention
Raccoon Rule At Guardians Of The Galaxy’s London Premiere
It’s a marvellous night for a racoon dance
New Clip From Football Animation The Unbeatables
Fuss in boots
Comic-Con: New Image Of Ben Affleck As Batman Revealed
Check out the Batdimples on Bruce
Comic-Con: Christopher Nolan Unveils Interstellar
Director’s surprise appearance heralds new information
Hammer Opens The Winchester Mystery House
Spierig brothers prepare for a haunting
Comic-Con: First Poster For Leprechaun Prequel
Leprechaun: Origins goes back to the old country
Podcast #121: Brett Ratner, Jason Blum
What are your 'dating dealbreaker' movies?
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
24 July 2014
First Poster Of Neill Blomkamp's Chappie
South African graffiti
More Movie News

RELATED FUTURE FILMS
Chappie
06 March 2015
Interstellar
07 November 2014
More Future Films

RELATED REVIEWS
The Zero Theorem (2014)
Empire Star Rating
The Monuments Men (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Elysium (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Elysium (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Behind The Candelabra (2013)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Matt Damon Talks Elysium
And nearly headlining Avatar

24 July 2013  |  Written by Phil de Semlyen  |  Source: Exclusive

submit to reddit



Another to file under the ‘Actors Who Could Have Played...’ lists. Chatting with us about Elysium, Matt Damon revealed that he was originally earmarked to play another sci-fi trooper in a certain outer-space epic. Sam Worthington may have snagged the lucrative role of Avatar’s Jake Sully, the paraplegic ex-marine assigned to avatar duties on behalf of an unobtanium-snaffling corporation, but according to Damon, not before he’d passed up the role. “I said no because of scheduling”, he told Empire, adding with a smile, “clearly the movie suffered for my absence!”

Elaborating, he went on: “It didn’t have anything to do with the creative part of it. I was desperate to work with James Cameron – I still am.”

As intriguing a prospect as it would have been to see Damon in full performance-captured, viperwolf-battling mode – assuming he wasn’t actually lined up to play Grace Augustine – it’s easy to see why a long stint in New Zealand, away from his family, might have been a deterrent.

Damon went on to draw interesting parallels between Cameron and his Elysium director, Neill Blomkamp. “I talked to Jim Cameron about Avatar before he made that movie and when he talked about that world he saw it completely”, he remembered, “he’d invented it in his head already – and that was what it was like talking to Neill”.

The two directors share not just a skill for pre-visualising their films, but on Avatar and District 9-form, a liking for smuggling in tart political comment into big, action-orientated stories. Elysium, which see Damon’s tooled-up civvy seeking a cure for his terminal illness amid the ivory towers of the titular sky citadel, looks set to add another slug of us-vs-them, Verhoeven-y satire to the genre.

Watch the trailer here or better yet, pick up the September issue of Empire for much more on Elysium. The new issue – onsale right now – reveals plenty about the latest Blomkamp sci-fi masterclass, with director, star and co-star Sharlto Copley all contributing to a fascinating piece.

Elysium is out on August 21.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Nicholas Hoult Voicing Once Upon A Time In The Kitchen
Gemma Arterton & Stephen Fry also sign on
Disney Re-Scales Pete's Dragon
UPDATE: David Lowery in talks to direct his script

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Our official verdict on Marvel's latest addition to their cinematic universe

Frank Grillo's Ten Toughest Hollywood Tough Guys
The Purge: Anarchy star picks his favourite badasses

Role By Role With Joel McHale
The star of The Soup and Community on Spider-Man 2 and much more

'I Have The Club But I Didn't Get The Lion's Head'
Dwayne Johnson (and pals) talks Hercules props, action and ancient superheroes

Classic Feature: The Making Of The Silence Of The Lambs
Is this the most frightening movie ever made?

Classic Feature: Jack Nicholson - Gods Among Us
Charisma, consistency and cunning summed up in a single word: Jack.

Peter Fonda On Peter Fonda
The Hollywood legend relives his career highlights

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)