As one of Hollywood's most respected actors, Matt Damon has been up for a great number of high-profile roles. As we approach the release of 'Elysium,' his latest would-be blockbuster, let's take a look at the opportunities (and a couple disasters) that Damon has shied away from over the years.
Jake Hoyt, 'Training Day'
Damon was attached to the part of Jake Hoyt, but it eventually went to Ethan Hawke. Which was great for Hawke, who scored a Best Supporting Actor nod.
Harvey Dent, 'The Dark Knight'
Damon reportedly turned down the part of Harvey Dent, which went to Aaron Eckhart. (Ryan Phillippe, Liev Schreiber, Hugh Jackman and Mark Ruffalo were also in contention.) We can only imagine the handsome-off that would've ensued between Matt and Christian Bale.
Kid, 'The Quick and the Dead'
Damon turned down the role of "The Kid" in Sam Raimi's Western, which ultimately starred Leonardo DiCaprio.
Capt. Danny Walker, 'Pearl Harbor'
Producers wanted to cast Damon in a lead role opposite pal Ben Affleck, but couldn't get him. Thus we never got to see 'Good Will Hunting Goes to War.'
Damon was offered the part, but turned it down because it was too similar to Jason Bourne. He kindly recommended his buddy Ben Affleck, who got the part that people are still raving about today (not really).
Bobby Mercer, 'Four Brothers'
Damon turned down the part of Bobby Mercer, which ultimately went to Mark Wahlberg, because he felt the script was "ultra-violent."
Damon turned down the part of 'Daredevil' because he didn't have faith in the script or the director. The part, of course, went to Ben Affleck, who never really cared about that sort of thing before he became a respected filmmaker.
Ennis Del Mar, 'Brokeback Mountain'
Damon was attached to the Ennis role when Gus Van Sant was developing the short story into a film, but both eventually moved on to other projects. Damon later told EW that he regretted turning down the part, but at that point in his career he couldn't follow-up a gay movie ('The Talented Mr. Ripley') and a cowboy movie ('All the Pretty Horses') with a "gay cowboy movie."
Damon was considered for the role of Robin, but it wound up going to Chris O'Donnell, which in hindsight is probably a good thing for Damon.
Damon was the studio's first choice for the lead role of Jake Sully in 'Avatar,' but James Cameron picked Sam Worthington, who was relatively unknown at the time.