We know Matt Damon from his work in the Bourne series, The Adjustment Bureau and the fabulous upcoming film The Martian. The action hero is arguably Damon’s most famous character, but he could easily have been known for some other high profile roles if he hadn’t turned them down.
Here are the famous roles that Damon was offered but said “Thanks but, no thanks” to:
1. Avatar (2009)
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.
“Having to say no to 'Avatar' was tough because I particularly wanted to work with James Cameron, and still do, because he’s fantastic,” Damon said to Playboy.
“He knew he was the star of that movie and that everyone was going to go see it anyway. When he said, ‘Look, I’m offering it to you, but if you say no, the movie doesn’t need you,' I remember thinking, ‘Oh God, not only do I have to say no because of scheduling, but he’s going to make a star out of some guy who’s going to start taking jobs from me later.'”
2. The Dark Night (2008)
One of the biggest mistakes of Matt Damon's career was passing the role of Harvey Dent in the 2008 blockbuster hit 'The Dark Night'.
“I couldn’t, there was a scheduling thing,” Damon said to MTV.
But the Hollywood nice guy added that he doesn’t think he could have done better than Aaron Eckhart who ended up playing Dent in the film.
“Look, Aaron is a great actor, so the movie didn’t suffer for it. Every now and then you get one and you can’t do it.”
3. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
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."
4. Daredevil (2003)
The 44-year-old star, who grew with Affleck said, Daredevil was the comic they read as kids, but he turned down the offer because he did not know the director, reported New York Daily.
“When that one came along I chickened out, because I couldn’t tell,” Damon said. “I hadn’t seen the director (Mark Steven Johnson’s) work and I didn’t know. So I just said, ‘No.’ Ben was like, ‘I gotta do it.’
“And the movie ended up doing very well, even though I don’t think Ben was ultimately very proud of it.”
5. Milk (2008)
Matt said that he regrets having to turn down the role in Milk that eventually went to Josh Brolin.
“'Milk' was another hard one because I was excited ... and I would have had the chance to do scenes with Sean Penn,” Damon said.
“They pushed the schedule and it ran into the slot for 'Green Zone.' Steven Soderbergh’s mantra is, ‘The movie gets the right person; the right actor gets the part,' but I was like, ‘S--t, no. That was my part’. But when I saw 'Milk,' Josh Brolin was so f---ing good that I knew Soderbergh was right.”