Despite a distinct lack of awards-season love thus far, we’re sticking to our guns and proclaiming Matt Damon’s turn as ornery Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (pronounced LaBeef, but bearing no relation to Shia) in the Coen Bros.’ badass Western “True Grit” (in theaters December 22) one of the year’s finest and most entertaining performances.
With a role like that in his holster, it’s no wonder that the erstwhile Jason Bourne is in as much demand as ever these days. He’s already wrapped the thriller “The Adjustment Bureau” and the animated sequel “Happy Feet 2,” and has a gaggle of projects — including Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion” and Cameron Crowe’s “We Bought a Zoo” — already in the hopper. But the most recent film Damon has been linked to is perhaps the most exciting: “Elysium,” a top-secret sci-fi flick that reunites “District 9” director Neill Blomkamp with star Sharlto Copley. When MTV News caught up with Damon at the “True Grit” junket, we asked him whether he would indeed make his first foray into sci-fi with “Elysium.”
“I’m hopeful. I really, really, really want to do it and I want to work with Neill. I think he’s a genius,” Damon gushed. “I loved ’District 9.’ It was one of my favorite films last year. I thought the performances were incredible. So I’m hoping that it happens.”
Damon wouldn’t reveal much (OK, anything) about the “Elysium” plot, but did say he’s over the moon for the pitch. “It’s a great idea. It’s 100 percent Neill, I’ll put it that way. And that’s about the highest kind of praise I can give it.”
So any chance Damon will play a some kind of E.T. in the flick should he sign on to star? “I’m not going to be a 10-foot-tall blue alien… though I did have a chance to be in that movie,” Damon smiled, referring to “Avatar.” “I love Jim Cameron… My schedule didn’t permit me to be a part of that one, which is too bad because I think that Jim has really lost a lot at the box office because he didn’t have me,” he joked. “So he’s probably still upset about it.”
Do you hope that Damon signs on for “Elysium”? And would you have liked to see him star in “Avatar”? Tell us in the comments!