'Elysium' Director Wanted Eminem for Matt Damon's Role

[caption id="attachment_186816" align="alignleft" width="300"]Eminem in 8 Mile Universal[/caption]

Did you know that Eminem has an Academy Award? True story. And while the rapper-briefly-turned-actor might've gotten his Oscar for best original songwriting — for "Lose Yourself" from "8 Mile" of course — the thespian abilities of chicka chicka Slim Shady haven't exactly gone unnoticed either.

In fact, "Elysium" director Neill Blomkamp wanted Mr. Marshall Mathers to lead up his new dystopian action film rather than that other guy who actually ended up with the role (Matt Damon Something ... we kid). 

Uh huh. As detailed by Yahoo! Movies, Blomkamp told Wired that his original tippy top choice for the role of Max De Costa, a man who fights back against the system which separates the wealthy and privileged from the lower class by allowing them to float on a man-made space station and hog up all the good healthcare (in other words, a futuristic 99%-er with an arsenal), was a South African rapper by the name of Ninja. That guy turned it down because he thought it was a touch too high profile for a first go at the cinema, and he wasn't crazy about the idea of wielding an American accent for the cameras.

So, when choice number one fell through, the "District 9" helmer looked to B-Rabbit Eminem himself to do it. And, despite the fact that it's been several years since Eminem even did a cameo for the big screen, he was all for it ... on the condition that the movie be shot in his home Rock City, Detroit. So, when that wish couldn't be accommodated, Eminem bailed and Matt Damon eagerly came in to sub and play with semi-automatics and spaceships and all those other fun film toys.

Guess we now know what Slim would do when he got his one shot or one opportunity ... he didn't capture it; he let it slip. For a noble enough cause, though, right?

"Elysium," which also stars William Fichtner, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley and Alice Braga hits theaters on Aug. 9.