Daredevil Was Almost Played By A Very Different A-Lister On The Big Screen


Back in the early years of their respective careers, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were basically tied at the hip, not only regularly appearing in films together, but even winning an Oscar for a script they co-wrote. One project that they didn't see eye-to-eye on in the early aughts, however, was the 2003 blockbuster about the Marvel Comics hero Daredevil. While Affleck wound up taking the superhero part, that didn't happen until after Damon actually turned the role down.

Matt Damon has been all over the place recently promoting his titular role in director Paul Greengrass' Jason Bourne, and part of that tour included a sit down with critic Peter Travers. The interviewer brought up the relationship between Affleck and Matt Damon, noting that he had talked to the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice star earlier in the year and that he had mocked Damon for missing out on Daredevil. The Oscar winner then turned the tables on his friend, however, and revealed that he didn't miss out on anything when it came to the film about the Man Without Fear:

I passed on Daredevil, to be fair!... He's got a whole story. But Daredevil, that was our guy when we were growing up. That was our favorite superhero.

Peter Travers pressed for more information, particularly looking for an explanation as to why Matt Damon turned down Daredevil while Ben Affleck chose to accept it:

I did. I didn't love the script, and I didn't know the director. He hadn't really done anything. I just tried to divorce my emotion. Ben's a more emotional guy. He's like, 'DAREDEVIL!'

You can watch Matt Damon talk about turning down Daredevil in the video below:

While director Mark Steven Johnson's Daredevil was a modest box office success when it was released in 2003, making nearly $180 million on a reported $78 million budget, it's still considered by most to not be one of the comic book movie genre's finest hours. As a result, Matt Damon definitely looks like the smarter actor in this scenario -- but it's not as though the project killed Ben Affleck's career (or even stopped him from playing other superheroes).

Do you think Daredevil would have been any better with Matt Damon in the lead role instead of Ben Affleck? Feel free to discuss it at length in the comments section below, and then perhaps watch a couple episodes of the fantastic Daredevil series over on Netflix.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.