Why Matt Damon Turned Down The Chance To Play His Favorite Superhero

Today, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is teeming with a roster of award-winning actors. But back in its beginning, not every Hollywood star was thrilled about playing a superhero. In the early 2000s, 20th Century Studios was working on a "Daredevil" stand-alone film starring major comic book characters, including the Man Without Fear, Elektra, Bullseye, and even Kingpin. While Ben Affleck ultimately portrayed the lawyer by day and vigilante at night superhero, he wasn't the first to be offered the role, as per his good friend and "Good Will Hunting" costar, Matt Damon.

When the studio was looking to cast an actor in the titular part, they reached out to Damon with the script first. Being asked to play your favorite superhero is a childhood dream come true, but Damon passed on the role — and he had good reason for it.

Matt Damon didn't love the script

"Daredevil" was successful at the box office, but it's one of those superhero movies you'd like to forget exists. It was just dull and unconvincing. There's no right way to say it. Maybe if the team behind bringing the Man Without Fear to life had some reasonable fear about how things would turn out, "Daredevil" wouldn't suck so bad. Something tells me Matt Damon predicted the film wasn't going to be something to be proud of and decided to turn down the role.

The actor made the declaration (via ABC News), revealing that he didn't love the script and was unfamiliar with the director. Damon was a massive Daredevil fan, but he had to refuse the role and "divorce" all emotions from it. "I passed on 'Daredevil,' to be fair," Damon said in the interview. He continued:

"Daredevil, that was our guy when we were growing up, that was our favorite superhero ... I didn't love the script and I didn't know the director, he hadn't really done anything. So, I just tried to divorce my emotion from [it]. Ben [Affleck] is more of an emotional guy, he was like, 'Daredevil!' He just went and did it."

The Oscar-winner told the New York Daily News that despite the film's box office success (it grossed $179 million), he didn't believe Affleck was "ultimately very proud of it."

Affleck thought the film was 'kinda silly'

When Ben Affleck spoke about his experience playing the superhero, he shared Damon's sentiments. In the documentary "Cinemability: The Art of Inclusion" (via Screen Rant), the actor expressed it was essential to him to know "what it felt like" to be visually impaired and not just look the part. It seems like Affleck really wanted to dive into his craft to do justice to the multilayered superhero, especially since Matt Murdock was his childhood hero. Call it a weak script or a dull performance, but it's one of Ben Affleck's least memorable movies.

When recounting his experience portraying the hero, Affleck shared that the most interesting thing about the film was when he worked with Tom Sullivan, a visually impaired performer, to make his character come across as more authentic. Affleck went as far as describing the "Daredevil" film as "kinda silly." Years later, Daredevil enjoyed a critically acclaimed reboot in the MCU's slate of Netflix television shows, with Charlie Cox in the role. The actor has since become synonymous with the superhero and is expected to continue portraying him in the MCU.

Fortunately, Affleck wasn't typecast as a mediocre Daredevil for the rest of his career. He took on a much more prominent superhero role when he starred as Batman in the DC Extended Universe's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and the films that came after.