Eminem Almost Played Matt Damon's Role in 'Elysium'? Here Are Other Strange First Choices for Film

When you think of Eminem, you don't exactly think serious actor. Though the rapper's film 8 Mile — an autobiographical pic about the struggles he dealt with before his rise to fame — was well-received, Eminem hasn't been in a film since 2009's Funny People... in which he played himself. So it's pretty surprising to think of him as a could-have-been star of the sci-fi film Elysium. Though director Neill Blomkamp wanted the rapper for the role, Eminem turned it down, and it went to Matt Damon instead. But it's not the first time that first choices for roles were drastically different from the film's eventual stars. Here's a list of some other strange actor swaps.

Eminem Almost Played Matt Damon's Role in 'Elysium'

When you think of Eminem, you don't exactly think serious actor. Though the rapper's film 8 Mile — an autobiographical pic about the struggles he dealt with before his rise to fame — was well-received, Eminem hasn't been in a film since 2009's Funny People... in which he played himself. So it's pretty surprising to think of him as a could-have-been star of the sci-fi film Elysium. Though director Neill Blomkamp wanted the rapper for the role, Eminem turned it down, and it went to Matt Damon instead. But it's not the first time that first choices for roles were drastically different from the film's eventual stars. Here's a list of some other strange actor swaps.

Christina Aguilera, 'Knocked Up'

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While Aguilera wasn't completely horrible in Burlesque (mainly because she spent the majority of the film singing, rather than acting), we wouldn't necessarily peg the "Genie in a Bottle" singer as a raunchy comedy artist. Yet, somehow, Aguilera was actually chosen to play the accidentally impregnated woman at the center of Judd Apatow's comedy. She turned down the part to focus on her music career, allowing Grey's Anatomy actress Katherine Heigl to pick it up instead.

David Boreanaz, 'Batman Begins'

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Sure, Boreanaz was great as dangerous-but-ultimately-good-guy-vampire Angel on Buffy, and he certainly had the charm to play billionaire Bruce Wayne in the series. The only issue? Christopher Nolan's Batman was a bit too haunted for the light-hearted actor. The role eventually went to thespian Christian Bale, who could successfully put the dark in the dark knight.

Emma Roberts, 'Spring Breakers'

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This pint-sized actress (who apparently throws a mean punch) was slated to be in the raunchy thriller Spring Breakers. She dropped out due to creative differences, and Ashley Benson of Pretty Little Liars took over the role. Sure, the actresses are within the same age range, but we can't picture Emma Roberts getting down-and-dirty with James Franco's character Alien... or at least we don't want to.

Britney Spears, 'The Notebook'

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Umm, what? Spears could have starred alongside Ryan Gosling in the tearjerker (because the reviews of Crossroads were so good?), but the part ended up going to the much-better-suited Rachel McAdams instead.

Tom Selleck, 'Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark'

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It's hard to imagine anyone other than Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, but at one point, Blue Bloods star Selleck had the part. When it clashed with his TV series at the time, Magnum P.I., Selleck had to turn down the role. Or maybe he just hated snakes?

Leonardo DiCaprio, 'American Psycho'

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DiCaprio was fresh off of his biggest film, Titanic, when he was cast in the violent satire American Psycho. But his boyish good looks and downright nice-guy attitude was something that his "people" didn't want tainted by a role as a Wall Street yuppie/serial killer. The part, like Batman, went to Christian Bale, and DiCaprio got the chance to play evil again years later in 2012's Django Unchained.

Bill Murray, 'Batman'

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Tim Burton's Batman series could have been a whole lot hokier (if that's possible) — originally, Murray was offered the role of the cape crusader. He turned it down, and Michael Keaton took the role instead.