Grammy-winning rapper Eminem reportedly had a chance to make his long-awaited Hollywood comeback in the upcoming Elysium sci-fi thriller but ultimately turned it down.
According to reports, Em and South African rapper Ninja were the top prospects to snatch the lead role.
Turns out Matt Damon was the third choice for the starring role in Elysium: director Neil Blomkamp had first sought South African rapper Ninja, from the group Die Antwoord, and then Eminem for the lead in his futuristic sci-fi thriller, The Guardian reports. The South African director first approached Ninja, a countryman who is a fan of Blomkamp’s last film, District 9, but the rapper declined. “It was a f*cked up, difficult decision,” he said. Ultimately, Ninja wanted his breakout role as an actor to be something other than the role of an American character in a big-budget film. (Rolling Stone)
Slim Shady reportedly also said no after the film did not cave in to his personal demand.
Blomkamp next approached Eminem, who said he would do it only if the film were shot in Detroit, his hometown. In the end the role went to Damon who stars as a reformed car thief travelling to a utopian space station suspended in orbit above a ruined planet. Elysium, which also stars Jodi Foster, hits theaters on August 9th. (Rolling Stone)
Earlier this year, reports about a boxing flick which had Eminem attached to it going back into production surfaced.
While there’s nothing set in stone, the next project for director Antoine Fuqua is “Southpaw,” the boxing drama that’s bounced around the development timeline for quite awhile now, and once had Eminem linked to the lead role. Fuqua explains, “‘Southpaw’ was with DreamWorks, that’s when I got the job. Then Em had to go do his music, so we paused it for awhile.” Without confirming whether Eminem is still involved, he says, “I have a great passion for that project, and I met with [Steven] Spielberg about it, and I loved it. The timing of that didn’t work up. And I spoke with Harvey Weinstein, and he loved it from the beginning. So I said, let’s do it. So he went over and talked to them, and Harvey has it now. We’re looking at different casts and I’m looking to be doing that at the end of the summer.” (The Playlist)
Last summer, Em revealed he did not plan on making a Hollywood comeback just yet.
“Nah, I don’t really have any plans to do that as of yet,” Em revealed in an interview when asked if he would return to the big screen in the near future. “I’ve been really into the music, with everything right now. Like, I’ve been really focused on that and trying to, I guess, get the label back where, to a place we want it to be again and things like that.”