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Ben Affleck, Matt Damon Made Mel Gibson Leave $225M Robin Williams Movie That Won 9 Oscars: “Is there any chance you’d just let it go?”

Ben Affleck, Matt Damon Made Mel Gibson Leave $225M Robin Williams Movie That Won 9 Oscars: "Is there any chance you’d just let it go?"

Counted among some of the best movies of all time, Good Will Hunting was truly a classic piece. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s movie was a commercial as well as a critical hit with a gross earning of $225 million worldwide. The movie received nine Oscar nominations and the 1997 sports drama was a very unexpected hit and completely turned around the careers of Damon and Affleck.

Ben affleck
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting

The film was directed by Last Days director Gus Van Sant, who was nominated for Academy Award for Best Director and Best Picture for Good Will Hunting. However, as per reports, Robin Williams’ movie was almost directed by Oscar winner director Mel Gibson.

Also read- Ben Affleck Earned $300,000 While Matt Damon Earned $350,000 For Good Will Hunting That Had a Low Budget of $10 Million

Mel Gibson could have directed Good Will Hunting

Mel Gibson is one of the most talented and acclaimed actor-directors in Hollywood. He was part of numerous movies from 1980 to 2000, including hits like Mad Max, Lethal Weapon, The Patriot, On the Line, and others. He had a breakthrough success with the film Braveheart which was released in 1995 and won him Golden Globe Award and Academy Award for Best Director. Gibson produced, directed, and starred in the movie, which won five Oscars.

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Matt Damon and Ben Affleck approached Mel Gibson to direct the movie on the recommendation of producer Harvey Weinstein. He was interested in the film and was impressed by the script. But things did not work out between them for a certain reason.

Mel Gibson was roasted by Ricky Gervais
Mel Gibson

Film co-producer Chris Moore told Boston Magazine in 2013,

“Mel Gibson developed it for a few months. Matt at one point said directly to Gibson, ‘Look, man. We’re getting too old. If this keeps going by, Ben and I can’t play these parts. Is there any chance you’d just let it go?’ And to Mel’s credit, he said, ‘I totally understand what you’re saying.’ That was a real stand-up thing to do.”

Hence, the Payback star stepped back from the project, and Gus Van Sant became the new director of Damon and Affleck’s film.


Also read-“He just keeps giving himself the best roles”: Matt Damon Accuses Ben Affleck for Stealing His Favorite Roles Despite Letting Best Friend Star in Career Ending $179M Marvel Movie

Good Will Hunting was directed by Gus Van Sant

Good Will Hunting‘s new director was Gus Van Sant. Damon and Affleck met the director around the same time as Gibson, who had already worked with Affleck’s brother, Casey Affleck, for a film. There was some comfort zone, and the connection between the actors and the director was already there.

The director’s attention to detail made him the perfect choice for Good Will Hunting. He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. And the film became one of the biggest achievements for the director and the actors.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck with their Oscars for Good Will Hunting
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck with their Oscars for Good Will Hunting

After dropping the project, Mel Gibson directed another major hit in 2004 named The Passion of the Christ. It was a commercial success but also attracted lots of controversy.

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon became quite famous with the film and got lots of individual projects after the hit. Affleck later entered the DC world as Batman for the movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The actor will soon reprise his role in The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

Also read- “I liked what we did”: Ben Affleck Doesn’t Regret $100M Box-Office Bomb With Best Friend Matt Damon After Good Will Hunting’s Massive Success

Source-Showbiz Cheat Sheet

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Written by Arushi

Arushi is a keen follower of Hollywood movies and TV shows. She has an experience of 5+ years in content writing and loves to write on everything around Hollywood and fan fiction. An ardent Hollywood buff, Arushi loves to tell stories through her writing and has contributed to several posts. You will find her following celebrities and enjoying classics in her free time.