JJ Abrams has confirmed that Matt Damon was actually up for a role in ‘Star Trek’ as rumors had indicated, but that he wasn’t up for the role of James T. Kirk as most thought. Abrams actually had approached Damon about the role of Kirk’s father, George Kirk. Damon declined the role.
“I went to Damon for the role of Kirk’s father [George Kirk], and he declined in the most gracious and understandable and logical of reasons. We lucked out with Chris Hemsworth, and he did a great job. Maybe it would have been distracting to have someone as massively famous as Matt Damon in that role.”
Abrams added, “The decision was made very early on to have actors who were not necessarily the most famous but the most right for the role.”