Thirteen years after its original release, Avatar remains the highest-grossing film of all time with a worldwide gross of over $2.9 billion. But if the casting situation worked out differently, it also could have made Matt Damon at least $250 million richer. In 2019, Damon made headlines when he revealed that James Cameron offered him a role in the movie that came with the promise of 10% of its box office earnings. He even noted that “you will never meet an actor that turned down more money.” And while speaking with BBC Radio, Cameron finally responded to Damon’s regrets about turning the offer down.
Although Cameron couldn’t help but laugh as soon as Damon’s name came up during the interview, he confirmed that the actor’s obligations to the Bourne franchise kept him away from Pandora all those years ago. Regardless, he also conceded that this probably didn’t put much of a dent in Damon’s wallet (or his status).
“He’s beating himself up over this,” joked Cameron. “And I really think you know, ‘Matt you’re kind of like one of the biggest movie stars in the world, get over it.’ But he had to do another Bourne film which was on his runway and there was nothing we could do about that. So he had to regretfully decline.”
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Cameron also addressed the possibility of Damon getting a role in another upcoming Avatar installment to make up for the missed opportunity. But if this does end up happening, he shouldn’t expect a similar paycheck.
“Must do it,” said Cameron. “We have to do it so the world is in equilibrium again. But he doesn’t get 10%, f**k that.”
Avatar: The Way of Water is now playing in theaters everywhere.
Could you see Damon starring in the original Avatar? Would you like to see him appear in a sequel? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!
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