Matt Damon Lost Out On $250 Million By Passing On Avatar


Matt Damon has carved out a career as one of the most successful movie stars of the modern era, winning an Academy Award for co-writing Good Will Hunting with Ben Affleck and starring in a series of critical and commercial hits including the Ocean’s trilogy, The Departed, The Martian and the Bourne franchise among others. However, it turns out that the actor missed out on one of the biggest paydays in the history of Hollywood by turning down the chance to headline James Cameron’s Avatar.

In a recent interview, the 48 year-old revealed that the Titanic and Terminator director had approached him to play the role of Jake Sully in the 2009 sci-fi epic, and was so confident in the movie’s chances of success that he admitted to Damon that he would offer the part to an unknown should he say no.

“Jim Cameron offered me Avatar. And when he offered it to me, he goes, ‘Now, listen. I don’t need anybody. I don’t need a name for this, a named actor. If you don’t take this, I’m going to find an unknown actor and give it to him, because the movie doesn’t really need you. But if you take the part, I’ll give you ten percent’.”

Ultimately, Sam Worthington landed the highly-coveted role, and while Damon doesn’t seem too upset at missing out on the chance to play the lead character in what became the highest-grossing movie of all time, missing out on a potential $250m windfall in the process, his biggest regret is that he may never get the chance to work with James Cameron.

“Cameron said to me in the course of that conversation, ‘Well, you know, I’ve only made six movies’. I didn’t realize that. He works so infrequently, but his movies, you know all of them. So it feels like he’s made more than he has. I realized in having to say no that I was probably passing on the chance to ever work with him. So that sucked and that’s brutal. But my kids are all eating. I’m doing okay.”

With Cameron seemingly basing himself in Pandora for the foreseeable future, with the first two sequels having finished shooting and entering the lengthy post-production process, it looks like Damon might be right. Not only that, but there are reportedly up to four Avatar sequels in the works, so unless he gets another call from the Academy Award-winning director somewhere down the line, the two are highly unlikely to collaborate at any point.