James Cameron said recently that Matt Damon needed to “get over” turning down a roughly $270 million role in “Avatar.”
In 2019, Damon told GQ that before the “Avatar” lead Sam Worthington was cast, Cameron offered him the role, as well as 10% of the movie’s profits. Damon said he had to turn down the role to star in “The Bourne Ultimatum” but regretted that he missed out on receiving 10% of the profits of one of the highest-grossing films ever and one of his few opportunities to work with the award-winning director.
Since the movie made $2.9 billion (after rereleases) at the worldwide box office, Damon could have earned about $270 million — so far — after taking into account the film’s estimated $237 million budget and marketing expenses.
In an interview with BBC Radio 1 published on YouTube Friday, Cameron addressed Damon’s comments.
“He’s beating himself up over this, and I really think, Matt, you’re kind of like one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Get over it,” Cameron said. “But he had to do another ‘Bourne’ film, which was on his runway, and there’s nothing he could do about that, and so he had to regretfully decline.”
Cameron then said he would be willing to include Damon later in the franchise.
“We must do it,” the “Titanic” director said. “We have to do it so that the world is in equilibrium again. But he doesn’t get 10%. Fuck that.”
When talking to GQ, Damon said he once mentioned the story to John Krasinski, who was shocked.
“I told John Krasinski this story when we were writing ‘Promised Land,'” Damon said. “We’re writing this movie about fracking. We’re writing in the kitchen, and we’re on a break, and I tell him the story and he goes, ‘What?’
“And he stands up and he starts pacing in the kitchen. He goes, ‘OK. OK. OK. OK. OK.’ He goes, ‘If you had done that movie, nothing in your life would be different. Nothing in your life would be different at all. Except that, right now, we would be having this conversation in space.'”
Damon added that while he regretted turning it down, he’d still made a lot of money in his career.
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