James Cameron will have to laugh when Matt Damon turns down the role in “Avatar”. Damon went viral in 2021 after he revealed at the Cannes Film Festival that Cameron not only wooed him to star in the 2009 epic, but also offered him a deal in which Damon would receive 10% of the film’s box office profits. Avatar grossed more than $2 billion worldwide and became the highest-grossing film of all time (not adjusted for inflation), which would have earned Damon north of $250 million.
“I will go down in history,” Damon told the press. “You’ll never meet an actor who turned down more money.”
Cameron was asked about Damon’s decision during a recent interview with BBC Radio on Avatar: The Last Airbender. at the release of the film “Water Road”. The headmaster immediately laughed when Damon’s name was brought up.
“He’s beating himself up about it,” Cameron said. “And I really think you know. “Matt, you look like one of the biggest movie stars in the world, get over it!” But he had to do another Bourne movie, which was on his runway, and there was nothing we could do about it. Therefore, he had to regretfully refuse.”
When Damon brought up the idea of appearing in a future Avatar sequel, Cameron replied: “It has to be done. We must do this to bring the world back into balance. But he doesn’t get 10 percent, damn you.”
Damon said at Cannes that he turned down “Avatar” because he was already committed to finishing his action film “Bourne” with director Paul Greengrass. Although turning down Avatar turned out not to be the best financial decision, Damon insisted it was the right “moral” one. John Krasinski joined the actor during the Cannes talk. Krasinski told Damon. “Nothing would be different in your life if you did Avatar, except that you and I would be having this conversation in space.”
Watch Cameron’s latest BBC Radio interview in full in the video below.