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Matt Damon explains reason behind turning down lucrative Avatar offer

Written by on July 30, 2023

Matt Damon has explained the reason behind his decision to turn down the lead role in James Cameron’s 2009 space epic Avatar.

The Oppenheimer star, 52, rejected the role despite an offer from director James Cameron that included receiving 10% of the box office back end, which would’ve netted the actor an eventual $250 million (£195 million) payday.

During a recent interview with CNN, Damon explained that he turned the job down because he was contracted to the Bourne movies at the time.

“I’m sure it’s the most money an actor ever turned down, you know?” the actor began. “I had a contract. I was in the middle of shooting the Bourne movie and I knew that we were going to need work at the end and I had to get it all the way to the finish line and I would have to leave the movie kind of early and leave them in the lurch a little bit and I didn’t want to do that.”

The Martian star admitted he “desperately” wanted to work with Cameron but couldn’t leave his “friends in the lurch”.

During an interview with the BBC last December, ahead of the release of Avatar’s sequel The Way of Water, the media outlet pitched the Aliens director the idea of having Damon cameo in a future Avatar sequel.

Cameron responded, “(We) must do it. We have to do it so the world is in equilibrium again. But he doesn’t get 10%, f**k that.”

The character of Jake Sully eventually went to Sam Worthington.


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