Matt Damon may be one of Hollywood’s greatest movie stars, but he still missed one of the greatest movies of all time. The 50-year-old actor held a master class at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday and revealed to the audience that he not only missed a very famous role, but also an amazing salary.
“I was offered a little movie called ‘Avatar,’” the star revealed, per Deadline. “[Director] James Cameron offered me 10% of it.”
“I will go down in history,” Damon continued at Cannes. “… You will never meet an actor who turned down more money.”
The Oscar winner said he had to reject the role because he was shooting a Jason Byrne movie and made the “moral” decision not to leave the action series. Instead, Sam Worthington took the lead and won the award. He won the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Academy Award for his work. Worthington, 44, plans to appear in the next four sequels of the film.
“There’s sequels?” Damon joked when an audience member pointed out that Cameron was making other movies, “Oh my god.”
The “goodwill hunting” star also recalled telling his regular partner John Krasinski that he had left the legendary movie. Damon said that the star of the “The office” stood up from his desk in shock and said, “Nothing would be different in your life if you had done ‘Avatar,’ except you and me would be having this conversation in space.”
“Avatar” also starred Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez, etc. The sequel is expected to add several big names to the series, including Kate Winslet, Van Diesel, Edie Falco, and Michelle Yeoh.
“Avatar” premiered in London on December 10, 2009, and was released in the United States on December 18, and received critical acclaim. Critics praised its groundbreaking visual effects. During its theater release, the film broke a number of box office records, becoming the highest-grossing film at the time and in the United States and Canada, beating Cameron’s “Titanic”, which maintained these records for 12 years. “Avatar” has been the world’s highest-grossing movie for nearly a decade, until it was surpassed by “Avengers: Endgame” in 2019, and then re-released in China. “Avatar” regained the top spot in March 2021.
Avatar is the second-largest movie, setting a historical box office record. When “Gone with the Wind” adjusted for inflation, the total amount exceeded US$3 billion. It also became the first film to exceed $2 billion at the box office and became the best-selling film in the United States in 2010. “Avatar” won nine Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Director, and won three awards for Best Art Direction, Best Photography, and Best Visual Effects. The success of the film has also prompted electronics manufacturers to launch 3D TVs, which has increased the popularity of 3D movies.