James Cameron tells Matt Damon to “Get over it” after losing out on a $250M Avatar offer

Avatar, Matt Damon, James Cameron

Actors are notorious for making bad investments from time to time, but turning down a deal that would eventually earn you millions is an all-time bonehead move. Enter Matt Damon, who, when James Cameron was prepping 2009’s Avatar, turned down an offer to star in the billion-dollar-making blockbuster. In addition to passing on a leading role, Damon refused a part of the deal that would have given him 10% of the film’s box office earnings. Consider that Avatar earned over $2 billion worldwide, which would have netted Damon more than $250 million in returns. “I will go down in history,” Damon told news outlets when he revealed the awful truth. “You will never meet an actor who turned down more money.” That might be true, but one person who isn’t laughing about the situation is Cameron, who thinks Damon should toughen up about the loss.

Speaking with BBC Radio, Cameron commented about Damon turning down the deal, saying, “He’s beating himself up over this.” Adding, “And I really think you know, ‘Matt you’re kind of like one of the biggest movie stars in the world, get over it.’ But he had to do another ‘Bourne’ film which was on his runway and there was nothing we could do about that. So he had to regretfully decline.”

When asked if Damon could cameo in an Avatar sequel, Cameron said, “Must do it. We have to do it so the world is in equilibrium again. But he doesn’t get 10%, fuck that.” Ha! Cameron clearly has no love lost for Damon squandering the opportunity to be part of the Avatar phenomenon.

Losing out on Avatar wasn’t the end of the world for Damon. He made several films in the Bourne franchise, earning millions. The Bourne movies helped solidify Damon as an action star, paving the way for many significant roles throughout his career. Granted, Avatar would have paid plenty of bills, but now he’s got a great story to share with reporters about the time he chose to be a superspy instead of being a part of Cameron’s money-printing universe of blue cat-like beings.

Source: Variety

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a JoBlo.com editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.