Matt Damon Turned Down ‘Avatar’ Role and Lost Out on $250 Million

Matt Damon
Actor Matt Damon attends the 'The Martian' premiere during the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on September 11, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (BAKOUNINE /

Matt Damon revealed he had missed out on a $250 million payday after turning down the lead role in James Cameron‘s 2009 sci-fi movie Avatar.

In a recent interview with GQ for a promotional tour for the upcoming “Ford v Ferrari,” which filmed in Savannah, Georgia, Damon says studios approached him with an offer to pay him 10% of what the movie would end up making.

“[Cameron] goes, ‘Now, listen. I don’t need anybody. I don’t need a name for this, a named actor. If you don’t take this, I’m going to find an unknown actor and give it to him, because the movie doesn’t need you. But if you take part, I’ll give you 10 percent of [the profits],’” the actor said.

Unfortunately, due to prior contractual obligations to “The Bourne Ultimatum” had to turn the offer down. “Avatar” would become the second-highest-grossing movie in history, earning $2.79 billion. The film would end up losing to “Avengers: Endgame” after 10-years. The offer would have made $250 million.

“I’ve left more money on the table than any actor actually,” Damon continued. “I mean, the bigger thing still to this day, my bigger regret is — it would have caused a problem for Paul Greengrass and all my friends on The Bourne Ultimatum, so I couldn’t do it — but Cameron said to me in the course of that conversation, ‘Well, you know, I’ve only made six movies.’ I didn’t realize that. He works so infrequently, but his movies, you know all of them.”


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