James Cameron Reacts to Avatar Almost Starring Matt Damon

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James Cameron on BBC Radio

James Cameron Reacts to Avatar Almost Starring Matt Damon

The history of Hollywood is filled with hypotheticals and what-ifs. Scores of actors turned down famous roles to work on other projects. Avatar director James Cameron recently sat down with BBC Radio 1 to discuss Avatar: The Way of Water. In the interview, Cameron discusses the film’s many technological and cinematic challenges and triumphs. In the middle of the segment, the interviewer turns to Cameron and asks, “When was the last time you had a conversation with Matt Damon?”

This question is in reference to Damon turning down the role of Jake Sully for the first Avatar film. Damon was offered the role and 10% of the film’s earnings in perpetuity, which he declined due to his work on the Bourne franchise. Damon has publicly mentioned this regret, most notably at a Cannes Master Class in 2021.

Related: ‘Avatar 2’ Makes a Splash at the Box Office Earning $135 Million Over Opening Weekend

Jason Bourne

At the time Damon didn’t want to leave the Bourne franchise in the lurch and chose instead to stick out his commitment to those films and that character, having turned down perhaps the biggest Hollywood payday of all time. In the interview with BBC, Cameron spoke again of Damon’s choice by saying, “…he’s beating himself up over this and I really think you know Matt you know, you’re one of the biggest movie stars in the world, get over it…”


Related: Avatar The Way of Water: Spoiler-Free Review

Cameron hasn’t ruled out working with Damon on Pandora in the near future. The interviewer pressed, “If I crossed my fingers, could we have a Matt Damon cameo, just at the very end…” Cameron replied, …”Must do it, have to do it, so that the world is in equilibrium again, but he doesn’t get 10%, f— that.”

Cameron and Jon Landau have given Matt Damon plenty of opportunity to join the world of Pandora with three more films written. You can however see the latest film, sans Matt Damon as Avatar: The Way of Water is now in theaters worldwide.


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Host of Dislife Podcast and Co-Anchor of "And Company" Podcast. Entertainment writer at Chip and Company. Marc is an Annual Passholder, DVC Member, D23 Gold Member, and Run Disney Gold Member.
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