James Cameron tells Matt Damon to "get over" turning down Avatar

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

James Cameron has urged Matt Damon to let the fact he turned down the lead in Avatar go. The Good Will Hunting actor was offered a part in the original movie as well as a slice of the movie’s profits.

"I was offered a little movie called Avatar, James Cameron offered me 10% of it," Damon said at the Cannes Film Festival (H/T Deadline). "I will go down in history. You will never meet an actor who turned down more money."

He was the original choice to play Jake Sully in the movie before it went to actor Sam Worthington. Damon had to turn it down because he was committed to the Jason Bourne movies, and didn’t want to leave the franchise in the lurch.

Cameron has now jokingly addressed the comments in an interview with BBC Radio 1. "He’s beating himself up over this," the director said. "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."

Cameron is still open to the idea of casting Damon in an Avatar sequel. "We must do it," he continued. "We have to do it so the world is in equilibrium again. But he doesn’t get 10%."

Avatar’s long-awaited sequel Avatar: The Way of Water has now opened in theaters. Reviews have been mixed for the new movie but it's performed well at the box office so far.

For more on the sequel, check out our breakdown of the Avatar: The Way of Water ending explained and when Avatar 2 will be on Disney Plus.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.