Matt Damon‘s next cinematic venture is James Mangold’s race car drama Ford v Ferrari with Christian Bale. Hence why the actor and his co-star were recently given over to GQ‘s British magazine for a massive interview feature to promote the new film. As great as it is to read the two actors’ words about working together on Ford v Ferrari and whatnot, though, it’s what Damon said about turning down the chance to lead James Cameron’s first Avatar film that’s catching everyone’s attention.
While discussing whether or not they had “ever been tempted… to take a big-money film” they knew was “probably going to be bad,” Damon tangentially mentioned that he was offered Avatar by Cameron. Not only that, but he was offered what would have been a massive deal worth $250 million, though long before anyone knew how much money the movie was going to make:
“Jim Cameron offered me Avatar. And when he offered it to me, he 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 really need you. But if you take the part, I’ll give you ten percent of [it].'”
GQ later calculated, based roughly on the staggering $2.7 billion that Avatar made at the global box office, that Damon “could have been a quarter of a billion dollars up” had he taken Cameron’s offer. Or, as the actor recalled of what John Krasinski’s reaction to this was when he told him, “If you had done that movie, nothing in your life would be different. Nothing in your life would be different at all. Except that, right now, we would be having this conversation in space.”
Matt, you could be living in space right now.