Released in 2009, Avatar changed the world cinema when creating a fantasy world, incorporating poignant messages about the environment and people. In the film, Sam Worthington plays Jake Sully – a paraplegic ex-soldier chosen to transform into the Na’vi, infiltrating the planet Pandora. The film’s success changed Sam Worthington’s life, but this opportunity almost belonged to someone else.
Before James Cameron chose actor Sam Worthington, many actors were targeted for the role of Avatar’s Jake Sully. Among them, the most prominent are Chris Evans and Channing Tatum. Possessing a toned body, attractive face and high recognition, Evans and Tatum are definitely slightly better than Sam Worthington.
However, in the end, the Avatar director chose the star born in 1976 because he felt that he had the quality of voice and aura. “I will follow him into battle. I will not listen to anyone else. Others have great careers but Sam is also ready,” Cameron said.
But that’s not all. Overcoming “Captain America” and 21 Jump Street comedy star, Matt Damon is the “heaviest” candidate for Sam Worthington. By the time Cameron received the invitation, Matt Damon was already a hit action star. However, because he was busy filming the Bourne series as well as having an agreement to stick with this brand, Matt Damon turned it down. Although James Cameron offered a salary of up to 10% of the revenue, the actor did not accept it.
Sharing at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, Matt Damon joked that the audience will not see any actor rejecting a higher salary than him in the future. On the other hand, Sam Worthington probably needs the role of Jake Sully more than Damon when in 2007, he was still an “unknown name”, struggling to live every day in his own car to find a chance to change his life. After the resounding success of Avatar with sales of more than $ 2.8 billion, Sam Worthington has completely turned to a new page in his life.
If Matt Damon in the past accepted to be the male lead Avatar, now he can “pocket” up to $ 280 million, and at the same time become the actor with the highest grossing movie of all time. Currently, when Avatar is being replayed around the world in the framework of welcoming the release of part 2, this remuneration will certainly increase even more. But unlike Damon, Worthington is in fact said to only bring in about 4-5 million USD for the male lead role of Avatar.
Source: Entertainment Weekly