News culture Avatar: a star refused to act in the film despite a hallucinating salary
Published on 11/28/2022 at 15:36
In exactly 16 days, spectators will be able to go to the cinema to discover Avatar: The Way of the Water, the second opus of a franchise launched in 2009. As you may know, the first Avatar was a success colossal, to the point of creating regret in some people.
Avatar 2: an expected success, but James Cameron still fears the worst
Avatar, released in cinemas in December 2009, is simply the greatest hit of all time At the movie theater. No one has managed to dethrone James Cameron’s film, not even Avengers Endgame. Avatar has indeed generated $2.86 billion at the worldwide box office, while Avengers: Endgame stopped at 2.79 billion. The count was almost there, but Avatar remains undefeated. Despite this success, it took many years for the sequel, which was announced from the start, to see the light of day. Postponed many times, the film, like so many others, fell victim to the pandemic.
But after 13 years of hardship, Avatar: The Way of the Water, or Avatar 2, will be released in theaters. The public seems ready to return to Pandora, but all is not well. Announced success, Avatar 2 could to be the penultimate film in the franchise, which should normally consist of five feature films. James Cameron, aware of the great evolution of the market since 2009, wonders if the public still has “something to give a fuck” about Avatar. If the answer is no, Cameron plans to complete the story with a third film, and not to force things. He should have the answer soon, since the first projections estimate the amount generated at around 150 million dollars at the Box Office during the launch weekend. Reassuring projections, which will obviously have to be converted into entries.
Matt Damon could have been Jake Sully and made a lot of money, but…
But let’s go back for a moment to the months and years leading up to the release and boxing of the very first Avatar. As you may know, it is Sam Worthington who holds the main role of the film, playing Jake Sully. He therefore shared the poster with Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Laz Alonso or even Giovanni Ribisi and Michelle Rodriguez, and earned a lot of money.
However, he was obviously not the first choice of James Cameron, if we are to believe the statements of Matt Damon (Ocean’s Elevent, Invictus, Jason Bourne, The Infiltrators). Interviewed by British GQ in 2019, the Hollywood star said he was contacted by James Cameron, with the promise of a good fortune if successful. At the time, the statement went unnoticed, as no one really hoped to see Avatar 2 come out anymore. But as the film’s release approaches, they resurface :
James Cameron suggested Avatar to me. When he offered it to me, he told me he didn’t need anyone, he didn’t need anyone famous. He told me that if I refused, he would find an unknown actor and give him the part, because the film didn’t really need me. But he told me that if I took the role, he would give me 10% of…
He didn’t finish his sentence, but he was going to say “recipes”. Suffice to say that with a box office of nearly $3 billion, it could have made lots and lots of money. If the announced 10% are true, this therefore represented 300 million dollars. What feed some regrets? Yes, even if the actor has enough to live on, and his children “have enough to eat”:
(…) I lost more money than any actor today. It sucks and it’s still something brutal for me, but my children have enough to eat, I’m fine.
As a reminder, Avatar: The Waterway will be released in cinemas December 14. We will find Jake and Ney’tiri there, who have founded a family. Jake has become a real Na’vi, and seems totally fulfilled. Unfortunately, a new threat will push the family and the people to explore new lands on Pandora. They will have to find a way to avoid a cataclysm, and not put Jake in an untenable position vis-à-vis human beings.
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