Actors have been known to get back-end deals on films before. Perhaps nothing compares to the amount of money Matt Damon missed out on for Avatar.
Damon was up for the role of Na’vi in James Cameron's blockbuster film Avatar. He couldn't take the part thanks to scheduling conflicts as he was trying to finish The Bourne Ultimatum. As a result, Sam Worthington got the part, his big break and the rest was history.
Damon said that Cameron had offered not only the role but a cut of the profits. Damon explains that when it was offered, Cameron said he didn't need a star for the film but that if Damon wanted it, he'd get a nice cut. Damon says the director told him, "But if you take the part, I'll give you ten percent of...’ So on the subject of money…"
That means, had Damon taken the role and the film still done what it did at the box office, (a staggering over $2.78 billion worldwide), Damon's paycheck would have been a quarter of a billion dollars. That would have equated to more money than any actor had ever gotten in history.
Damon is probably still fuming, while Cameron is probably thankful Damon couldn't commit.
Matt Damon and Christian Bale star in director James Mangold's chronicle of Le Mans 66 in Ford v Ferrari. pic.twitter.com/3z1L61Z05v— IGN (@IGN) September 17, 2019
Did It Really Bother Matt Damon?
One would have to assume that Damon still thinks about how much money he left on the table from time to time. That said, he's done quite well for himself in the movie industry and is hardly hurting for roles or cash.
His next project is a film alongside Christian Bale titled Ford v. Ferrari, and it hits theaters on November 15. It likely won't make the kind of money Avatar did, but something tells us, it will do alright because Damon is in it.