Jake Sully – Avatar
Sam Worthington was living in his car before he earned the role in Avatar, so he is probably extremely grateful that Matt Damon passed on the part.
Sam Worthington had mild success acting in Australia before nabbing the role of Jake Sully in the smash hit Avatar, which would turn him into an international star. Before the role made its way into Worthington’s hands, though, it was offered to Matt Damon.
Damon jokes that “passing up the chance to be in Avatar in order to do Green Zone was one of those moments. Because Avatar didn’t do very well…the DVD of Green Zone is just gonna go huge.” Obviously, he opted for a movie that did not do as well at the box office, but he really passed over the Avatar role because it conflicted with the final stages of The Bourne Ultimatum.
If Damon had taken the role of Sully, there probably would have been a lot more smirks, cheeky one-liners, and publicity surrounding the big star of the movie. Instead, the movie was able to generate publicity on its own.