Maybe this could have gotten Avatar some acting awards. Director James Cameron revealed that he initially offered the role of Jake Sully to Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal, who both declined, before giving it to unknown Aussie Sam Worthington. Cameron says that Worthington was “his first choice,” and that he only offered the role to the high-profile stars to placate the Fox studio heads who felt a big name would “offset some of the risks” of the expensive film.
"I don’t think they ever had a problem with the CG," Cameron said. "Honestly, did I go out and try to woo them? No. I had my heart set on Sam. Maybe they sensed my lack of 100% commitment from me. Maybe it was the subject matter. This was a big 'Star Wars'-type movie. They’re both serious actors.”
As we know from the Bourne movies and, uh, the Prince of Persia trailer, there’s nothing these two hate more than a “big movie.”
Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal turned down 'Avatar' [Hero Complex/LAT via Cinematical]