One Line Cost Chris Evans and Channing Tatum the Role of a Lifetime in Avatar

One Line Cost Chris Evans and Channing Tatum the Role of a Lifetime in Avatar
Image credit: Legion-Media/20th Century Studios

And that, kids, is how history was made.

Released in 2009, James Cameron 's Avatar stands as a cinematic milestone that forever changed the landscape of filmmaking. With groundbreaking technology, a compelling story, and portraying the visually stunning world of Pandora, the film remains a masterpiece that continues to captivate audiences with the story of human Jake Sully's transformation into a Na'vi and the leader of the Omatikaya clan.

Dedicated fans of James Cameron's masterpiece are familiar with the story of Matt Damon's decision to pass up an iconic starring role due to his commitment to the Bourne franchise. Despite his regrets, he turned down the offer, which included a potential 10% share of the profits, a staggering $250 million.

Instead, an unknown Australian actor, Sam Worthington, eventually won the role of Marine veteran Jake Sully, beating out Hollywood stars for the part. Although producers had initially considered a more established Hollywood presence, nearly making that choice.

Other notable participants included Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Pratt, and Chris Pine, but the top contenders were Chris Evans, Channing Tatum, and Sam Worthington. So why did this life-changing role ultimately go to a then-unknown name in Hollywood?

One Line Cost Chris Evans and Channing Tatum the Role of a Lifetime in Avatar - image 1

Because of Worthington's captivating voice quality and intensity, director James Cameron ultimately chose Sam Worthington over Hollywood's established names. With three candidates in mind, Cameron admired the charm of Tatum and Evans but was particularly impressed with Sam's powerful delivery of a pivotal speech.

Cameron noted that the quality of Sam's voice gave extraordinary power to the line, "This is our land, ride now, go as fast as the wind can carry you," and that's when the life-changing decision was made.

After hearing Worthington's performance, Cameron felt that Sam was the one he could confidently follow into battle, and this conviction played a pivotal role in the casting decision.

In addition, to emphasize the character over a Hollywood star, James Cameron deliberately chose a lesser-known actor to play Jake Sully. Moreover, the casting of a well-known face would have presented technical challenges in the creation of the avatar, making the choice even more problematic.

In the end, Sam Worthington's lesser-known status in 2009 worked in his favor, and his captivating, powerful voice not only made the American dream come true but millions of people around the world follow the Na'vi leader to this day.