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Jake Gyllenhall and Matt DamonIt has emerged that the lead role of Jake Sully in box office behemoth Avatar was originally offered to Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal. Both stars, possibly suspicious of appearing blue-faced, declined the gig and the part was left open for director James Cameron's first choice, unknown Aussie actor Sam Worthington.

Worthington has certainly enjoyed a change in fortune since Avatar. Before filming began he was living in his car, now he's the star of a movie which has made a record $2.5 billion at the box office and looks set to be made into a trilogy. Jake Gyllenhall and Matt DamonIt has emerged that the lead role of Jake Sully in box office behemoth Avatar was originally offered to Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal. Both stars, possibly suspicious of appearing blue-faced, declined the gig and the part was left open for director James Cameron's first choice, unknown Aussie actor Sam Worthington.

Worthington has certainly enjoyed a change in fortune since Avatar. Before filming began he was living in his car, now he's the star of a movie which has made a record $2.5 billion at the box office and looks set to be made into a trilogy.

"I don't think they ever had a problem with the CG, " Cameron told the Los Angeles Times. "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."

Damon and Gyllenhaal are the latest in a long line of big names who for some reason missed out on major parts. Here's some actors and the parts they didn't quite get to play according to movie trivia site notstarring.com .
Steve Martin in Eyes Wide Shut
Stanley Kubrick seriously considered The Jerk star for his sexual odyssey but for some reason cast Tom Cruise.

Cher in Bonnie & Clyde
Much to the displeasure of her husband, Sonny Bono, Cher auditioned the lead role in the gangster flick.

Robert De Niro in The Last Temptation of Christ
De Niro was penned in to play Jesus in the early days of the project. Even more bizarrely he was considered for Dr Otto Octavius in Spider-Man 2.

Michael Cera in Sixth Sense
The Juno star could have been the child actor who said "I see dead people" but he failed the audition.

Cameron Diaz in Mortal Kombat
The Something About Mary actress broke her wrist just before filming began and was replaced by Bridgette Wilson.

Jack Nicholson in Bad Santa
Nicholson considered bringing some menace to Father Christmas but turn it down because he was already committed to Smoething's Gotta Give.

Sylvester Stallone in Star Wars
According to George Lucas Sly was considered for the part of Han Solo.

John Hurt in Silence of the Lambs
Hurt was first choice to play Hannibal Lector but had to pass due to illness.

Tom Hanks in Speed
Hanks was offered the lead role in the 1994 thriller but turned it down.

Madonna in Godfather III
The disastrous casting of Mary Corleone could have been even worse. Madonna was briefly considered for the part.