Money makes the world go round, but not for some celebrities. Throughout the years, a slew of A-listers walked away from big-money contracts due to all sorts of reasons.
Most recently, Ellen DeGeneres announced that she will quit the Ellen Show after the program’s 19th season next year.
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Money isn’t a problem for DeGeneres, whose net worth is estimated at $84 million. Still, the funny woman gets a huge chunk of her net worth from Ellen Show.
At the end of the day, DeGeneres explained that as early as 2018, she already knew that Season 19 would be her last.
“Two years ago, I signed a deal for three more years and I always knew in my heart that season 19 would be my last. Two years ago, I signed a deal for three more years and I always knew in my heart that season 19 would be my last,” she said.
Other than DeGeneres, several other celebrities have decided to walk away from their equally big money contracts throughout the years. Here’s a look at some of them and their reasons for doing so.
8 Jerry Seinfeld – $100 Million Contract
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Jerry Seinfeld headlined a TV show with his namesake, and it aired from 1989 to 1998. Before the program bowed out of primetime television, Seinfeld was offered $110 million to do another season that will comprise 22 episodes.
However, the actor and comedian declined the offer because he felt that he had already given his character everything that he’s got.
To date, Seinfeld has no regrets over his decision. He’s been adamant at saying that he left the show when it was the perfect time for it to end.
7 Will Ferrell – $29 Million Contract
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Will Ferrell was offered $29 million to reprise his role in Elf 2. According to reports, the actor felt that he wouldn’t be able to give his character Buddy justice if he returned in the sequel.
Ferrell doesn’t also regret his decision because he was being protective of his role. He didn’t also want his fans to think that he accepted the offer to reprise the role because of the money.
6 Christian Bale – $50 Million Contract
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Bale starred in The Dark Knight trilogy as Batman, and he reportedly earned $54 million from the three movies.
Due to the franchise’s success, Bale was asked to return for another installment, but he refused even though he was offered $50 million.
Bale explained that when he signed on for the role, director Christopher Nolan told him that Batman will appear in a trilogy. So, the idea of a quadrilogy didn’t cross his mind.
5 Michael Keaton – $15 Million Contract
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Michael Keaton reportedly declined a $15 million contract to star in Batman & Robin because he didn’t like the script.
When Keaton starred in the first Batman movie, he was paid $5 million. And when he returned to the next installment, he was paid $10 million.
If the actor agreed to return to the third installment, he would’ve been given a $15 million salary. Keaton explained that he didn’t like the direction where his character was headed.
After all, in the first two movies, Keaton’s character had a darker tone. But when his character failed to resonate with audiences after the second movie, the producers wanted to make his character more light-hearted.
Unfortunately, Keaton wasn’t sold on the idea so he didn’t return to the franchise.
4 Keanu Reeves – $12 Million Contract
Keanu Reeves was brought to fame after he starred in the hit movie, Speed. He was also given millions for his first appearance.
The producers of the film thought about a sequel shortly after the film grossed $350 million, and they wanted Reeves back. But when the actor read the script, he didn’t like what he saw so he declined their $12 million offer.
3 Katie Holmes – $15 Million Contract
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Katie Holmes was offered $15 million to headline the hit series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. However, the actress declined the role and it was given to Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Back then, the mom of one wanted to focus on finishing high school that’s why she declined the gig. But she later starred in Dawson’s Creek, where she also earned a generous sum.
2 Matt Damon – $278 Million Contract
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Matt Damon was offered a role in Avatar for $287 million, but he refused. When asked for an explanation, Damon said that he refused the role because it would’ve caused problems for Paul Greengrass and his pals on The Bourne Ultimatum.
1 Ja Rule – $500,000 Contract
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Ja Rule was offered a role in Fast 2 Furious for $500,000 but he was unable to grab the opportunity.
In the first installment, Ja Rule made a cameo in the film, and he was paid $15,000.
According to reports, the producers of the film tried contacting Ja Rule’s team, but they didn’t get any response so they decided to hire Ludacris instead.
The singer, later on, said that the movie wasn’t what he wanted to do back then.
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Source: BBC, Bored Panda
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