Sir Sean Connery is definitely one of the most iconic and recognized actors in the history of cinema. He is perhaps most well-known as being the first James Bond, starring in seven 007 films between 1962 and 1983. Moreover, he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Untouchables (and many other awards for that matter). Finally, we also know him as Indiana Jones' father, Allan Quatermain, Captain Marko Aleksandrovich Ramius and many other unforgettable characters.
However, "The Greatest Living Scot" and "Scotland's Greatest Living National Treasure" is also known for passing on some roles in movies, that turned out to be more than successful. Note that this post is by no means a reprimand of Sean Connery, he is simply a legend and had a truly amazing career. It is simply a piece of writing for you, the readers amusement and maybe you will be able to learn something new.
Here are the top 5 roles that Sean Connery has turned down:
5. Simon Gruber - Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)
Sean Connery was director John McTiernan's very first choice for the role of Simon Gruber in the third installment in the Die Hard series. He turned down the role because he did not want to play such a diabolical and vile villain. Later on Jeremy Irons was cast in the role of Hans Gruber's cunning brother.
4. John Hammond - Jurassic Park (1993)
Sean Connery was offered the role of John Hammond by Steven Spielberg based on his marvelous performance as Professor Henry Jones in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). He subsequently turned it down and the role went to Richard Attenborough.
Michael Crichton, the famous novelist, physician and screenwriter, who was good friends with Connery, said that Connery wanted more money than the studio was willing to give him and that is why he turned the role down.
3. Thomas Crown - The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
In 2011 during an interview with the New York Daily News, screenwriter, pari-mutuel operator and currency trader Alan Trustman said that he wrote the role of the flamboyant and suave millionaire Thomas Crown in The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) specially for Sean Connery. He also revealed that he objected when the role went to box-office superstar Steve McQueen.
The truth is that "The Greatest Living Scot" had already turned down the role at that point, a decision he has admitted that he regrets.
2. Morpheus/The Architect - The Matrix Trilogy (1999-2003)
The Matrix (1999) is a science-fiction film that managed to revolutionize the genre. In addition, it revitalized Laurence Fishburne's career, who played the role of the ultra-cool captain of the Nebuchadnezzar - Morpheus.
Widespread rumors have suggested that "Scotland's Greatest Living National Treasure" was offered the role of Morpheus, but it is unclear whether this is true. It is thought that Connery was actually offered the role of the Architect in the sequels, that subsequently went to Helmut Bakaitis.
What we do know for certain is that Sir Sean Connery did not take part in The Matrix because he thought that he does not understand the script.
1. Gandalf - The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
Gandalf is undoubtedly the biggest role that Connery has ever rejected. He, understandably, regretted turning down both turning down the role of Gandalf and not taking part in The Matrix, which is the main reason why he joined the cast of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Sir Sean Connery explained that he passed on the role of the wizard because he did not understand the material and had never read Tolkien. Too bad for him because he would have made a staggering $253 million (an estimation) from the role.
We all know that the brilliant Sir Ian McKellen did not make the same mistake and the rest is history...