Sean Connery Turned Down an Offer to Play Gandalf in Lord of the Rings

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sean connery gandalf offer

Ridiculous blunder, or stupid mistake. We’ll let you decide. World famous Scottish actor Sean Connery turned down an offer to play Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, and presumably, the chance to reprise the role in the three Hobbit films. No big deal right? Well this decision actually managed to set back the aging James Bond around $450 million! Holy fuck! That’s not a mistake or a blunder. That’s a damn disaster. So why did Sean Connery turn down an offer to play Gandalf when it was going to cost him so much money?

It’s my personal opinion that the role, and possibly the entire movie for that matter, may have been saved by Connery rejecting the role. The performance of Sir Ian McClellan was spectacular, and absolutely true to the book. While Sean Connery would have bought a superstar box office draw card to the movie, and is certainly the better known actor of the two, could you really imagine Connery in the role?

~Alwaysh remember, Frodo, the Ring ish trying to get back to itsh mashter. It wantsh to be found.

~You shall not passh.

~Do not mishtake me for a conjurer of cheap tricksh.

Yeah, it doesn’t quite fit as well, does it. To tell you the truth, looking at it now, I think that I would have been laughing uncontrollably at some of the phrases. But just not being able to portray the role of Gandalf as well as other actors could doesn’t explain why Sean Connery knocked back the offer.

Why did Sean Connery reject the Gandalf offer?

Sean Connery turned down an offer to portray Gandalf simply because he didn’t understand the role. HUH? Did I miss something? Correct me if I’m wrong, but if you don’t understand something isn’t it reasonable to ask someone to explain it to you? Perhaps not in Connery’s world.

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I read the book. I read the script. I saw the movie. I still don’t understand it. Ian McKellen, I believe, is marvellous in it.
~Sean Connery on rejecting the role of Gandalf

So I guess you are wondering why the role cost him so much money. It was one of the pivotal roles in the books, and it really needed a powerful and demanding performance to bring it to life. In offering Sean Connery the role of Gandalf, the producers promised him $6 million per movie. That’s a lot of money, but not quite the $450 million that he missed out on. The remainder was part of a deal that promised if he took on the role he would have been entitled to 15 percent of box office profits. In other words, a shitload of cash.

But this hasn’t been the first case of Connery rejecting a major role in a movie because he didn’t understand the part. He was also offered the role of Morpheus in The Matrix, a role that Laurence Fishburne ended up taking, because he once again failed to understand the script. I guess that it just proves that even James Bond can make disastrous mistakes worth millions.

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