Sean Connery explains turning down Gandalf role
Sean Connery (Reuters)
Sean Connery turned down the role of Gandalf in hit movie franchise Lord of the Rings because he didn't understand the part.
Despite being offered a large salary and a portion of the box office profits for the part of the wizard in the film trilogy, which has so far earned over US$2.9 billion worldwide, Connery gave up the role, according to BusinessStandard.com, allowing Sir Ian McKellen to grab it.
The films were considered a risky undertaking at the time by Time Warner's movie studio New Line Cinema as they were being shot by a relatively then-unknown Peter Jackson, and with no Hollywood big names on the bill.
Brian Warner of Celebritynetworth.com says, "Even a veteran star like Sean can make a mistake so big that it causes him to lose out on a mind-blowing amount of money. In order to convince Connery to sign on to the film, the producers pulled out all the stops.
"In addition to a US$10 million per film salary, they offered Connery 15 percent of the box office for all three movies. In what would turn out to be a monumentally poor decision, Connery declined the part because he "did not understand the script".
Connery said of the part, "I never understood it. 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."