Sean Connery turned down the Gandalf role in Lord of the Rings, saying “I read the book. I read the script. I saw the movie. I still don’t understand it.”
Connery stated in interviews that he was offered a role in The Lord of the Rings series, declining it due to “not understanding the script.” CNN reported that the actor was offered up to 15% of the worldwide box office receipts to play Gandalf, which had he accepted, could have earned him as much as $400 million for the trilogy.
Connery’s disillusionment with the “idiots now making films in Hollywood” was cited as a reason for his eventual decision to retire from film-making.
Connery admitted that he “never understood the script”, adding: “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.”
Meanwhile, Ian McKellen has revealed that he became so frustrated filming green screen scenes for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey that he burst into tears on set.