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Sean Connery Turned Down Role Of Gandalf As He Didn't 'Understand' It

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Sean Connery Turned Down Role Of Gandalf As He Didn't 'Understand' It

The late Sean Connery may have played many iconic characters during his lengthy, award-winning career, but Lord of the Rings' beloved wizard Gandalf ended up being the one that got away - as he turned the role down because he didn't 'understand' it.

Of course, eventually Gandalf was played by Ian McKellen, whose turn as Frodo's grandfatherly mentor in both the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit movies proved to be something of a seminal role.

But it turns out Sean Connery had been in the running at one point, despite reportedly being offered a $10 million per film salary and 15 percent of the box office from all three Lord of the Rings flicks.

Ian McKellen as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings. Credit: New Line Cinema
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings. Credit: New Line Cinema

A previous article from Brian Warner of Celebritynetworth.com claims that producers 'pulled out all the stops' to try and get Connery on board.

However, the actor decided to decline, having been quoted as saying: "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."

News broke earlier today that Connery had passed away at the age of 90.


His acting career spanned decades and led to him being awarded an Oscar, two BAFTAs and three Golden Globes, having also received a knighthood in 2000.

Connery in 2005. Credit: PA
Connery in 2005. Credit: PA

While he had many famous film credits, including the likes of The Hunt for Red October, Highlander and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Connery was arguably most well-known for playing the original James Bond - starring as 007 in a total of seven films between 1962 and 1971.

Following the news of his death, James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli issued a statement paying tribute to the late star.


They said: "We are devastated by the news of the passing of Sir Sean Connery.

"He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words - 'The name's Bond... James Bond' - he revolutionised the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent.

"He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Entertainment, TV and Film, Celebrity

Jess Hardiman
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