Actors Who Refused Roles In Lord Of The Rings
The Lord of the Rings trilogy has become so ingrained in popular culture that it's difficult to imagine how it might have looked with a different cast, but several notable actors turned down big roles. Here are some of the big names who could have resided in Middle Earth.
According to reports, Sean Connery was offered the role of Gandalf before it went to Ian McKellen. Peter Jackson was apparently so keen on landing the former Bond actor that he convinced New Line to offer Connery a fifteen percent slice of the box office takings, plus a $30 million pay packet. The Lord of the Rings trilogy made just shy of $3 billion worldwide, so it was a pretty costly decision, especially when you consider the fact that Connery went on to star in the career-ending The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen instead. So why did the iconic Scot turn down the chance to play Tolkien's most famous wizard?
In 2012, a retired Connery admitted that he said no to The Lord of the Rings because he just couldn't get his head around the sprawling story. The actor said:
"I read the book. I read the script, I saw the movie. I still don't understand it. Ian McKellen, I believe, is marvelous in it."
When McKellen was asked about Jackson's pursuit of Connery during an interview with Total Film, he joked that the films would have been, quote, "very different" had Connery chosen to take on the role, saying:
Christopher Plummer grew up reading The Lord of the Rings and has admitted to being a huge fan of Tolkien's world, but he still chose to turn down the opportunity to play Gandalf when Peter Jackson came calling. Years later, the actor revealed that he had an issue with the level of commitment required. For Plummer, spending three years in New Zealand at his age just wasn't an option. Keep watching the video to see all the actors who refused roles in Lord of the Rings.
Sean Connery | 0:17
Christopher Plummer | 1:43
Daniel Day-Lewis | 3:08
Nicolas Cage | 4:30
Russell Crowe | 5:57
Kate Winslet | 7:08
Uma Thurman | 8:35
Ethan Hawke | 9:49
Lucy Lawless | 11:04
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