Forget Matt Damon, James Bond Star Sean Connery Lost Millions by Refusing Keanu Reeves’ ‘The Matrix’ for a Role That Went to Andrew Garfield’s ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Co-Star

Forget Matt Damon, James Bond Star Sean Connery Lost Millions by Refusing Keanu Reeves' 'The Matrix' for a Role That Went to Andrew Garfield's 'Hacksaw Ridge' Co-Star
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Known for being the definitive 007, thanks to his excellent performance in seven James Bond flicks, Sean Connery has left a lot behind for fans to rejoice after he sadly passed away at the age of 90. And while it’s hard to imagine a more impressive resume than playing the definitive British Spy, who reinvented Bond for the big screens, Connery had regrets about turning down two iconic projects.


Like Connery’s performance in acclaimed classics, including Dr. No and Goldfinger, which reshaped the Bond mythos, in the late ’90s similar thing happened to the sci-fi realm after The Matrix debuted. The Rock star, who was retired from the Bond title by then, was offered to star in the iconic franchise, but he refused.

Also read: Sean Connery Reportedly Returned as James Bond Just for Revenge – 6 Other Stars Who Came Back to Their Own Franchises After Turning Their Backs on Them

Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr. No
Sean Connery as James Bond

Sean Connery Didn’t Understand The Matrix

Not one, but Sean Connery was offered to star in the iconic franchise on two separate occasions, with the first one being the role of Morpheus, which later went to Laurence Fishburne. And while it’s hard to imagine anyone else except Fishburne in the iconic role, whose chemistry with Keanu Reeves was impeccable, Connery was also offered the role of the Architect in the sequel, which kind of seems fitting for the actor, who was 70 at the time. But for similar reasons, the actor once again turned down the role, as he “did not understand the script,” per The Sunday Times

This isn’t the only major role the actor dropped at the time, as the Goldfinger Star was also the initial choice for Gandalf in the beloved LOTR trilogy, which later went to Sir Ian McKellen.

Also read: Sean Connery Changed His Mind About Retirement as James Bond After Studio Offered $500,000 More For His Return in $116 Million Worth Movie 

Helmut Bakaitis as the Architect
Helmut Bakaitis as the Architect

Sean Connery Rejected LOTR for Similar Issues

Committing to the Lord of the Rings films was a big task for all the actors involved, as the production of the films was conducted concurrently for three years in Peter Jackson’s native country, New Zealand. However, the three-year commitment wasn’t the major reason that drove Sean Connery away from the project, as he refused the role for not understanding the fictional story.

But the regret of letting the two iconic roles slip pushed him to join The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen when it was offered to the actor, but unfortunately that film tanked among critics.

Also read: “He’s closest to the character in the book”: Not Daniel Craig, Christopher Nolan Has a Surprising Pick For the Best James Bond Ever

Ian McKellen as Gandalf in a still from The Lord of The Rings franchise
Ian McKellen as Gandalf

Although losing the role of Architect, which went to Hacksaw Ridge actor Helmut Bakaitis, didn’t impact the actor’s legacy, however, losing LOTR was a huge deal for the actor. Considering he’d have received 15% of the trilogy’s box office in addition to the $10M salary, he missed out on taking a huge paycheck home, which sums up around $450M. And surprisingly, the amount is even bigger than what Matt Damon would’ve taken home if he agreed to star in Avatar.

The Matrix is available to stream on Max.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is available to stream on Max.


Source: The Sunday Times


Written by Santanu Roy

Articles Published: 1446

Santanu Roy is a film enthusiast with a deep love for the medium of animation while also being obsessed with The Everly Brothers, Billy Joel, and The Platters. Having expertise in everything related to Batman, Santanu spends most of his time watching and learning films, with Martin Scorsese and Park Chan-wook being his personal favorites. Apart from pursuing a degree in animation, he also possesses a deep fondness for narrative-driven games and is currently a writer at Fandomwire with over 1000 articles.