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 Reportedly Returned as James Bond Just for Revenge – 6 Other Stars Who Came Back to Their Own Franchises After Turning Their Backs on Them
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Even famous actors like Sean Connery had to start somewhere and find the one role that would catapult him to global fame. He portrayed the iconic British spy agent James Bond six times before leaving the project and eventually passing it on to the next actor.

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Many Hollywood stars chose to leave movie franchises but only ended up returning for varied reasons, and Connery was one of them. Other actors like Orlando Bloom, Natalie Portman, and Vin Diesel also made the same decision. Let’s find out why.

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

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Sean Connery – Never Say Never Again (1983)

Sean Connery
Sean Connery

After starring in the 1971 film Diamonds are Forever, Sean Connery left the franchise, and actor Roger Moore took up the mantle of the 007 role. The subsequent James Bond movies were so successful with the new star on board, and Connery did not seem to have any chance to come back again.

In 1983, a problem involving rights issues over the Bond novel Thunderball gave a rival studio a chance to work its magic and contend with the canon James Bond franchise. Because this was a guaranteed money-maker at the box office, they gave Sean Connery a generous offer of $5 million and a portion of the gross income to star again as James Bond.

The actor reportedly returned not solely for the paycheck, but for the sweet revenge. According to Yahoo News, Sean Connery wanted to get back at James Bond producer Albert R ‘Cubby’ Broccoli who “cheated him out of millions when he refused to make him an equal partner on the films in the 1960s.” With Never Say Never Again, the Scottish actor had a hand in the production for the first time.

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Orlando Bloom – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

Orlando Bloom
Orlando Bloom

The Lord of the Rings star appeared in the original trilogy films before calling it quits as he wanted to do different projects. While he admitted to having fun in making the movies, the franchise continued without Will Turner.

Orlando Bloom had a change of mind when he returned for the fifth movie with a new persona. He told IGN, “I’m of course Davey Jones now, so I’m down the bottom of the ocean. It might be kind of fun to do something where I’m rumbling round the bottom of the ocean because I won’t look anything like me.” His presence definitely helped bring in the money after the film earned $795 million at the box office.

Natalie Portman – Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)

Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman

The Black Swan actress is one of the most notable MCU stars who has expressed being done with superhero movies. Natalie Portman revealed that her return in the second installment was only due to contractual obligations, but as it looked like she had sworn off any chance of reprising her role as Jane Foster, she eventually came back again as a demigod.

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This was a huge surprise for the fans, especially after its announcement at the San Diego Comic-Con back in 2019. The pandemic caused more anticipation, but finally, Portman appeared in last year’s Thor movie as Mighty Thor.

RELATED: “I remember I was down on my knees”: James Bond Star Sean Connery’s Terrifying Presence Petrified ‘Explosive’ Michael Bay as He Failed to Give Direction Out of Fear

Vin Diesel – xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017)

Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel

Apart from the Fast & Furious franchise, Vin Diesel is also recognized for his role as Xander Cage, an athlete recruited by the NSA for an undercover mission. It performed well at the box office and guaranteed the promise of a sequel, but the actor declined to return.

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Diesel told USA Today, “The script wasn’t right. They changed writers. It wasn’t XXX to me.” The producers continued the narrative without the original lead star, and as expected, it did not capture the audience’s interest. When he finally got a script suited to his liking, Diesel decided to revive the franchise.

Jean-Claude Van Damme – Universal Soldier: The Return (1999)

Jean-Claude Van Damme
Jean-Claude Van Damme

Jean-Claude Van Damme starred in the 1992 sci-fi action film Universal Soldier, and despite not becoming a massive box-office hit, it earned a cult following from science fiction aficionados. Because of this, the studio ordered a sequel, but the lead star was no longer attached to the project. They eventually chose Matt Battaglia to replace Van Damme.

As the original star’s career was experiencing turbulence around that time, he tried to get back in his groove. Van Damme reprised his role in Universal Soldier: The Return, which served as the sequel to the first movie, erasing every effort that Battaglia’s versions gave to the franchise.

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Michael Keaton – The Flash (2023)

Michael Keaton
Michael Keaton

Tim Burton’s Batman films revived the iconic character with Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader. He came back for another shot in Batman Returns, but the actor eventually left before the third installment due to creative differences with the studio.

Keaton’s version of Batman is notably one of the best; this is why fans have always wished for the actor’s return to the franchise. To everyone’s surprise, the Beetlejuice actor put on the cowl once again in Ezra Miller’s The Flash.

Linda Hamilton – Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

Linda Hamilton
Linda Hamilton

James Cameron’s Terminator films are absolutely one of the best science fiction movies that both old and new generations loved. The success of the duology paved the way for more sequels, but they did not perform as outstanding as the original ones. When Cameron left the project, Linda Hamilton did not return as well.

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It was only when the Canadian filmmaker himself helmed a sequel in 2019 that convinced the actress to try it one more time. The presence of the duo, however, was not enough to revive the franchise.

Sources: Yahoo News, IGN, USA Today

RELATED: “I’d never seen him so nervous”: Sean Connery Fumbled His Iconic James Bond Line So Badly That His Bond-Girl Actress Had to Force Him to Drink

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Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 2049

Ariane Cruz, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.