Fictional Characters Sean Connery Nearly Played All Of Your Favorite Movie Characters  

Zack Howe
311 votes 126 voters 4.5k views 13 items

List Rules Vote up the roles you would've loved to see Sean take on.

Sean Connery is a titan of cinema. He's been around for a long time, portraying both memorable and rather forgettable characters. But there are a number of roles Sean Connery could've played that would have made his career that much richer. They weren't little parts, either. Rejected Sean Connery roles have gone to such megastars as Ian McKellen, Michael Caine, and Richard Harris, to name a few.

Sure, Connery sometimes had a good excuse for saying no, like playing a certain super spy in blockbuster movies in lieu of being the millionth Tarzan to swing from that vine. But that doesn't mean Connery's above making questionable career decisions. He played Allan Quatermain in the widely panned flick The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, right around the time he passed on parts in The Lord of the Rings and The Matrix. His agent probably wasn't jazzed about those decisions.

Some of the roles Sean Connery turned down might have led to regret; other choices likely worked out better for the final product. But there's no denying that the actor's growling Scottish voice and unique swagger would have brought something different to every character.

Gandalf is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Sean Connery Nearly Played All Of Your Favorite Movie Characters
Photo: New Line Cinema

Gandalf might be Ian McKellen's most famous role, but it almost belonged to Connery. He said no, despite being offered a whopping $6 million per film. But he doesn't seem to regret it, saying, "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."

Also Ranked

#99 on The Best Fictional Characters You'd Leave Your Man For

#7 on The Best Movie Characters of All Time

#5 on The Most Memorable Film Sidekicks Ever

#3 on The Greatest Fictional Magicians of All Time

19 1
Agree or disagree?
see more on Gandalf
Simon Peter-Gruber is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Sean Connery Nearly Played All Of Your Favorite Movie Characters
Photo: 20th Century Fox

Connery passed on the role of Simon Gruber in Die Hard with a Vengeance because he didn't want to play such an evil character. Jeremy Irons got the part.

17 2
Agree or disagree?
see more on Simon Peter-Gruber
Thomas Crown is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Sean Connery Nearly Played All Of Your Favorite Movie Characters
Photo: United Artists

Alan Trustman, the screenwriter of the original The Thomas Crown Affair, wrote the lead role with Connery specifically in mind. But the actor said no, and the character was ultimately played by Steve McQueen.

Also Ranked

#12 on The Greatest Billionaire Characters in Film

#14 on The Greatest Con Artist Characters in Film

30 12
Agree or disagree?
see more on Thomas Crown
Morpheus is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Sean Connery Nearly Played All Of Your Favorite Movie Characters
Photo: Warner Bros./Warner Bros.

Connery was offered two roles in The Matrix series: first Morpheus, and then the Architect. He turned them both down because he didn't understand the script. The parts went to Laurence Fishburne and Helmut Bakaitis, respectively.

Also Ranked

#6 on The Best African-American Characters in Film

#6 on The Greatest Black Characters in Film History

#62 on The Most Hardcore Big Screen Action Heroes

14 2
Agree or disagree?
see more on Morpheus