The Rumor That Will Not Die – Sean Connery Recap

by Jun 27, 1999Lord of the Rings (Movies)

We have received a couple of e-mails about the rumor that will never die about Sean Connery. So here is a little historical recap. I’ve cut and pasted news items from our site and a couple other sites.

Sun, August 30, 1998

…”The basic philosophy is to cast unknowns as the hobbits and use better known actors for the smaller roles, i.e. Elrond, Theoden, Denethor, etc. I would be happy casting unknowns for all roles, as fresh faces will bring a sense of reality to the films, however I’m sure New Line will want some names. We won’t be able to afford huge stars. Sean Connery won’t be Gandalf (one of the most enduring pieces of net mythology). We couldn’t afford him, he wouldn’t live in NZ for a year, and I don’t think he’s right for the role. I love Connery, but I want Gandalf to be fresher than that…”-Ain’t it Cool News Interview

Fri, May 14, 1999 – 07:06 PM EST

“…Connery was vague about coming cinematic projects, but said he was waiting to receive a script of an adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings.'”-Reuters

Wed, June 09, 1999 – 12:05 PM EST

“The Insider has been able to confirm with a New Line official reports on Lord of the Rings movie fan sites that Sean Connery has officially passed on the role of Gandalf. It has also been suggested that Anthony Hopkins may now be up for the plum wizard role. Personally, the Insider would prefer Christopher Lee or Charlton Heston in the part…”-Cinescape

Sun, June 13, 1999 – 03:55 PM EST

“Sean Connery is no longer interested, but at least one Hollywood hunk might be coming down under to star in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movie. A spokeswoman for Creative Agents in Los Angeles told the Sunday Star-Times Connery has declined the role of Gandalf in the $266 million adaptation of Tolkien’s fantasy trilogy, due to start filming in New Zealand from September…”-Sunday Star Times (A New Zealand Newspaper)

Mon, June 21, 1999 –

“…From the pages of The Phantom Grimace, two weeks ago Widgett spoke with Michael DeLuca, el gran hombre over at New Line Cinema. His say in the recent casting rumors? ‘…we’re still out to Sean Connery. He’s reading the scripts and considering it, but no answer yet. I don’t know who Timothy Spall is, and there was never any truth to the Keanu thing.'” – Coming Attractions by Corona

Now all is fine and dandy up until this last one. It seems as if someone has backpedaled. They actually haven’t. Note when the interview was done, two weeks before June 21. This means that the interview was done on June 7, 1999. This is two days before Cinescape reports the news. So I’m going to stick with the thought that Connery is out, and if he was in it wasn’t for Gandalf.


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