Sean Connery, the man behind one of the most famous iterations of James Bond, and the father to Indiana Jones, almost added another huge film series to his name: The Matrix. Connery was actually offered not one, but two roles in the epic science fiction movies.
The veteran actor was initially scouted out to take on the role of Morpheus. Yes, you did read that right. Morpheus acted as one of the central characters in The Matrix movies, battling with his own personal crisis of faith in between bouts of Kung Fu. Connery decided to side-step the part, and the character was eventually portrayed by Laurence Fishburne. It’s almost impossible to imagine anyone else in the role – even Yahya Abdul-Mateen II struggled with the role in the recent sequel.
More suitably, perhaps, the actor was subsequently offered the role of The Architect, the machine program who designed and built The Matrix, who appeared in The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions. Instead of Connery, it was Helmut Bakaitis who took on the role, and it’s fair to say that he took the cold, calculating character and played him to perfection.
In both cases, it’s reported that the actor made his decision to let the roles go to other performers because he simply didn’t understand the material he was working with. In the case of The Architect, certainly, the character is someone who audiences themselves have struggled to get to grips with, even after multiple viewings. While the first action movie in the series is more straightforward, it’s still more complex than your average blockbuster.
Aside from The Matrix, there are plenty of other famous roles that the actor declined as well. For example, it’s common knowledge now that Connery turned down the role of two of the world’s most famous wizards.
Just like with The Matrix, Connery didn’t take on the role of Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy because he said that he couldn’t understand the script. The second wizard was Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movie series, so we’re going to take an educated guess and say that Connery just wasn’t a huge fan of wizards.
If the idea of Connery as a Morpheus has left you bemused, why not take a look at our guide to the best adventure movies of all time to try and decompress. You deserve it.