There are a lot of high profile roles that were first offered to Sean Connery before anyone else, but the two biggest would absolutely have to be the role of Morpheus in The Matrix, and the role of Gandalf in Lord of the Rings. Connery reportedly turned down both roles when they were offered to him because he “didn’t understand” the material, so Morpheus eventually went to Laurence Fishburne—it, in turn, revitalized his career—and Gandalf went to the brilliant Ian McKellen. He, understandably, later regretted turning down both roles, which led him to join the cast of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen when it was offered to him in 2003. According to producer Don Murphy, when Connery accepted the part, he said: “I got offered The Lord of the Rings, and I turned it down because I didn't understand it. I was offered The Matrix  twice, and I turned it down because I didn't understand it. I don't understand this movie, but I'll be damned if I'm going to turn it down.'”

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