The real reason Sean Connery turned down Indiana Jones 4 after Last Crusade | Films | Entertainment

Back in the 1970s, Steven Spielberg told George Lucas that he wanted to make a James Bond movie.

Instead, the two teamed up with their own action hero in Indiana Jones.

But when it came to casting the father of Harrison Ford’s lead in the third movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the director managed to convince the original 007 Sean Connery to take the part.

But did you know Connery, who died in 2020, was pursued to return as Henry Jones Sr in 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull too?

By this stage, the former Bond star had pretty much retired from acting after a bad experience on 2003’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Although he did a couple of voice acting roles in the 2005 From Russia with Love video game and 2012 Scottish CGI film Sir Billi.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Connery said in 2007: “I spoke with Spielberg, but it didn’t work out. It was not that generous a part, worth getting back into the harness and go for. And they had taken the story in a different line anyway, so the father of Indy was kind of really not that important. I had suggested they kill him in the movie, it would have taken care of it better.”

In the end that’s exactly what happened, with Connery’s Henry Jones Sr making a cameo appearance in a framed photograph. When it came to his casting in 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, it turns out Gregory Peck was also considered.

Initially, Connery turned down the role since he was just 12 years older than his co-star Ford. But in the end, the former Bond star was convinced by Spielberg and shaped the character in several ways. He wanted to play Henry Jones Sr as inspired by explorer Richard Francis Burton and knew he’d have fun portraying “a gruff, Victorian Scottish father”. The Hollywood legend told Spielberg he intended for the character to be Indy’s match, having done whatever his son had, but better.

Famously, Connery improvised the line “She talks in her sleep” which was included in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as it made everybody laugh. Additionally, he and Ford filmed much of their Zeppelin table conversation in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade without trousers on since the set had become so hot. The former Bond often only wore shorts on film sets where he knew only his waist up would feature in the film. Additionally, when the movie came out, his performance was nominated for both a Golden Globe and BAFTA.

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