He was the original and best James Bond, who charmed millions of fans with his suave and sophisticated spy skills. But Sean Connery’s glittering career came to a bitter end when he starred in one of the worst movies of all time.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, released in 2003, was a disastrous adaptation of a comic book series that featured a team of famous literary characters.
The film was panned by critics and audiences alike, and it turned out to be Connery’s last on-screen appearance before he retired from acting for good.
So what happened? Why did Connery quit Hollywood after making this flop? In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, sources close to the actor reveal the shocking truth behind the making of the movie that ruined his career.
A chaotic and erratic director
One of the main problems that Connery faced was the director of the movie, Stephen Norrington, who had a chaotic and erratic style of filmmaking that drove Connery mad.
Norrington, who had previously directed Blade, was known for being unpredictable and unprofessional on set. He often changed the script without consulting anyone, ignored the advice of his crew and actors, and refused to communicate with anyone.
Connery clashed with Norrington constantly on set, and even said that Norrington should be “locked up for insanity”. He also tried to salvage the movie by getting involved in the editing process, but it was too late.
One source said: “Sean was very frustrated with Norrington. He felt that he had no vision or direction for the movie. He also felt that he was wasting his time and talent on a project that was doomed to fail.”
A boring and incomprehensible script
Another problem that Connery faced was the script of the movie, which he found boring and incomprehensible. The movie was based on a comic book series by Alan Moore, which featured a team of Victorian-era literary characters, such as Captain Nemo, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dorian Gray and Mina Harker.
However, the movie deviated too much from the original source material, and added new characters and plot twists that made no sense. The movie also failed to capture the tone and style of the comic book, which was dark and witty.
Connery hated the script, which he felt was poorly written and lacked any depth or character development. He also felt that his role as Allan Quatermain, a legendary adventurer and hunter, was not challenging or interesting enough.
One source said: “Sean was not impressed by the script. He thought it was dull and confusing. He also thought that his character was not very well developed or likable. He wanted to play more complex and nuanced roles.”
Terrible reviews and dismal box office performance
The final nail in the coffin for Connery was the reception of the movie by critics and audiences. The movie received terrible reviews from critics, who called it “a mess”, “a bore” and “a waste of talent”. The movie also failed to impress the fans of the comic book, who complained that it deviated too much from the original source material.
The movie barely made back its budget at the box office, earning only $179 million worldwide against a production cost of $78 million. It also sparked a plagiarism lawsuit from another writer who claimed that the idea was stolen from him.
Connery was devastated by the failure of the movie, which he felt was a stain on his reputation and legacy. He also felt that he had wasted his time and energy on a project that nobody cared about or appreciated.
One source said: “Sean was very disappointed by the outcome of the movie. He felt that he had let down his fans and himself. He also felt that he had no control over his career or his choices. He decided to quit acting for good.”
A loss for Hollywood and his fans
Connery’s retirement was a loss for Hollywood and his fans, who missed his charisma and charm on screen. He was widely regarded as one of the greatest actors of all time, and he received many awards and honors for his work, including an Oscar, three Golden Globes and a knighthood. He also left behind a legacy of iconic movies that will be remembered for generations.
He also turned down other roles that were offered to him, including a cameo in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which he said would have been “fun” but not enough to lure him back to acting.
He instead focused on other things in life, such as writing books, playing golf and spending time with his family. He died peacefully in his sleep at his home in the Bahamas on October 31, 2020.
One source said: “Sean was a legend and a gentleman. He had a long and successful career that he was proud of. He also had a happy and fulfilling life that he enjoyed. He had no regrets.”