Former James Bond Sean Connery has suddenly withdrawn from Fox’s Josiah’s Canon which he would have been paid $17.5 million, according to a report by Michael Fleming in tomorrow’s Variety.
The film has been in development for some time now and was ready to begin shooting in Prague in February 2005 with Brett Ratner directing (Bret Ratner just finished working with Pierce Brosnan on After The Sunset, set for release November 12). Despite this setback, Fox studio has already begun the process of trying to replace Sean Connery to keep the film on track.
As for the bigger picture, Connery’s departure has stirred talk that he may retire from acting at age 74.
The official line from a Connery spokesman is that the actor withdrew from Josiah’s Canon because he decided to give his full attention to writing his memoirs (view CBn’s report). Sources confirm he has dived into the process over the past few weeks.
But the Variety report suggests his withdrawal goes deeper than that.
Sean Connery’s salary is among Hollywood’s highest, but the headaches of mega-budget studio films have completely drained his enthusiasm. What finally did it for him was the awful experience he had during his last film, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, where he clashed loudly with director Stephen Norrington.
Perhaps some time off from acting, completing his Autobiography and a good script may spark Connery into making another movie.