Sean Connery Quit Acting Because Of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Remember The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or LXG, the extremely 2003 Victorian superhero movie where Tom Sawyer teams up with a Hulkified Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde to punch Dorian Grey's pretty face while doing Matrix-style jumps in front of exploding zeppelins? Apparently, someone at Hulu has determined that the stink of that movie has finally started to clear out because they've just announced a reboot. (Seriously, we dare you to find a more 2003-esque trailer.)
Reportedly, the new adaptation will be "extremely faithful" to the original comic by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill, so expect to see (well, hear) lots of invisible sexual assault and geriatric lovemaking. Who knows, perhaps if the original movie had kept the "old man nailing a 21-year-old vampire" part of the comic, then maybe LXG wouldn't be responsible for hastening the retirement of the film legend who played that old man: Sean Connery. There are bad movies, and then there's "so awful they ended a 50-year-old career that had previously survived Highlander 2 and the sci-fi Borat thong from Zardoz."
In his very clearly contractually obligated promotional interviews for the movie, Connery seemed to confirm the rumors that he only took the role because he regretted turning down others he "didn't understand," like Gandalf in Lord of the Rings -- which, if the reports that he was offered a 15% cut of the box office profits are accurate, means he missed out on hundreds of millions of dollars. Apparently, in Connery's mind, playing a Victorian superhero is exactly the same level of nonsense as playing a wizard surrounded by little people, so he said, "Ah, shcrew it," and signed up for LXG.
Connery called the experience "a nightmare." His main problem seemed to be the director, Stephen Norrington of Blade and "First Guy To Play Morbius (For Two Seconds)" fame, who should have been "arrested for insanity" according to Connery's estimation (he did play a doctor in 1992's Medicine Man). Even while the movie was filming, Connery admitted in the press that it had been a "difficult" shoot, and he just wanted it to be over, amid reports that he and Norrington nearly came to punches over an issue that started with an off-looking elephant gun prop. Later, Connery confirmed that Norrington once told him, "Do you want to hit me?" to which he replied, "Don't tempt me." Good thing Norrington isn't a woman, or Connery might have simply responded with a slap.
Connery claimed that LXG "had a great influence" on him (the only person on the planet who's ever said those words) because it made him "think about showbiz." He elaborated: "I get fed up dealing with idiots. There is a widening gap between those who know about movies and those who green-light movies." After this movie, his only roles were voice performances for a James Bond game, which he called a lot of fun (probably because he recorded his lines from his home in the Bahamas), and an animated movie made as a favor to some friends that has an even lower rating than LXG: 0%.
As for Norrington, he went from directing two superhero movies to working in the special effects department for that crappy 2004 Exorcist prequel, which seems to be his highest-profile film industry work of the past 18 years. In fact, most of the post-LXG IMDb pages of the rest of the cast don't look too stellar either. How many careers will the Hulu remake end? We'll have to wait and see.
Top image: 20th Century Studios