Sean Connery turned down the role of Gandalf what could have been a $434 million paycheck because he didn't "understand it".
November 30, 2006 -- SEAN Connery missed out on the "largest paycheck in cinema history" when he turned down Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema's offer to play Gandalf the Grey in the mega-hit "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The Scotsman newspaper reports Connery's check could have been written for up to $434 million - but he refused the offer, claiming, "I never understood it. I read the book, I read the script, I saw the movie, and I still don't understand it."
I'm sure Ian McKellen's contract was worth far less, so, good job Peter Jackson!
(HT: World of Wonder.)