Here’s the full official statement from Sean Connery revealing that he will not be appearing in the new Indiana Jones movie:
"I get asked the question so often, I thought it best to make an announcement. I thought long and hard about it and if anything could have pulled me out of retirement it would have been an Indiana Jones film. I love working with Steven and George, and it goes without saying that it is an honor to have Harrison as my son. But in the end, retirement is just too damned much fun. I, do however, have one bit of advice for Junior: Demand that the critters be digital, the cliffs be low, and for goodness sake keep that whip by your side at all times in case you need to escape from the stunt coordinator! This is a remarkable cast, and I can only say, 'Break a leg, everyone.' I'll see you on May 22, 2008, at the theater!"
Well. That was nice of him. Will he really be at the theater on May 22nd? Will he camp out the night before? Did he dictate this or write it out longhand? This statement indicates that Connery and the film are still on good terms, which is nice. Maybe there’s even more to this. Maybe Connery simply decided he just wasn’t up to it anymore, which isn’t entirely out of the question. It doesn’t really matter.
My real question is, with the start of filming very close, wouldn’t something like this seriously screw up the production? And how big a part would the character of Henry Jones have been? Was it a cameo? Would he have turned up late in the third act to lend some assistance? Was he so integral to the story that at the eleventh hour he could just say, “Eh, no thanks,” and the production would proceed as planned with out a serious rewrite? Will there be another character—played by, say, the recently announced John Hurt—who will clearly be what was supposed to be Indiana Jones’ dad? I guess we’ll find out in May, but I still wonder if Connery will actually be there, holding me a place in line.
“I should have mailed it to the Marx Brothers.”