Joanita Wibowo

Movies

The major role Russell Crowe turned down that would have made him $100 million

The major role Russell Crowe turned down that would have made him $100 million

Russell Crowe has revealed why he turned down a role in The Lord of the Rings film series.

The actor was offered 10 per cent of the film’s profits instead of an upfront fee to play Aragorn in the blockbuster trilogy.

However, Crowe said he passed on the role because he believed Peter Jackson, the director of the film series, did not want him in the cast.

“I think he was forced into talking to me [by the studio] because there was a moment in time where everybody wanted me in every [movie],” Crowe told Howard Stern in a new interview.

The Oscar winning Gladiator star said when speaking to Jackson in a phone call, he could tell that the director was not familiar with his work. 

“And he's a fellow New Zealander, so I can hear his voice … My instinct was that he had somebody else in mind.

“He should be allowed to hire the actor that he wants.”

The role ended up going to Viggo Mortensen. Other actors who reportedly passed on playing Aragorn include Nicolas Cage and Daniel Day-Lewis.

According to Stern, Crowe would have raked in about US$100 million if he had agreed to appear in the first movie.

Crowe is not the only actor who missed out on a huge payday from the fantasy series. Sean Connery, who passed on the role of Gandalf, was reportedly offered US$10 million per film in addition to 15 per cent of the profits, which could have earned him around US$450 million.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy earned a total of US$2.91 billion in global ticket sales.