SIR Sean Connery missed out on a staggering $17.5 million (GBP9.2 million) payday because he walked away from the leading role in upcoming movie JOSIAH'S CANON.

The 74-year-old Scot agreed to star in the story of a Holocaust survivor who recruits a team of thieves to rob a Swiss bank where Jews deposited their fortunes before World War Two after meeting with director Brett Ratner.

But the After the Sunset film-maker failed to make an appearance at subsequent meetings and Connery, already scarred by the running battles he endured with director Stephen Norrington while making THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, decided he wasn't prepared to play games and quit the project last year (04).

But Connery is ready to return if the right project comes along - and he is desperate to reprise his role as INDIANA JONES' father if a fourth installment of George Lucas' action adventures ever reaches the silver screen.

The actor's publicist, NANCY SELTZER, says, "He's not interested in just doing anything, to work for the sake of working... He's taken some time off to write his memoirs but he hasn't retired.

"When I asked him if he'd play Indiana Jones' father again in another sequel, he said, 'Of course I would. Don't be ridiculous.'"

Josiah's Canon is due to start filming this month (FEB05). Connery's replacement has yet to be named although a host of stars are in contention for the coveted role including Anthony Hopkins, Michael Caine and Gene Hackman.

11/02/2005 19:21