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Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

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Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

Old 09-06-21, 06:18 PM
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Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

This question applies to both TV and film but I figured I'd post in one board. Who has left the most money on the table by turning down a gig, likely a sequel?

For TV, the first one who comes to mind is Shinichiro Watanabe, director of Cowboy Bebop. I've heard he had millions waved under his nose, and anime people don't make big money, but he has held firm. The story is told, Spike is dead, it's finished.

For film, I'd have to say Jodie Foster, Ted Tally and Jonathan Demme all turning down Hannibal, and all for the same reason: they hated what Harris did to Starling. You have to think they passed on a huge payday.
Old 09-06-21, 06:26 PM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

Chappelle
Old 09-06-21, 07:09 PM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

Sean Connery.

From Wikipedia......

Connery turned down the role of Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings films, saying he did not understand the script.[97] He was reportedly offered US$30 million along with 15% of the worldwide box office receipts, which would have earned him US$450 million.[98][99] He also turned down the opportunity to appear as Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series and the Architect in The Matrix trilogy.
Old 09-06-21, 08:35 PM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

Jerry Seinfeld turned down $5 million per episode to do a final season of Seinfeld. That's $100M+.
Old 09-06-21, 11:51 PM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

I wonder how much money JD Salinger left on the table by never allowing an adaption of Catcher in the Rye, and for never writing another book.
Old 09-07-21, 05:22 AM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

Originally Posted by tommyp007 View Post
Sean Connery.

From Wikipedia......

Connery turned down the role of Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings films, saying he did not understand the script.[97] He was reportedly offered US$30 million along with 15% of the worldwide box office receipts, which would have earned him US$450 million.[98][99] He also turned down the opportunity to appear as Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series and the Architect in The Matrix trilogy.
He was popular, that's for sure. Other things he turned down or was too busy for, Jurassic Park, Silence of Lambs and Shogun mini-series.
He did accept the highest salary ever paid an actor at the time for Diamonds Are Forever. Then donated it all to charity.

I don't know if this is true or not. I read it in one of the books about Bond movies but can't find any reference to it. Although Lazenby had already been given the part for OHMSS, the day before principal photography was to begin, Brocolli and Saltzman went to Connery's house and threw money at him to do OHMSS.
Old 09-07-21, 06:10 AM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

Originally Posted by Fist of Doom Jr View Post
Jerry Seinfeld turned down $5 million per episode to do a final season of Seinfeld. That's $100M+.
Even if the quality dropped big time with another season they could have gone another several years(ie even more then 100mill) if he wanted to given the shows popularity. When your that insanely rich being richer probably stopped being a main concern and he was thinking of the shows legacy/burn out from working on the show so long.
Old 09-07-21, 10:08 AM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

Originally Posted by tommyp007 View Post
Sean Connery.

From Wikipedia......

Connery turned down the role of Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings films, saying he did not understand the script.[97] He was reportedly offered US$30 million along with 15% of the worldwide box office receipts, which would have earned him US$450 million.[98][99] He also turned down the opportunity to appear as Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series and the Architect in The Matrix trilogy.
Didn't understand LotR but was fine wearing a diaper in Zardoz.
Old 09-07-21, 11:06 AM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

Does Watanabe hold the rights to Cowboy Bebop or something? If there was that much demand, I'd think they could do it without him (or maybe he gave that live action series his blessing?)

Wasn't it reported that Bale turned down like 50 million to reprise his role as Batman in BvS?
Old 09-07-21, 11:18 AM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

Probably not a huge amount of money, but I always wish Denise Crosby had struck around for Star Trek TNG. They had to shake up the series after she left, but they changed other things and I think her character could have grown with the rest of them.
Old 09-07-21, 02:50 PM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
Does Watanabe hold the rights to Cowboy Bebop or something? If there was that much demand, I'd think they could do it without him (or maybe he gave that live action series his blessing?)

Wasn't it reported that Bale turned down like 50 million to reprise his role as Batman in BvS?
Watanabe is the creative director. As far as otakus are concerned, he IS CB.

And that live action flick is going to fail hard.
Old 09-07-21, 02:54 PM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

Lacey Chabert leaving Family Guy

Will Smith passing up Neo/Matrix for Wild Wild West.
Old 09-07-21, 03:26 PM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

It's hard for me to fully get my head around the details, but how much money has Alan Moore literally walked away from, while his works still get adapted?
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Old 09-07-21, 03:27 PM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

Bill Watterson never licensing out Calvin and Hobbes for anything
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Old 09-07-21, 04:33 PM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

Matt Damon turned down Avatar because he already had a (verbal) commitment to another film. For the record, he would have gotten percentage points in addition to salary if he had taken Avatar.
Old 09-07-21, 05:13 PM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

Originally Posted by Traxan View Post
Watanabe is the creative director. As far as otakus are concerned, he IS CB.

And that live action flick is going to fail hard.
It's a tv series, but I guess what I'm saying is that either he gave his blessing for the tv series or they decided they can move on with the property (ie: money) without him. I'm not really sure where else they could go that wouldn't tarnish the original, though, at least as far as straight sequels.

I still wonder if we see, say, a Totoro 2 once Miyazaki is gone. I think Goro has more sense than that but that's gotta be a lot of money there.
Old 09-07-21, 06:25 PM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

I gotta think Downey, Evans and Jackman could have a truck full of money backed up to their houses to continue in the MCU.
Old 09-07-21, 06:48 PM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

If Connery turned down LOTR because he didn't understand the script, that was a good decision. Taking the role anyway and doing it badly could have converted the movie into another flop like The Avengers.
Old 09-07-21, 07:01 PM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt View Post
Matt Damon turned down Avatar because he already had a (verbal) commitment to another film. For the record, he would have gotten percentage points in addition to salary if he had taken Avatar.
I think I read that could have been a $250m payday after all was said and done. And that's just for the first film.

Also, I wonder what commitment he had to turn down James Cameron. Who does that?
Old 09-07-21, 10:36 PM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

Originally Posted by Michael Corvin View Post
Also, I wonder what commitment he had to turn down James Cameron. Who does that?
I doubt Kate Winslet is begging her agent for a Cameron gig.
Old 09-07-21, 10:41 PM
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Re: Who left the most money on the table (film and TV)

Originally Posted by Traxan View Post
I doubt Kate Winslet is begging her agent for a Cameron gig.
Why would she need to? She's already in Avatar 2.

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