Sean Connery Turns Down Indiana Jones 4, Cast Confirmed

Paramount/Dreamworks has made their big Indiana Jones casting announcements/confirmations, and here's the shocker: Sean Connery will not be returning! Here is a quote from Connery himself:

"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!"

Up until now we've been told that Connery's role was included in the script. I wonder how big of a part he had, and what lengths had to be taken to remove his character from the story's plot.

Okay, we already knew that Harrison Ford, Shia LeBeouf and Cate Blanchett were cast in Indy's next adventure. But now the studio has confirmed a couple more names: Ray Winstone (The Departed, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and John Hurt (V For Vendetta, Alien). I wonder if this is it, and all the big names are in play. I'm happy with all the names listed thus far but disappointed that Connery won't be back. Does anyone think this could possibly be a deflection, and Connery could be filming a surprise cameo that the studio is trying to keep under wraps? I mean, wasn't it just last month that Connery commented that he was still considering the idea?