Harrison Ford and Sean Connery are damn near looking the same age as it is, so it's no great loss that Connery won't be returning to the Indiana Jones franchise. According to Variety, the actor has turned down George Lucas and Steven Spielberg's offer to appear in Indiana Jones 4, instead opting to stay happily retired.

Connery was expected to return to the film series, which begins shooting this month. In Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, the master thespian played Indiana Jones' father, Henry. But now, apparently, the character is dead.

RELATED: Is Indiana Jones 5 Setting Up Phoebe Waller-Bridge to Replace Harrison Ford?
"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!"

While this is sad news for Indy fans, the good news, as reported earlier today, is that John Hurt has joined the cast. Shia LaBeouf, Cate Blanchett and Ray Winstone also star.

Indiana Jones 4 is going to be shooting around the globe this summer. It opens on May 22nd, 2008.

(Personally, I think this story is a ruse. I think Connery will be in Raiders 4, and that Steven just wants to keep it a surprise.)