Aug 29 2010, 9:53pm
Well, while these sort of rumors sometimes turn out to be hogwash, it's looking increasingly like we've found our Radagast. I was actually beginning to wonder if McCoy was playing a character that perhaps doesn't appear in the books but was created by Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro. Granted, this is a crackpot theory which never had much of a chance of being true, but think of it this way: what would you have said back in 1998 had Lawrence Makoare told you he was playing one of the lead baddies in The Fellowship of the Ring? You would have thought Sauron. Or perhaps Saruman, right? You probably never would have considered Lurtz, who doesn't appear in the books but is one of the leads in the film. Okay, so flash forward to now. What if Peter and Guillermo created a new evil wizard for the two prequel films? Instead of doing a Dul Guldur plot that has little to do with Bilbo's adventures, they could have created an entirely new plot for Gandalf that ties into Bilbo's adventure. Also, you wouldn't need Christopher Lee to reprise a role he's probably not going to anyway, and you wouldn't be tied down to a political plot that you may not have all the rights to do. Furthermore, you'd have an antagonist for Gandalf, which would mean our favorite wizard couldn't swoop in and save the day anytime he wanted. And instead of the book's idea of a hodgepodge of unrelated adventures with no bad guy (with the exception of Smaug), you could unify all of Bilbo's adventures with a common antagonist. There is some logic in this argument, right? (Just a little?)
So that's my crackpot theory as to why McCoy is playing a wizard who is not Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast, Alatar, or Pallando. And truth be told, I never believed it to begin with either. But it's fun to think about.
Now I'm wondering how big Radagast's role will be in the upcoming films. Even if it's supposed to be a big one now, it's always possible he'll end up like Morwen. Originally, she was supposed to be this major character in The Two Towers film, and they even filmed Eowyn delivering her baby during the battle of Helm's Deep. In the final cut, her part is so small, most people are probably wondering, "Who the heck is Morwen?" (She's the mother of Freda and Eothain.)
And by the way, if we can defend McCoy's assertion that his part is bigger than Bilbo's by pointing out Radagast is taller, it's time to give John Lennon an apology and say, "You're right. You are indeed two inches taller than Jesus."