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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
What about Saruman?

RaoulJ
Rivendell

Nov 5 2009, 5:24pm

Post #1 of 21 (1464 views)
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What about Saruman? Can't Post

I know this has been posted many times. But when McCere posted his summary (great!) I couldn't stop wondering..
How do they wanna do the acting with Lee? Well, first we have to cross the point 'Will they cast Christopher Lee?', but
after that, if he still wants to; he doesn't want to go NZ. Do they film his scenes with a greenscreen somewhere in England?
Or will they try and get him over, so he can fight alondside of Gandalf in the Batlle at Dolguldur? What is your thought on the matter.

Or maybe you even think he doesn't have to be in the movie(s)? Unthinkable for me, but maybe you have some arguments and points?

Thanks in advance...


PettyMim
Rivendell


Nov 5 2009, 6:40pm

Post #2 of 21 (523 views)
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Got to be in it [In reply to] Can't Post

Well I think Sarumans's got to be in it! And it wouldn't feel right for anyone else to do it but Sir Lee. Even he can't travel for filming I would imagine it would take no great effort to use technology to make it look like he's on set with the rest of them. Perhaps they could even transport actors from NZ to the UK for any one one one scenes with Lee.


Elizabeth
Half-elven


Nov 5 2009, 9:51pm

Post #3 of 21 (501 views)
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Greenscreen in England would be my guess. [In reply to] Can't Post

There was no "battle of Dol Guldur" mentioned in the Appendices of LotR (the only source officially available to them). What we know is, in TA2941 (when Bilbo's quest took place):

Quote
The White Council meets; Saruman agrees to an attack on Dol Guldur, since he now wishes to prevent Sauron from searching the River. Sauron having made his plans abandons Dol Guldur.


Now, moviemakers being what they are, they may invent a battle, but there's no reason to think Saruman would take part. He pretty much stayed in Isengard, as far as we know. So, some greenscreen for the Council should be perfectly adequate.





The Rohirrim, by Peter Xavier Price

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


MouthofSauron
Tol Eressea


Nov 5 2009, 10:48pm

Post #4 of 21 (473 views)
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agreed. [In reply to] Can't Post

do they ever state where the White Council is held? Isengard? Lorien?



AinurOlorin
Half-elven

Nov 6 2009, 12:27am

Post #5 of 21 (477 views)
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I cannot see them leaving Saruman out of Council business, and I cannot [In reply to] Can't Post

see them leaving Lee out as Saruman. I can only think that they will do England and greenscreen, perhaps even a second set or two for the council Area of Rivendell or Lorien. There were duplicate sets in the LOTR films, and there were also several scenes where the actors were placed in a setting they had not actually been in. The technology is there to make it happen. If the will is there, the way is clear.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Chiticot
The Shire


Nov 6 2009, 8:01am

Post #6 of 21 (446 views)
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I hope Christopher Lee will be a part of the movies [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope they will make Saruman appear (he's one of the Council's members) and I hope Mr. Lee will play him. I know he said he can't make it to NZ, but we are living the XXIst century... they have to find a way to film him.Wink


nuck
Rivendell


Nov 7 2009, 4:31am

Post #7 of 21 (436 views)
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He is too old. [In reply to] Can't Post

He will be almost 90 when shooting is done, if he is still alive, and he won't go to NZ. I will actually miss him more as Saruman than Holm as Bilbo as he was the completely perfect fit for the role, unlike Ian, who was already too old for the "young" Bilbo in FOTR. Only we fans are obsessed with our heros defying and age to reprise favorite roles. Mr Lee has not indicated any desire to appear in the Hobbit by technological means

CGI freshening of Saruman, and green screening all of his scenes will make him noticably different from the other characters,even if GDT agreed to shoot that way(which i don't for a minute think he would). Easier to sell Frank Langella(also 6'4" with a deep voice)as a younger Saruman, than a 90 year old Lee.



AinurOlorin
Half-elven

Nov 7 2009, 7:32am

Post #8 of 21 (405 views)
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Here, I disagree, Nuck. [In reply to] Can't Post

First, his health is more relevant than his age. George Burns worked and did cameos practically up until his death at age 100. Many other actors, far less supernatural in their bearing and demeanor than Lee, have managed work into their 90s. I agree that frank Langella, and, though you did not mention him, Max Von Sydow ( seven years Lee's juniour) would make wonderfull replacements, should there be a need. But if the matter is well managed, short of a catastrophe, there would be no need. Christopher Lee is still in relatively good health. If the production team has the foresight to have certain set peices replicated in England, with blue screen assistance, they can begin getting his essential scenes filmed early next Spring. There is no need to wait until the last minute, and the last shots of the second film to get as much work as can be managed from him.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


nuck
Rivendell


Nov 7 2009, 6:45pm

Post #9 of 21 (394 views)
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I guess firstly it depends on the size of the role [In reply to] Can't Post

If it is 8 minutes or less of screen time and mostly solitary monologue shots with no physical demands it certainly increases the possibility. I don't think the physical changes from age 78 to age 88 as easily masked as some have suggested and Burns and other ancient actors were not trying to appear as younger versions of characters they played 10 years before. But the smaller the part the easier to hide the differences so who knows. I would love for it to be possible but an unnatural looking Lee would be worse than no Lee at all.
In his interview he indicated travelling to NZ was out because of his advanced age, and he hinted he might be interested in something like voicing Smaug. No mention of trying to shoot the Saruman part from England. I don't think it has been proposed outside of this board. At the pace the script is being developed at I don't think they will be ready to shoot his part in the spring. I can see changes and reshoots all the way into 2011.
Whether so of us think its doable or not, I am sure the decision has already been made.


AinurOlorin
Half-elven

Nov 7 2009, 9:43pm

Post #10 of 21 (387 views)
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The dfferences in age actually become less marked in the latter years for many. [In reply to] Can't Post

More often than not, you can better tell the difference between someone in their fifties as juxtoposed against their late seventies, than someone in their late seventies as juxtuposed against their late eighties and early 90s, UNLESS they have suffered some debilitating or wasting illness. It is not as if he ever looked young in the works. As long as he can still sit up straight, hair and beard will take care of most of the rest, and most people, not looking especially hard for nuance changes, will see what they saw before. . . an old man in a great robe with flowing white hair and a beard. There is no real question as to wheter or not scenes CAN be filmed in England for Lee. Only whether or not the team will bother to but that much effort into it. The last I cannot answer. But it is certainly more a matter of will than a mater of whether or not there is a way.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


stormcrow20
Gondor


Nov 9 2009, 9:02am

Post #11 of 21 (386 views)
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I think he would be up for it. [In reply to] Can't Post

Mr. Lee has expressed that he is in good health, and has expressed interest in being involved with The Hobbit, even though he did say that going to New Zealand would be too far and for too long.

Guillermo del Toro seems determined to bring back the original actors from the trilogy, so I'll bet that they have considered all options, including filming Lee's scenes in England.

I don't think he has visibly aged much, not to mention he would be covered in make-up, a prosthetic nose, full wig and beard. Additionally, Saruman wouldn't need to look that much younger, being an Istari. Maybe a bit more "raven" in his hair.

As far as green-screen shots looking different from other characters, watch the Grey Havens scene in Return of the King. I seem to remember that Cate Blanchett (Galadriel) was filmed separately from the other actors for this scene. If that convinced us, I'm sure they can do it again 11-12 years later.

(Can anyone else confirm this about Cate Blanchett at the Grey Havens? Am I completely off the mark?)

"Expect me when you see me."

(This post was edited by stormcrow20 on Nov 9 2009, 9:11am)


Elizabeth
Half-elven


Nov 9 2009, 6:14pm

Post #12 of 21 (353 views)
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There are many instances. [In reply to] Can't Post

The scenes with Faramir and Boromir (EE) were all greenscreen; the two actors were never in NZ at the same time (according to David Wenham in an interview). I think there were a lot more instances. You really can't tell, if it's done right.





The Rohirrim, by Peter Xavier Price

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


sticklebat
Lorien


Nov 10 2009, 6:58pm

Post #13 of 21 (330 views)
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"One ill turn desrves another..." [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree...

I so want to see Christpher Lee return as Saruman...I would hate to see him replaced with another actor.

I think having Ian McKellan return is vital to the character of Gandalf...
having said that, they are colleagues of the order of the Istari...Lee is vital to the character of Saruman...
it's got to be Lee or leave Saruman at Orthanc...

at least an initial White Council debate scene he could manage...then he could remain in Isengard if he chose to...
I'm sure they could quite easily get the footage they'd need from him in England...

don't they kind of owe him for cutting his death scene from ROTK?
Lee is an enormous Tolkien fan, has read the book numerous times, possesses a wealth of knowledge regarding the stories & and characters...
his feelings were truly hurt when all that happened...I think the least they could do is make it up to him...
the man is a movie legend...one of Peter Jackson's movie heroes, and I'm sure one of Guillermo Del Toro's as well...
they're both horror film fanboys...
please guys, if you're reading...make it happen...Evil

can't wait to see Christopher as The Jabberwocke in Tim Burton's "Alice..."

Tri duath telich na estel lin...a si gerich naid bain anirach.


balinman
Rivendell


Nov 11 2009, 10:02pm

Post #14 of 21 (314 views)
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saruman [In reply to] Can't Post

i want christopher lee to be in it!


carrioncrow
Lorien

Nov 11 2009, 10:34pm

Post #15 of 21 (317 views)
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If i were Lee [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think some green screen work for some off-text scene for an adaptation of TH is something that would sound all that exciting.

his work as Saruman was excellent and integral to what made PJLOTR great. This might just seem tacked on.

His imdb entry is second to none. He seems to still be busy. If he has some ongoing project that are of interest to him closer to home, he should keep on keeping on with THOSE projects.

I'm sure Jackson and Deltoro are massive fans of Lee's work, but his experience with PJLOTR wasn't entirely positive (the editing and re-editing of his big scenes, omission of his big act 3 death scene, etc)

I don't think his participation is essential. I don't think they need to mimic Lee's Saruman and, as far as I'm concerned, they have lee way to reinvent/modify) the presentaion of the character (I feel the same about all characters including Gandalf and Gollum).

But if they want an interesting actor who can provide a physical match to a young Christopher Lee, as i've said before, i suggest this guy:




(This post was edited by carrioncrow on Nov 11 2009, 10:36pm)


Tim
Tol Eressea


Nov 11 2009, 11:39pm

Post #16 of 21 (308 views)
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Younger Saruman? [In reply to] Can't Post

A couple people have mentioned this in this thread. Where is this coming from? The wizards are old men, Maiar, who choose to appear as old men. There is no mention in the books of a younger looking Saruman. Is this being suggested in spite of the books to facilitate a Lee replacement? If he is to be replaced I would suggest another actor in his 70's or an actor made to appear the same age as Lee.

Shop smart! Shop... S Mart!


nuck
Rivendell


Nov 12 2009, 3:58am

Post #17 of 21 (329 views)
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With a lifespan of many centuries younger is a relative term [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
A couple people have mentioned this in this thread. Where is this coming from? The wizards are old men, Maiar, who choose to appear as old men. There is no mention in the books of a younger looking Saruman. Is this being suggested in spite of the books to facilitate a Lee replacement? If he is to be replaced I would suggest another actor in his 70's or an actor made to appear the same age as Lee.


But you absolutely cannot have him look noticably older. He was almost 80 for LOTR but energetic and robust looking for his years. I am not sure how the books could mention a younger looking Saruman but it is reasonable to assume he wasn't aging in reverse.
I agree any replacement would need to be 70ish as not only would a younger man not follow the book timelines but he would make McKellan look older. I have seen Christopher's stills from Triage and the extra years are there, but the Saruman makeup can hide quite a bit.
Everyone wants Christopher back I think. The only issue would be how much individual fans are prepared to accept the part being built around his physical limitations. In a perfect world they do the script and his part as they feel best fits a good story, and he is healthy and convincing enough to give us what he gave in LOTR. A worst case is him looking frail and less than he did in LOTR or the part being chopped down to a cameo because of his age.


carrioncrow
Lorien

Nov 12 2009, 10:34pm

Post #18 of 21 (292 views)
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correct [In reply to] Can't Post

There is know reason to expect Saruman would appear noticably younger in the prequel, even if they went all the way back to include the istari first arriving in ME.

I was saying, if Lee weren't to participate, i wouldn't even mind giving delToro to recast and redesign Saruman without being tied down to merely mimicking Lee.

And you are correct that it would make sense in the world to cast an older actor as replacement as was done for Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films (Chabon taking over for Harris).

Casting the younger actor i've suggested would require the added challenge of making him look old, and maybe that wouldn't be the best investment of time and creative energy. But even making McKellen into Gandalf requires extensive makeup and prosthetics so maybe it wouldn't be such an burden in 'making' Saruman with a younger actor under the grease paint

BUT if mimicking Lee is deemed a priority by the powers that be, i'm merely pointing out this specific actor has a similarity of frame and face and (i suspect) the capacity for mimicing Lee that merits his consideration despite his relative youth


carrioncrow
Lorien

Nov 12 2009, 10:38pm

Post #19 of 21 (293 views)
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yes [In reply to] Can't Post

at some point, making CLee of today look like CLee-as-Saruman-of-yesteryear becomes as big of a challenge as making 45 year old actor look like the CLee-as-Saruman-of-yesteryear


stormcrow20
Gondor


Nov 13 2009, 8:55am

Post #20 of 21 (287 views)
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Wow, I had no idea! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"Expect me when you see me."


AinurOlorin
Half-elven

Nov 13 2009, 7:54pm

Post #21 of 21 (299 views)
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Five by five has the essentials correct. [In reply to] Can't Post

No, Saruman should not look notably older. . . but he really should not look any younger either. "Therefore they came in the forms of men, old but vigourous. . . though they were NEVER young and aged but slowly."

I have already complained that I will likely have a conniption if Gandalf's beard is even a millimeter shorter than it is when he confronts Bilbo about the ring in Bag End, or Saruman about the use of The Pallintir in Orthanc. That said, beneath all that beard and that hair and those robes, is Lee's added age really going to show up all that much? If you are straining to look for additional wrinkles and more sallow skin beneath the eyes, you are already putting in way too much effort.

In Reply To
A couple people have mentioned this in this thread. Where is this coming from? The wizards are old men, Maiar, who choose to appear as old men. There is no mention in the books of a younger looking Saruman. Is this being suggested in spite of the books to facilitate a Lee replacement? If he is to be replaced I would suggest another actor in his 70's or an actor made to appear the same age as Lee.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."

 
 

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