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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Sylvester McCoy Talks Radagast Casting (Besides Other Hobbit Stuff)

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May 6 2011, 3:52am

Post #1 of 21 (2594 views)
Sylvester McCoy Talks Radagast Casting (Besides Other Hobbit Stuff) Can't Post

Den of Geek has a great new interview with Sylvester McCoy who's been cast in the role of the Wizard Radagast the Brown in The Hobbit. A few excerpts follow:
You're heading off next to New Zealand to do The Hobbit, then! This must be the biggest adventure of all now?

I think it is, yeah. I think it's a big one. I've had quite a lot of wonderful adventures in my life, and this one, I'm so excited.

When did you first hear, then, that you were close to landing a part inThe Hobbit? Because the rumour mill had been going for a while.

Well, last summer, Peter Jackson, Fran, and Phillippa flew over, and invited me for tea. So they got me a car, and drove over for tea. I thought it was more auditioning, because I'd screentested for it. But when I got there, they said would you play the part? Would I? No! Of course not!

They knew you from before?

Well, they saw my screentest for Radagast The Brown, and Guillermo del Toro, who was going to direct it, he'd okayed it. He was keen that I play the part. I didn't know this, but I got it from the screentest. It wasn't until I went to see them for tea that I knew. They were asking my permission to be in it!

There's more Hobbit-related bits in the interview, and trust us, you'll want to read all of them!

(This post was edited by Silverlode on May 6 2011, 9:05pm)


May 6 2011, 11:17am

Post #2 of 21 (1198 views)
I'd forgotten that he was nearly Bilbo... [In reply to] Can't Post

When looking at LOTR its really hard to see anyone else but Ian Holm playing the role but if the Hobbit had been made back in the 90's I think McCoy would have been ideal. The same character obviously but in LOTR I think Holm brought that extra gravitas and darker edge needed while McCoy seems very well suited for the younger Bilbo.


May 6 2011, 1:57pm

Post #3 of 21 (1140 views)
Fate - a LOTR theme and a big player in PJ's life [In reply to] Can't Post

In the mid-90s, PJ wanted to remake King Kong, direct The Hobbit and if that were successful make a two-part sequel based on LOTR. As PJ reflected in 2005, fate had it that he would make a five-part Middle-earth epic and King Kong in-between. Fate also has it that McCoy became the perfect Radagast while the perfect Bilbo, Martin Freeman, waited in the wings.


May 6 2011, 5:04pm

Post #4 of 21 (1074 views)
Interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, yeah. I nearly got Bilbo, nearly got it, and it was down to two of us in the end. And, of course, Ian Holm got it. I was hugely honoured to be in his company, as it were, but I thought that was it, really. This one, Im told by the producers and writers, is a better part

Radagast gets some pretty decent screen time apparently...


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May 6 2011, 5:20pm

Post #5 of 21 (1046 views)
That may make sense... [In reply to] Can't Post

... given the fact that Bilbo had only a minor role in FOTR, and showed up for about 2 minutes in ROTK; whereas with the inclusion of the White Council/Dol Gudur storyline, Radagast may probably have a much more substantial role over both films.

Or maybe screentime has nothing to do with it. Maybe Radagast's journey, his character arc, is much more interesting than that of Bilbo's (in LOTR).

(This post was edited by Earl on May 6 2011, 5:20pm)


May 6 2011, 5:42pm

Post #6 of 21 (1010 views)
Either way [In reply to] Can't Post

It's good to hear further confirmation that the character will be something more than just a passing drop in!


Tol Eressea

May 6 2011, 6:39pm

Post #7 of 21 (1036 views)
Think of the White Council implications [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a given that Radagast will share many scenes with Galadriel, Saruman and everyone else who appears in the White Council scenes. Can we assume that they will all have parts which are 'better' than Bilbo's secondary role in The Lord of the Rings? McCoy's comments suggest that the subplot will not be a brief or underdeveloped one, and for that I am glad.

Tol Eressea

May 6 2011, 7:18pm

Post #8 of 21 (1065 views)
Guillermo's approval is good news [In reply to] Can't Post

I want to believe that the GDT version of The Hobbit would have been very similar to the PJ version any little nuggets of information that help to cement their similarity are welcome.


May 8 2011, 11:50am

Post #9 of 21 (877 views)
Another Wizard introduced here is Great! [In reply to] Can't Post

I so excited to see him and what he has got going with the Birds and animals in MiddleEarth? I often think he could be Fantastic with Birds landing on his shoulders or having one all the time there, sending out messages or receiving them alot.
He could have been watching Dol Goldur through the eyes of one of his Birds? Or even Better, changes into one right before our eyes and reports into the White Council what he has seen of the Necromancer. Anything PJ does with him is just fine with me. What do groovyGuys&Gals think could be role of Radagast? Also, what would make sense for him NOT to be in the LOTR's? Kill him off?

Grey Havens

May 8 2011, 11:57am

Post #10 of 21 (881 views)
I too think his birds will be used a lot in the films. [In reply to] Can't Post

He was the wizard that was in tune with nature and animals, so I wouldn't be surprised to see that aspect of him explored. I like the idea of birds being used as spies, just as Saruman used them. I don't however think Radagast will be killed, because it's assumed that he helps Gandalf with the situation of being imprisoned on Orthanc, I think PJ even mentions that in the commentary, but I can't be sure.

"I'm just a happy camper! Rockin' and a-rollin!"


May 8 2011, 3:37pm

Post #11 of 21 (897 views)
"Into the Wild" thought furm Littl' Old ME.....During the White Council and the .... [In reply to] Can't Post

Assalt on Dol Guldur....Radagast introduces Gandalf to the King of all Horses! Shadowfax....and then they ride together, to drive out Sauron,
Shadowfax becomes
Gandalf's Horse of Choice!

Once this scene is over, G&S ride like the Wind around the Bottom of Mirkwood andEast!
Fly to Laketown, & see it Destoyed
and Proceeds to the Lonely Mountain...
It would explain Gandalf's quick return to the Action.
I jus' want ShadowFax included,
he didn't get enough Screen-time!
With a HS score in the Background this Wild Idea could bring this Line "We have had many adventures together"
Even Leaping over Orc Armies, on the Eastside of Mirkwood
as those CREEPS are on their way from the East...
Shadowfax is really one of MY favorite Characters.
Please more Shadowfax.....
I hope you like This Idea, cus "There is Always HOPE!" when you are riding Shadowfax


May 8 2011, 7:38pm

Post #12 of 21 (840 views)
Shadowfax? [In reply to] Can't Post

I know that the "Great Beasts" (the Great Eagles, etc.) tend to be long-lived, but would Shadowfax have been foaled yet at the time of The Hobbit?

lfwine Samylfin

May 9 2011, 3:22am

Post #13 of 21 (837 views)
I think you may be onto something. [In reply to] Can't Post

This may in fact be something the filmmakers employ to tie the two storylines together. It will of course (and I think rather sadly) diminish one of the major themes of The Hobbit--that of extraordinary luck, "as it is called" (Providence seems a better word)--but something I can very well see happening is Radagast being involved in one or both rescues by Eagle.

"The job of the English Linguistics Department at Oxford University is to fight the English Literature Department!"
-T. A. Shippey, PhD., "Rediscovering Middle-Earth: The Roots of Tolkien's Myth"


May 9 2011, 4:34am

Post #14 of 21 (848 views)
No. [In reply to] Can't Post

Shadowfax would not be foaled for at least 40 years.

Seriously, there are so many wonderful characters (including animals) in The Hobbit, we really don't need to recycle wonderful characters from LotR that don't already have a place in the story!

That's what's so deadly about most Hollywood sequels and prequels, they lack the imagination and courage to tell a new story, and instead just recycle the old one.

Join us in the Reading Room for LotR The Two Towers, Book IV!

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


May 10 2011, 2:47pm

Post #15 of 21 (852 views)
Good Points made...but since we have Immotal Elves, Why Not... [In reply to] Can't Post

an immortal Horse? The indications of something like this, is the scene where he is introduced in the Two Towers..."We have had many adventures together."
so just how long has Gandalf known him?
I just was speculating on how in the World? does Gandgalf get from the Southern reaches of Mirkwood all the up to Lonely Mountain so fast?
Legolas referrs to him "As one of Maires?" What do you think that means? I honestly don't know xoxoOldBombadil

Arwen's daughter

May 10 2011, 3:16pm

Post #16 of 21 (769 views)
In the book [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf doesn't meet Shadowfax until he escapes from Orthanc. Gwaihir the eagle set Gandalf down in Rohan where Theoden told him to take any horse and begone from his kingdom. Gandalf, being an old trickster, chose the finest horse Shadowfax, who would let no man ride him. It took Gandalf two days to convince the horse and they became friends for the rest of Shadowfax's life.

Mearas are a race of silver/grey horses of great intelligence and a lifespan similar to that of men. They were reserved solely for the royalty of Rohan.

My LiveJournal
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May 10 2011, 3:36pm

Post #17 of 21 (784 views)
That's a movie convenience [In reply to] Can't Post

Having Gandalf saying, "This is Shadowfax. He has been my friend through many dangers," (or something similar) seems to me to be a quick movie way of introducing Shadowfax with the least fuss. Implying that he and Gandalf have known each other for ages stops the audience feeling that they need to have Shadowfax's sudden appearance further explained.


May 11 2011, 9:41am

Post #18 of 21 (743 views)
Great Point! [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Having Gandalf saying, "This is Shadowfax. He has been my friend through many dangers," (or something similar) seems to me to be a quick movie way of introducing Shadowfax with the least fuss. Implying that he and Gandalf have known each other for ages stops the audience feeling that they need to have Shadowfax's sudden appearance further explained.

Since PJ deviated from the Books so often (The whole section of the Battles of Osgiliah, with the Nasgul givingthe-ring-over, with Sam recueing Frodo for the 15th time?) I just like a "Fantasy of an Immortal Horse". Another thought-thingie, maybe Radagst puts Shadowfax under one of his own Spells that renders him Invincable and Immortal.
Well, many people here might want to shoot down ANY of my ideas, that IS all they are...Ideas, speculations...not any reason EVEN to Freak out over aPJ change?

Sometimes I think I can come up with some that really turn people off, on the FristRead...but that is never my intent.(Maybe some should Let an OldBombadil-moment.... idea soak in for awhile, then Fantizzeee with me?) That is so much FUN!

Aragorn had an Un-canny?, close relationship to Brego, and we know how MUCH JRRT loved horses, so I was just trying to Beef up a role for "The King of all Horses"..
Maybe you all need to know I'm probably the moost huuumbleHobbit you will ever met, Not the "New Balrog in the Room" xoxoxHeartOldBombadil


May 11 2011, 9:55am

Post #19 of 21 (760 views)
I appreciate I haven't given the idea any time to 'soak in'... [In reply to] Can't Post

But my gut reaction to:

... maybe Radagst puts Shadowfax under one of his own Spells that renders him Invincable and Immortal.

is that:
  1. An invincible, immortal anything causes far too many plot issues. If you have such a creature, there are many story developments that become theoretically possible that the writers would then have to think of reasons why the solution to all problems isn't 'well, we'll just use the invincible, immortal Shadowfax for that.'
  2. Giving Radagast the power to create invincible, immortal creatures would... well, see reason 1! (And even if Radagast is somehow only able to create a single invincible, immortal creature, then you have to explain why that is, and why, if this is so, he didn't choose to make it himself or Gandalf.)
Anyway, that's what occurred to me for what it's worth! Smile


May 11 2011, 10:23am

Post #20 of 21 (743 views)
Rosie, Well said! [In reply to] Can't Post

you Soo-look like Sam's wife in the Movie!

Tanks fur Respond-aNate-ing!
Gandalf & Radagast the Brown were already somewhat Immortal

"I have lived 300 lives of men, and Now I have no time?"

OKee-Dorky maybe R-the-B makes Shadowfax Invinceable jus' for the Flight to the Lonely Mountain (Ack-conditional Invincability?)
Duh? whazz that?
I imagiate a Flight of Invinceable Fantasee where G-on-SFax tear around Southern Mirkwood slaying "Orcie-Poohs" all along the Way...Death-minishing the Armies from the EAST A Montagie-thingie with Howard Shore's Score "makeing-and-breaking our Hearts" again.
A simmi-sorta-kinda Lightin-of-Beacons Symphonc thingie?

I write fur fun...andif you aren't giggleing at the Goosey-nessssz of these Postie-Poohs, I'm NOT doin a "goody-2-Shoes?" Job....xoxoOLDBombadil


May 11 2011, 12:17pm

Post #21 of 21 (836 views)
Between you and me... [In reply to] Can't Post

(and everyone else who can read this forum... so that'll be everyone, then)... my avatar picture is of the actress who played Rose Cotton in PJ's movies, hence the uncanny similarity. Don't tell anyone, though.

Gandalf & Radagast the Brown were already somewhat Immortal

True -- as are the elves -- but it's the 'invincible' part that makes all the plot holes.

I assume that what stops Gandalf, say, dashing off to Barad-dr (or, indeed, Dol Guldur) and doing away with Sauron himself is essentially what stops anyone else attempting to do the same -- namely, that he can be killed, as was so ably demonstrated (albeit mutually) by the Balrog of Khazad-dm.


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