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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Why not Ian Holm in The Hobbit?
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Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 22 2007, 8:09am

Post #1 of 44 (625 views)
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Why not Ian Holm in The Hobbit? Can't Post

Before you all answer with a chorus of "He's too old!", hear me out. Wink

We've talked about how to keep the lighter tone of The Hobbit, and we've talked about whether or not it should be narrated. And we've talked about how to keep continuity between The Hobbit and LOTR.

So how about this? The Hobbit movie is the story as told/narrated by Bilbo as he's "finishing his book" in Rivendell.

He would be the rather more elderly hobbit that we saw when Frodo arrived there, perhaps wrapped up in shawls and seated in the Hall of Fire, or in his own room, writing. So we see bits of the Red Book that we got a glimpse of when he showed it to Frodo, and when necessary, he narrates the action. Even in LOTR, Bilbo had a somewhat lighter role, being more cheerful and not so weighted down with responsibility as Frodo. He can maintain the folksy, hobbity tone of the story, and Ian Holm doesn't have to do any of the strenuous action scenes: he just sits in Rivendell and tells the story, and we watch the younger Bilbo (*insert plug for Martin Freeman here*) on his adventure.

So we get to see Ian Holm, Hugo Weaving as Elrond (he could be in scenes with the old and young Bilbos), and possibly Viggo, as we know that Bilbo and Aragorn become friends during his stay there if not before. Small scenes of Bilbo's life in Rivendell could also provide some tie-ins with the storyline of the second movie, as it must involve Elrond and most likely Aragorn as well. And best of all, we don't have to do great violence to the story in order to do so.

So, what do you all think?

Silverlode

"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories


ChrisCR
The Shire


Dec 22 2007, 9:25am

Post #2 of 44 (258 views)
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Exactly.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Just my toughts there.....Totally what I said to a friend a couply of days ago...They could even start the movie with Bilbo telling the story to frodo or something in a prolouge. Oh I want the old cast so much...Laugh

Chris
www.cinemareplicas.com


Meliana
The Shire

Dec 22 2007, 9:47am

Post #3 of 44 (274 views)
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I've never understood the too old argument... [In reply to] Can't Post

anyway. After all they did use him in LOTR as a younger version of himself. If Ian McKellan comes back he'll be older, too. (Covered with a beard I grant you.)


MrCere
Sr. Staff


Dec 22 2007, 10:40am

Post #4 of 44 (209 views)
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I think the idea is brilliant {NT} [In reply to] Can't Post

 

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie


Elven
Valinor


Dec 22 2007, 11:09am

Post #5 of 44 (225 views)
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I like the idea ... [In reply to] Can't Post

of Ian Holmes resuming the role of Bilbo ... after all he IS Bilbo.
The 'Too Old' excuse doesnt gel with me at all - not a sliver.
It would be like replacing Andy Serkis as Gollum ... or Sir Ian McK as Gandalf ... Shocked
... and I think, ten years down the track, we will be asking why (for continuities sake) was another actor ever placed in this role ....
There is no reason - (even upon expiration) - that an actor cant fulfill a role due to age concerns.
Even the lines in FOTR give ample scope to Bilbo not having aged - at Gandals exclaimation, it becomes believable.
When Bilbo is finding the ring he was given a younger look ...

quote from FOTR commentary:


Time line:00.07.02
Scene: Bilbo looks up after hearing Gollums cry (in the cave) after finding the ring.
Quote:
Peter Jackson
Oh yes, the red, the (wright) waistcoat with brass buttons.
To make Ian Holm look younger, we attached, we glued some tabs to the side of his cheeks and pulled his skin back underneath his wig, to pull the wrinkles out because obviously Bilbo Baggins, as seen in the prologue, is (er) 60 years younger than when we see him later on in Bag End.








I would dearly love to see Ian as Bilbo - and I really dont understand why there IS any considerations besides ...

My 2 cents worth ...

Elven x



The Road Goes Ever On and On ...
Happy 70th Birthday to The Hobbit!!


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
The Hobbit!!
Its a Happening Thing!!

Russell Crowe for Beorn





entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 22 2007, 11:13am

Post #6 of 44 (224 views)
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Are you suggesting Holm does a cameo [In reply to] Can't Post

and someone else plays Bilbo for the main parts of the movie? I could go for that. I don't want to be watching The Hobbit and thinking about how the actor who plays Bilbo has to tape his face to remove the wrinkles. I want someone who can realy BE Bilbo, not be made into Bilbo.

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


Elven
Valinor


Dec 22 2007, 11:21am

Post #7 of 44 (219 views)
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But isn't Sir Ian Bilbo? [In reply to] Can't Post

Tape or not? - and wouldn't another actor only be replacing the Bilbo we know and have come to love?

I suppose it depends on the way the movie is structured, and how they intend to present Bilbo (from what angle the story is told) ...

I could understand another actor stepping in to fill the younger Bilbo in parts ...
my concern is (once the movie is made) watching The Hobbit first, followed by LOTR, and the noticable difference in actors taking that role ...

Though Peter being there somewhere in the mix with vision control Wink, does stay some fears that it would be total wreck if they were to be doing something like that.

Elven x



The Road Goes Ever On and On ...
Happy 70th Birthday to The Hobbit!!


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
The Hobbit!!
Its a Happening Thing!!

Russell Crowe for Beorn





Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 22 2007, 11:33am

Post #8 of 44 (210 views)
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Yes, exactly. [In reply to] Can't Post

Ian Holm could play the older Bilbo - the Eleventy-one year old writing "There and Back Again", and we would have another actor playing his younger self for the body of the movie. This is my idea of how we could get the best of both worlds, so to speak.

I loved Ian Holm in the role, and I don't think I'd complain if he was asked and wanted to do it, but I've sort of gotten the feeling that while Ian McKellan is eager to come back as Gandalf, Ian Holm isn't quite so eager to do the same for Bilbo in a physically challenging role. I could be wrong about that, of course.

Silverlode

"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 22 2007, 11:34am

Post #9 of 44 (218 views)
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Sir Ian is Frodo to me as much as Bilbo. [In reply to] Can't Post

He was the voice of Frodo for the BBC radio production of LOTR, which I heard many years before the movies. So I don't identify him that closely with Bilbo.

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


JRandomRohirrim
Rohan


Dec 22 2007, 12:52pm

Post #10 of 44 (243 views)
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It was very briefly in the cave [In reply to] Can't Post

It's possible to do effecting "younging" for short or dark scenes. In FOTR, Ian Holm wore extensive prosthetics and the scene was quite dark. There's a nice bit at the beginning of the X-Men 3 using digitally younged Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart. However, I just don't think it would work well for a main character in a whole movie.

I like the idea of Bilbo reading his book over in old age. That would be a great way to work Holm into more of The Hobbit.


It's Official! Jackson to Produce The Hobbit! Woot! Woot!


L. Ron Halfelven
Grey Havens


Dec 22 2007, 1:29pm

Post #11 of 44 (210 views)
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He really looked too old even then./ [In reply to] Can't Post

 

I don't want to go to work today,
But the master of the whip says nay, nay, nay.


burrahobbit
Rohan


Dec 22 2007, 2:28pm

Post #12 of 44 (219 views)
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Would the story narration idea lessen the drama? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm new to these here parts so hello everyone! :-)

I agree with Silverlode that greater continuity between the Hobbit films and LotR is a challenge with the Hobbit's lighter tone. My reservation with the Bilbo narration device is that telling the story could lessen the drama somewhat. We'd feel less involved if we're being 'told' the story rather than 'experiencing' it, and even though we all know Bilbo is going to survive the adventure, I don't think the audience needs to be reminded of this.

Also I'm afraid it might go a bit Princess Bride! ;-)

I think the best way to integrate the Hobbit with the LotR films would be to darken the tone a bit, get rid of all the narration to make it more cinematic, play up the links between the stories (trolls, Gollum, White Council etc). And probably best avoid any tra-la-lallying elves...


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 22 2007, 4:31pm

Post #13 of 44 (196 views)
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Bilbo should look like a person aged 35-50. [In reply to] Can't Post

In The Hobbit as originally written, Bilbo is 50 years old, and Tolkien gives us no reason not to think of him as having the apparent age of a 50-year-old human being.

But in The Lord of the Rings, we are told that hobbits, on average, live to be 100. This means that Bilbo at 50 should look like a human being at 35-40. We're also told that Bilbo appears not to have aged in 60 years, so at age 111, he should still look like a 50-year-old hobbit, or 35-year-old person.

Ian Holm never looked that young to me in the films.

After Bilbo gives up the Ring, he either continues not to age, or only ages slowly. Seventeen years later, when Frodo meets him in Rivendell, there's no indication that he looks any older than he did before. Only after the Ring's destruction does he age very quickly (this is something I didn't realize till I saw the films).

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Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 22 2007, 6:36pm

Post #14 of 44 (160 views)
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Hello! [In reply to] Can't Post

Welcome to TORN! And I *love* your nick. :)

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 22 2007, 6:37pm

Post #15 of 44 (168 views)
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Aw, what a sweet idea. [In reply to] Can't Post

Good thinking Silverlode - I reckon that'd work beautifully.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Patty
Immortal


Dec 22 2007, 6:49pm

Post #16 of 44 (167 views)
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Silverlode, I think this is perfect. It would take care [In reply to] Can't Post

of everything--for those of us who want to see more of Rivendell, who want Sir Ian to still be Bilbo, who want MF to be Bilbo, and who want the folksy tone as well as the darkness the events of the story would generate if they actually were happening instead of just being told. Brilliant.

Pete, I hope you're reading this!

For Gondor!


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 22 2007, 8:24pm

Post #17 of 44 (156 views)
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It wouldn't have to. [In reply to] Can't Post

In the book the voice of the narrator is quite...well, intrusive, really. But in the movie he needn't be narrating everything that happens, and we wouldn't have to stop the action to flash back to him continually. I envision him being seen at the beginning of the movie, sitting down to work on his book, and at the end. How much he would appear in the middle of the movie (if at all) would depend on how they chose to edit the action or tie it in with events of LOTR or the unknown sequel. But The Hobbit is very episodic, and in places it might actually be helpful to segue between events with just a sentence from Bilbo, perhaps in voice-over, without leaving the action. We might even get a glimpse of a page from the Red Book here and there as a story transition.

It could be Princess-Bride-like, which I wouldn't like either; it would be too distracting from the story. But I think it could also be done effectively without breaking in to stop the story all the time. It's all in the editing.

Silverlode

"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories


Bestica
Bree

Dec 22 2007, 9:30pm

Post #18 of 44 (164 views)
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But [In reply to] Can't Post

If Ian did come back a little older it won't matter because Gandalf is already...well...old. If Frodo was around the same age as Bilbo when they both departed, shouldn't they bring someone comparably...youthful with elijah? If that makes any sense at all. I love Ian, but...he IS too old, and he WAS too old even in that one scene...IMO




"The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep"

Robert Frost


labingi_maura
Rivendell


Dec 22 2007, 10:10pm

Post #19 of 44 (189 views)
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Love the cameo idea [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, definitely: some kind of cameo appearance by Ian Holm as older Bilbo would be just perfect, IMHO.
I've been a cheerleader for the idea of a pre-title open sequence showing older Bilbo (Ian Holm) at a family gathering at Bag End, telling his famous adventure story (again) to a gaggle of relatives. That way, we'd get to see all four of the Fellowship hobbit actors making cameo appearances, playing the roles of their characters' fathers!
EW would be Drogo (with wife Primula and little-lad Frodo) Sean Astin would be a younger Gaffer Gamgee, etc.
I would just love that: seeing Bilbo telling his story to small-child Frodo.
Then the film could segue into the book's opening scenes, with a younger actor playing the younger Bilbo.
As much as I would love for Ian Holm to play the role throughout the film(s), I had heard that he is too ill now to do so, unfortunately. I hope his health improves very soon; may he continue his long and distinguished acting career.
-ML

"I am in fact a hobbit in all but size." - J.R.R.Tolkien


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 23 2007, 1:05am

Post #20 of 44 (156 views)
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Frodo should have (and did) looked younger than Bilbo. [In reply to] Can't Post

At the time of their respective quests, I mean. Frodo received the Ring at age 33, which we might approximate as 20-25 for a modern human, so Elijah Wood was OK for the part. Bilbo should look older (but not as old as Holm).

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We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Dec. 17-23 for "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony".


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 23 2007, 1:10am

Post #21 of 44 (133 views)
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Yes. [In reply to] Can't Post

The movies skipped the next 17 years and sent Frodo on his quest when he was still 33. In the movies, Frodo is not the same age as Bilbo was when Bilbo found the Ring.

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 23 2007, 1:15am

Post #22 of 44 (144 views)
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Even if Frodo had been 50... [In reply to] Can't Post

he should still have looked 33 for a hobbit (i.e. 20 for a real person). So they could have kept both the 17 years and Elijah with no harm to the story. There was really no good reason to cut it -- the action begins when Sauron captures Gollum and starts looking for the Ring (or however that impetus was managed in the films--I don't remember). Maybe they cut the gap because they didn't think a young actor could manage the mastery that Frodo at 50 has in the books?

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We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Dec. 17-23 for "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony".


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 23 2007, 2:07am

Post #23 of 44 (126 views)
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I think it was as you say. [In reply to] Can't Post

There was no reason to include those 17 years, so the movie moved directly from Frodo getting the Ring to needing to leaving the Shire. There is some symmetry to Frodo setting out at 50 so he would be the same age as Bilbo was, but it's not really necessary to the story.

The impetus in the story is that Gandalf looks for the words written on the Ring the night of Bilbo's party. Gandalf had already done his homework and met Gollum when he arrived in the Shire for the party, so he was prepared for the final test to determine that Bilbo's ring was the One.

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 23 2007, 2:18am

Post #24 of 44 (142 views)
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I thought the final test followed... [In reply to] Can't Post

film-Gandalf's trip to Minas Tirith? Sorry, I can't remember the film well. I also don't remember learning that Gandalf had met Gollum -- does the theatrical version of the film ever say so? Would non-readers understand that Gollum had been captured by Aragorn, held by the Wood-elves, and escaped? Or would they think, on encountering him in Moria, that he had been at large since the prologue scene in which he lost the Ring to Bilbo?

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Dec. 17-23 for "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony".


RosieLass
Valinor


Dec 23 2007, 2:26am

Post #25 of 44 (125 views)
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That's a great idea! [In reply to] Can't Post

It would be a link, not only to the LOTR films, but as others have pointed out, to the BBC radio dramatization, too.

Oh Moon, lovely moon, with thy beautiful face,
Careering throughout the boundaries of space,
Whenever I see thee, I think in my mind,
Shall I ever, oh ever, behold thy behind.


--Edmund Gosse's house maid

http://mallika.vox.com/

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