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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Hobbit Casting Speculation with MrCere!
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Jan 8 2008, 12:37am

Post #1 of 203 (9472 views)
Hobbit Casting Speculation with MrCere! Can't Post

Hobbit Cast SpeculationDoes it feel like 1999 to anybody else? A strange tickle of excitement has fluttered back into Tolkien fandom with the announcement that New Line Cinema will be going forward with its two-film package centered on J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit."

For some the feeling is dread, and I recall back in "the good old days" how skeptical I was that anybody could begin to capture on film the beauty and ugliness, the epic grandeur and the domestic tranquility, the fantastic and the familiar of the Middle-earth I had been reading about practically since I first picked up a book. [Read Full Entry]

The Mysterious Calisuri

(This post was edited by calisuri on Jan 8 2008, 12:38am)


Jan 8 2008, 1:07am

Post #2 of 203 (5770 views)
Bonzai! Off we go! [In reply to] Can't Post

This is Fantastic!

Okay, okay, okay.... I have been a Shia Lebouf cheerleader for a long time now, but I have been watching Martin Freeman as a possible Bilbo, and I have to say I wouldn't be disappointed if he fuzzied up his feet and travelled to the Mountain.

I shy away from Depp and anyone else that's too much "star" power for the same reason Vader shouldn't be Smaug, imho. I have, however, come across another incredible voice for Smaug in Sam Elliott (Ghost Rider's Caretaker). He'd have to conquer the Texican accent, but I've heard him without it and he has that deep, aged, Richard Boone-esque gravel to it (Rankin/Bass Smaug).

ooooo... having Thranduil turn and discuss those filthy dwarves with his princeling son would be SO wonderful... plus a perfect prep for the angst we see at the Council of Elrond in LotR.

Ron Perlman as Thorin!? YES! He SO fits the presence and voice I've always imagined for Thorin! Great Find!

Ya know... we'll also need a voice for the Lord of the Eagles. Maybe one of the discards for Smaug would fit there. I'd still love to have some variation of John Rhys Davies in here as much as I'd think it's essential to have Ian Holm involved. JRD's voice can be tweeked as you've suggested for others (Eagle?), and Ian Holm's Bilbo has been discussed as narrator for the story as he writes in the Red Book in Rivendell or telling the story (as he does at the Long-Expected Party) to the hobbity children.

Good choices for Bard. How about Jason Statham (Transporter/Italian Job). He's intense and warrior-like as I've always imagined Bard to be. Or maybe Christian Bale?

OH GEEZ! This is going to be fun!

Great Post MrCere!! :D

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Tol Eressea

Jan 8 2008, 1:14am

Post #3 of 203 (5600 views)
One bit of clarification... [In reply to] Can't Post

Although I did mention Martin Freeman to Mr Cere at DragonCon, Kimi (and i'm sure at least a couple of others) had mentioned him here on the boards way before that.

I know if it came down to a vote, we'd all place ours for him!

And I would love to see Ron Perlman play ANY role in 'The Hobbit' - he is an amazing actor. If all you know him from is 'Hellboy' or 'Beauty and the Beast', go out and rent 'The City of Lost Children'.

The Hobbit is Happening!

Bilbo Fans for Martin Freeman!

(This post was edited by deej on Jan 8 2008, 1:16am)


Jan 8 2008, 1:23am

Post #4 of 203 (5603 views)
Wheeeeeeee! This is fun! [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't pay too much attention to movie stars or actors - just the characters they play, but I don't want to recognize anyone in a role in either Hobbit film. I want the characters to be the characters, if you get my meaning. I felt the same way about all three LOTR films. The stories are sacred to me, and I like to keep them pure and unsullied by famous faces, goofy parodies on late-night tv, and blooper reels. If I'm watching The Hobbit in my favorite cinema, I want to spend the time in Middle-earth observing Bilbo, Thranduil, and the rest without distracting thoughts like Hmmmmmmmm. Now where have I seen him before? or Gosh! He sure can act! This role is so different from the one he played in Bambi meets Godzilla. Of course, it's impossible, but I'd like all the new parts (not our beloved reprise candidates, of course) to be played by enchanting unknowns. Anyone else feel the same way?

Idril Celebrindal
Tol Eressea

Jan 8 2008, 1:30am

Post #5 of 203 (5609 views)
Get out of my brain! [In reply to] Can't Post

I was just thinking that Daniel Day-Lewis would be great for The Hobbit!

Plus, I did not know that he'd been approached to play Aragorn.

With caffeine, all things are possible.

The pity of Bilbo will screw up the fate of many.

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(This post was edited by Idril Celebrindal on Jan 8 2008, 1:31am)


Jan 8 2008, 1:39am

Post #6 of 203 (5608 views)
The voice of Smaug- need something original [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the fun post!

The list of unconvincing movie dragons is long, and we really need something extra special to bring Smaug to life. When dragons start talking then this is often the point at when it falls apart. The challenge is not a million miles away from trying to make the Balrog from Lord of the Rings talk in a convincing way for example.

Maybe the most important issue is not who voices the dragon but how the dragon talks. Perhaps the dragon does not mouth english words but speaks 'telepathically' to Bilbo as part of the mesmerising glamour of the dragon, and the only 'real' sounds it makes are flaming roars. Or, since this is Tolkien, should the dragons have their own language that reflects the sounds such a beast would make? In the recent Beowulf film (which was pretty ridiculous if you haven't seen it) they tried having Grendel speak Anglo Saxon, and this definitely added some mystery. Smaug would need a more malevolent language than Anglo Saxon I think; not sure what Tolkien's thoughts were on dragon languages.

As for voices I'd stay away from any big names like George Clooney, De Niro, Hopkins- anyone instantly recognisable would spoil it. Need someone with a very low voice, proud, malicious and very angry! Wink

Also another random issue- Stephen Fry as a dwarf? Eh? He's an academic type, glasses, tweed jacket- not a beard or double handed axe anywhere on him!

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jan 8 2008, 1:41am

Post #7 of 203 (5648 views)
If JRD's voice has to be tweaked, [In reply to] Can't Post

why should he be Smaug? I didn't like him so much as Treebeard because his voice is so distinctive it wasn't that much different from Gimli, and it would really annoy me to hear his voice a third time. So if we have to tweak his voice so it isn't noticeably JRD, isn't that defeating the purpose?

I think it would be great to listen to a bunch of actor voices saying a couple Smaug sentences without knowing who they are, and then find the voice that IS Smaug, with all his dragon deceptions and tricks. Then unveil the actor. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

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

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jan 8 2008, 1:43am

Post #8 of 203 (5602 views)
I think he turned it down twice, [In reply to] Can't Post

but I wonder if he might have a different answer for The Hobbit. I think he would be awesome as Thranduil, or Bard.

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

Superuser / Moderator

Jan 8 2008, 1:51am

Post #9 of 203 (5530 views)
As an aside, [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it's brilliant that the illustration chosen for Smaug was done by our own very talented Goldie Took. :)

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

N.E. Brigand

Jan 8 2008, 2:05am

Post #10 of 203 (5630 views)
No love for Alan Rickman? [In reply to] Can't Post

It seemed to me that for most of the past fourteen months or so, Alan Rickman had been repeatedly suggested here as the voice of Smaug (and not by me, this is just something I noticed) but lately he's vanished from people's radar. Any guesses as to why?

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Jan 8 2008, 2:13am

Post #11 of 203 (5585 views)
David Bowie [In reply to] Can't Post

please get off the Shia bandwagon; people are just throwing that name around because his bad movie made money (he's an okay actor though)

Martin Freeman (Arthur Dent) would be the perfect Bilbo

Sir, I am offended at how you disregarded David Bowie for Thranduil; I actually see quite a few people suggesting him; he was up for Elrond but didn't get the part, and he HAS been in movies, fantasy movies (i.e. Labyrinth)

Meanwhile, as for the voice of Smaug, what about Wayne Pygram? (Farscape's Scorpius)

yes Stephen Fry would make a good Bombur, and Ron Perlman might be good too.

Superuser / Moderator

Jan 8 2008, 2:20am

Post #12 of 203 (5518 views)
I like the idea of an unknown actor [In reply to] Can't Post

voicing Smaug - because then he *is* Smaug, rather than the audience playing Name That Star.

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

The Shire

Jan 8 2008, 2:25am

Post #13 of 203 (5620 views)
Why NOT Elijah Wood? [In reply to] Can't Post

He was brilliant as Frodo. He's older now and certainly he has the acting chops to play the part. He has a nearly instinctual rapport with Peter, Fran and Phillipa. They all love him and he loves them. He can do this! And he deserves it.

What's more if they are even considering Shia Lebouf who is MUCH younger than Elijah then Elijah, should be first runner because of his experience and intimate familiarity with the entire LOTR filming method. Shia is TOO young. Elijah is just right now. With make-up he wouldn't have to look like Frodo. In fact his own hair is the right color and wavey enough as it is now to be perfectly Bilbo-esque.

Look! That's Bilbo!

Of course he'd have to shave.

He should absolutely be the top runner for playing Bilbo.

IF they decide for one of the others mentioned Martin Freeman seems a very good choice. I love Colin Firth but isn't he much too tall and handsome? And Colin looks like a tall version of Elijah so why not go with the more hobbit-sized and hobbit-experienced Elijah anyway?

Yes Elijah is handsome but not tall and is much better at character roles. And Bilbo certainly is a character!

(This post was edited by Notallwhowanderarelost on Jan 8 2008, 2:27am)


Jan 8 2008, 2:32am

Post #14 of 203 (5573 views)
no [In reply to] Can't Post

"they" aren't considering Shia that's just a name thrown around; he's much too young; Bilbo is like 30ish.


Jan 8 2008, 2:37am

Post #15 of 203 (5551 views)
He was in Sweeney Todd... [In reply to] Can't Post

And he's got four movies coming out next year, according to IMDB.

However, I do think he'd be a GREAT Smaug!

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

The Shire

Jan 8 2008, 2:41am

Post #16 of 203 (5547 views)
Good [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
"they" aren't considering Shia that's just a name thrown around; he's much too young; Bilbo is like 30ish.

Ah! That's a relief! I like Shia but he's just too young.

Elijah is nudging towards thirty so that makes him even more perfect for the role. Though technically Bilbo is fiftyish ..in hobbit years... which would make him LOOK thirtyish ..so once again...Elijah is perfect!

Sr. Staff

Jan 8 2008, 3:18am

Post #17 of 203 (5529 views)
My reason [In reply to] Can't Post

He sounds like Alan Rickman.

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


Jan 8 2008, 3:37am

Post #18 of 203 (5511 views)
Glaring omission ... ;-) [In reply to] Can't Post

Russell Crowe ...
As Beorn - or even Bard .... b
... with a few very nice 'I can see that' comments here on the board, his name has been on the board over the years in speculation for this part ... (OK that may be by me) Wink... but, he's not on your list.
Maybe Im too overzealous about it?
Maybe its not a good idea.
But no reason to leave him out, nor put in a bit more about the role ...
*sigh - rant over - all in good spirit*


The Shire was never the same after
Barbra Cartland moved into Bagshot Row.

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

Russell Crowe for Beorn

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Whom do you serve!"

N.E. Brigand

Jan 8 2008, 3:38am

Post #19 of 203 (5556 views)
Tom Shippey: Smaug speaks "with the characteristic aggressive politeness of the British upper class..." [In reply to] Can't Post

"...in which irritation and authority are in direct proportion to apparent deference or uncertainty. 'You have nice manners for a thief and a liar' are his opening words to Bilbo (their degree of irony unclear). 'You seem familiar with my name, but I don't seem to remember smelling you before. Who are you and where do you come from, may I ask?' He might be a testy colonel approached by a stranger in a railway carriage: why has Bilbo not been introduced?"

(The Road to Middle-earth, p. 90)

Of your list of candidates better (Caan, Clooney, Davis, De Niro, Diesel, Olmos, Freeman, Hopkins, Hounsou, Kingsley, Newman, Stewart, Santoro) and worse (Connery, Irons, Jones, Neeson), Irons comes closest to that, but Rickman may be even better. Of course, you might think Shippey is wrong in his characterization. But what do you feel defines Smaug's character, besides the impression of age (which you mentioned)?

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Registered User

Jan 8 2008, 3:42am

Post #20 of 203 (5509 views)
Bard [In reply to] Can't Post

The best part of the casting in LOTR was that, while you recognized the actors, they were not exactly famous enough to keep you from thinking of the character. A lot of the actors mentioned by MrCere are just too famous, especially the suggestions for Bard. May I suggest Toby Stephens? He has the acting chops, he has the looks and demeanor (I would suggest seeing him in "Jane Eyre" or "Twelfth Night" as examples) and, for fun, his mom (Maggie Smith) stars in the Harry Potter movies. It all works.

Tol Eressea

Jan 8 2008, 3:46am

Post #21 of 203 (5498 views)
Nice thread [In reply to] Can't Post

I actually support Martin Freeman as well, but Colin Firth is an amazing actor, he could pull it off as well. Martin Freeman is closer looking to Ian Holm, though.

Ron Perlman... hadn't thought about it, but seems reasonable. What about Brendan Gleeson, who has been repetedly mentioned, as well?

I favor Butler as Bard, with Owen as my second choice, and I tend to be on the Isaacs as Thranduil camp, but man, are you a genius! Joaquin Phoenix looks perfect as an Elven King!

As for Smaug, I understand your ban, but I would still go Jeremy Irons, Anthony Hpkins or Patrick Stewart. I am a firm believer that Smaug has to have a distinct British accent, and that eliminates Freeman.

Anyway, it was great that you posted this, besides, this way, this will be read by the people deciding in the movie, make no mistake! Wink (Hello to you all!)

Let it be heard! We want Jackson to direct The Hobbit!

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Finding Frodo
Tol Eressea

Jan 8 2008, 4:16am

Post #22 of 203 (5488 views)
Ralph Fiennes [In reply to] Can't Post

Veeerrrry interesting for Thranduil. I'll admit I'm in the David Bowie camp, but I'd take RF too. Johnny Depp is right out.

Where's Frodo?

The Shire

Jan 8 2008, 4:17am

Post #23 of 203 (5515 views)
Where to begin... [In reply to] Can't Post

First of all, not Elijah. People who are not Tolkien fans, but just go to see the movie will all go, "Hey look! Frodo's back!" And no one wants that.

After watching Hellboy and [font "verdana,helevetica"The City of Lost Children (thank you deej for the tip), I think Ron Perlman would be great for Thorin. Not a huge star, but just as good an actor (probably better) then any of the big stars. Plus, it would be funny to see that man play a dwarf. He's huge! And now we're gonna shrink him down to size, just like John Rhys-Davies. If not for that, then he would make a great Beorn (if they don't cut him out like they did with Tom on LOTR). But it looks like he taken for a while, or maybe thats just me.

For Bard, yes any of the big names would do the role right. But I don't want to be watching the movie and be watching Hugh Jackman or Gerard Bulter, I want to be watching the character. It's kind of unfair to them, but we can blame Hollywood for that. I would probably die laughing if I saw James Caviezel play Bard. Ladies and gentlemen, Bard is now Jesus. Daniel Day-Lewis I will go check out some of his films. Also, stop putting up the younger pictures. He's (and several other people) have aged. I got really confused when I got to his IMDb page.

Smaug's list is huge! There are a lot of people who would like to, and who people would like to see play the role. But first I would like to slap MTV in the face for suggesting Jeremt Irons. He killed Brom in Eragon, and does not have what it takes to play Smaug at all. No questions asked, though it looks like people agree with me. And no Darth Vader Smaug! No! *breathing noises* "Bilbo, I am your father!"
Morgan Freeman might work, I could see ...or hear it. But now Smaug becomes God. Vin Diesel...no matter how many times I read some a Smaug's dialogue, I can't picture his voice. Rodrigo Santoro, now that I like. Loved him Xeres. He could work. But I wanna hear his regular voice first before I go jumping on the Rodrigo fan train.

No matter how much I adore Johnny Depp, I would never want to see him play as Tharanduil, or anyone related or Orlando. Sexy man, but not elf sexy. He's men sexy. Jason Issac might as well put his Malfoy wig on if he wants to play this role. I could see him playing it, but I would hate to see Tharanduil get mistaken for Malfoy. Joaquin Phoenix is simply not an elf. No questions asked. And then came along Ralph Fiennes (yet again with the younger picture). Now him I can see in that role! He looks like an elf, and . . . wow, just realized he's Voldemort. Ok, another Harry Potter actor. Still think he could work.

Brian Blessed looks like Beorn. Can't say anything about his acting skill, cause I haven't seen anything of his. Well theres Tarzan, but this is a physical role. So not much to say on him. And you've got my other opinion on who should play him.

Shia Lebouef is waaaaayyyy to young for Bilbo. I don't think he could pass for a young Ian Holm personally.
Colin Firth, was made for romance movies. Not fantasy adventure (I believe I said that about someone else).
Martin Freeman is exactly how I picture Bilbo to look. Also Hitch-hikers Guide, his character reminds me a lot of Bilbo...or from what I can remember. Sign me up for Freeman for Blibo!

Have you hugged your hobbit today?

For pony


Jan 8 2008, 4:19am

Post #24 of 203 (5458 views)
Yes, Colin Firth is (or was) too tall and handsome... [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't see Bilbo as "handsome".

and anyway, I'd keep expecting him to come out with:
"In vain have I struggled. It will not do. You must permit me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."

So wrong.

For Gondor!


Jan 8 2008, 4:52am

Post #25 of 203 (5519 views)
Stephen Fry? [In reply to] Can't Post

Although I like Stephen Fry as an actor, he is (I believe) about 6 foot 4 inches tall (maybe even taller). This might pose a problem in casting other dwarves.

In the LOTR, all the hobbit actors where almost all the same height. This made it easy to film when they were on screen together and to get the whole correct size ratio. I would think that the dwarves will all be approximately the same height. Having a 6 foot 4 actor will make it extremely difficult to either cast the other dwarves or make it so that he will constantly need to be "adjusted" in filming to appear the correct height.

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