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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Sir Christopher Lee as Saruman...

Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Feb 19 2013, 2:04am

Post #1 of 23 (1621 views)
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Sir Christopher Lee as Saruman... Can't Post

in DOS and TABA. I was looking over some recent interviews with Christopher Lee, where he was talking about reprising his role as Saruman in The Hobbit movies, and he mentioned that traveling to New Zealand would be too difficult for him (I can't believe he is 90 years old!). So it appears that future appearances as Saruman would be filmed in London rather than New Zealand; and something occurred to me. Others may have thought of this as well, but now I wonder if the reason Radagast's character was introduced and expanded is to "support" Saruman in a way. I had heard a rumor that Saruman will not be at Dol Guldur (I've forgotten where I heard this). If Sir Christopher isn't able to be on set with Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellen for the attack on Dol Guldur, it would make sense to have another character take over some of the activity that Saruman should have participated in. Having another Wizard (Radagast) involved would be less of a toll on Sir Christopher to play the part, but still have a powerful Wizard presence at Dol Guldur.

Any thoughts or comments? Did anyone else hear that Sir Christopher won't be at Dol Guldur (and if so, where did you hear it)?
And if this has been addressed in another thread please let me know Blush

Thank you,
Aragalen the Green

'"Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!" he said to himself, and it became a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb.'


(This post was edited by Aragalen the Green on Feb 19 2013, 2:05am)


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Feb 19 2013, 3:12am

Post #2 of 23 (894 views)
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Radagast as ersatz Saruman [In reply to] Can't Post

If Radagast was ever to be taken seriously as an ersatz Saruman, the chance was utterly lost by how he was so badly mischaracterized in An Unexpected Journey as an addled fool who blows smoke out his ears, crosses his eyes, and drives rabbits. The writing made a mockery of and was an insult to the Istari. But I suppose if anyone should be redeemed, it's Radagast and the writers' inept characterization of him. If they can do it right, fine. I prefer redemption and the Radagast worthy of his kind. If not, let him fade into the background like they did with Jar Jar in those sequels.


Elizabeth
Valinor


Feb 19 2013, 8:51am

Post #3 of 23 (750 views)
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Lee's scenes are probably all filmed already. [In reply to] Can't Post

His scenes were filmed in London a while back, using "green screen". He was not in the same room with the other actors in the White Council scenes in AUJ, either. They can "paste" him into pretty much any background.

We obviously don't know how they're going to manage Dol Guldur, but I certainly don't think Lee will be doing any active fighting, although they might do some stuff with a double.

Given his age, I'm sure they made every effort to shoot everything they need in the sessions they had.








stoutfiles
Rohan


Feb 19 2013, 1:13pm

Post #4 of 23 (644 views)
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The casual audience won't understand [In reply to] Can't Post

If he's going to be shown as good at Dol Guldur, you need to dedicate sometime to show why he is now evil, especially since Saruman just witnessed first hand that Sauron can be defeated. There would at least need to be a scene where he finds the palantir.

I think it's best we don't see Saruman again in The Hobbit. I would rather him not be there; it doesn't work in the movie if they don't give him more screen time then they're going to.


Seaber
Rivendell

Feb 19 2013, 2:11pm

Post #5 of 23 (614 views)
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If he is involved in fighting, doubles and CGI would be used [In reply to] Can't Post

However, I am sure he will be back. I am sure it has been reported that we will not see his downfall here, Lee himself said he was a good and noble man (or wizard). He is shown to be arrogant and impatient though, so the audience are shown he's no diamond.

My speculation is that he will perform some incredible magic at Dol Guldur, like Dumbledore's ring of fire in the Half-Blood Prince to show he is the greatest wizard, and then perhaps find the seeing stone or some hint towards his LOTR self.


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Feb 19 2013, 3:22pm

Post #6 of 23 (586 views)
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Watered Down Magic [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
My speculation is that he will perform some incredible magic at Dol Guldur, like Dumbledore's ring of fire in the Half-Blood Prince to show he is the greatest wizard, and then perhaps find the seeing stone or some hint towards his LOTR self.


This would be nice, along with Galadriel, but Peter Jackson has a history of dumbing down the magic. Mustn't have wizards on Middle Earth displaying actual magical powers and being too fantastical - and all that. So I have my doubts, but I hope for spectacle.


Thoromir
Rivendell


Feb 19 2013, 3:33pm

Post #7 of 23 (592 views)
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Yes indeed. I know for a fact... [In reply to] Can't Post

...that his fight scenes in Star Wars where CGI. They used a double and Lees CGI face. Only the close ups were real. So I can imagine it will be done in a similar way in the Hobbit ;-)

And your ideas sound nice btw. Would be kewl. Especially the Palantir partWink



NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Feb 19 2013, 3:52pm

Post #8 of 23 (587 views)
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I would suggest that PJ has done the opposite [In reply to] Can't Post

I think PJ has shown Gandalf using far more magic than Tolkien ever did on screen.

That Gandalf/Saruman fight in Orthanc goes far beyond anything I recall Gandalf doing in the books.

(Though if you are referring to the fact that PJ seemed to make Gandalf inferior to the WitchKing, when Tolkien implied that he was at least equal if not greater, than I can agree on that point.)

As for your other post in this thread, I'm curious why you think Radagast made a mockery of and was an insult to the Istari? I don't think the Istari are frankly all that powerful, nor worthy of that much respect.

There were 5 istari.
One (Saruman) definitely turned corrupt and in the end was barely capable of mischief such as stealing tobacco purses
One (Radagast) was definitely "in the area" during the time of The Hobbit & LOTR, but appears to have done absolutely nothing to fight Sauron - the best we can do is believe in our hearts that maybe he was helping out behind the scenes
Two (the blue wizards) had completely disappeared by the time of these events, and Tolkien spent much of his life believing that they had failed, or turned evil
One (Gandalf) performed credibly, but even he was essentially defeated by a group of goblins & wargs in the Hobbit, and actually defeated by another Maia in LOTR. It's also not clear he would have defeated the WitchKing in 1/1 combat.

Based on that track record, I'm not at all sure why depicting one of the Istari as a bit of a buffoon - though a powerful one - is all that outrageous.

Notta

Happiness: money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important and so are friends, while envy is toxic -- and so is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude. - The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner as summarized by Lily Fairbairn. And a bit of the Hobbit reading thrown in never hurts. - NottaSackville


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Feb 19 2013, 4:08pm

Post #9 of 23 (564 views)
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It may be [In reply to] Can't Post

that Radagast is "redeemed" in DoS/TaBA in the attack on Dol Guldur, and the silly bits in AUJ are just reflecting the fact that he's lived so long in the forest without an opportunity to use his Wizardry. This may change as the danger increases and he is called upon to reveal his higher calling as a Wizard. I actually enjoyed his character, and his willingness to go into Dol Guldur to see what was going on and ended up fighting the Witch-King wraith was a manifestation of his status. As far as an erstaz Saruman, it may be that Radagast's portrayal was to show how different he is from Saruman so viewers don't realize he is actually taking over some of Saruman's role.

These are just thoughts and speculations of mine, and as always time will tell what will happen. I'm hoping for more production blogs and videos soon!

Thank you for your comments. Smile

'"Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!" he said to himself, and it became a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb.'


Lindele
Gondor


Feb 19 2013, 4:45pm

Post #10 of 23 (556 views)
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I disagree [In reply to] Can't Post

Quite the opposite in fact. Not all characters have to be incredibly rigid and serious, like Saruman. It is quite refreshing to have a character that is light hearted and whimsical yet still has potential to have the wisdom of a wizard. I do not think we have seen all that Radagast has to offer yet.


julia0925
The Shire


Feb 19 2013, 8:03pm

Post #11 of 23 (451 views)
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I agree with you [In reply to] Can't Post

Radagast may come off as a little silly, but even Gandalf plays the silly wizard when it suits him (e.g. doing the fireworks at hobbit parties). I believe Radagast is a fairly powerful wizard--see how he was able to remove the dark magic from Sebastian, causing the spiders to run away. Not everyone can tame rabbits to the sled either. Just because these are not things that others value, doesn't make them valueless.

-----
Lotr: You know it's been a bad day when even the elf is smudged.
TH: when the going gets tough, the tough call the eagles.


KingTurgon
Rohan

Feb 19 2013, 10:09pm

Post #12 of 23 (422 views)
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saruman [In reply to] Can't Post

I will be very dissapointed if we don't see him. He used stunt doubles in Star Wars, why not in the Hobbit? Saruman NEEDS to be in the Dol Guldur fight, it won't make sense if he isn't.


painjoiker
Grey Havens


Feb 19 2013, 10:51pm

Post #13 of 23 (421 views)
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And he fought off the Witch King with ease, [In reply to] Can't Post

This seems like it's overlooked by most people, when it clearly shows how powerful Radagast really is!
This is the same Nazgul that destroyed Gandalf the White's staff in RotK (film)!
Think about it!

Vocalist in the progressive metal band Renamed.

(This post was edited by painjoiker on Feb 19 2013, 10:51pm)


DanielLB
Immortal


Feb 19 2013, 10:58pm

Post #14 of 23 (398 views)
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But ... [In reply to] Can't Post

You could argue that the Witch King didn't have full strength during his encounter with Radagast. Wink

And what did Radagast exactly do? If defeating the Witch King by knocking a blade into the non-wraith world was how Radagast did it, then the Witch King is a bit silly appearing in the first place!


sycorax82
Rohan

Feb 20 2013, 12:55am

Post #15 of 23 (398 views)
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He only filmed for 2 days [In reply to] Can't Post

Personally I can see one more scene with Saruman, in DoS, pre-Dol Guldur attack, where he backs down and allows action to take place. Other than that, as much as we would have liked him to be onscreen more, Sir Christopher only shot for 2 days, indicating that he's in 2 scenes, and we're lucky to get those!


painjoiker
Grey Havens


Feb 20 2013, 1:26am

Post #16 of 23 (399 views)
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He filmed for 4 days! [In reply to] Can't Post

And given how much they can do when they ONLY focus on close ups with him (they used a double in the shots of him from far away) they could have filmed a full movie with ONLY Saruman in it Wink

Vocalist in the progressive metal band Renamed.


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Feb 20 2013, 4:06am

Post #17 of 23 (351 views)
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Correction [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Radagast may come off as a little silly, but even Gandalf plays the silly wizard when it suits him (e.g. doing the fireworks at hobbit parties). I believe Radagast is a fairly powerful wizard--see how he was able to remove the dark magic from Sebastian, causing the spiders to run away. Not everyone can tame rabbits to the sled either. Just because these are not things that others value, doesn't make them valueless.


A LOT silly. Trying to minimize the silliness with "little" reveals your acknowledgement of the problem and a certain bias of some sort.

Gandalf's character, unlike Radagast's, is clearly respectful to the dignity of the Istari, Maiar. Like the troll snot, Radagast was dumbed down to appeal to the young - not for story. He could have been handled so much better and still retain the charm and eccentricity.

And you could just as easily have Ragagast's sled pulled by crickets and say that not everyone can tame crickets to the sled. That reasoning could be applied to anything because it was not Radagast who tamed the rabbits. It was Jackson's creative team who put them there in a willful suspension of sanity.


painjoiker
Grey Havens


Feb 20 2013, 11:47am

Post #18 of 23 (305 views)
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Some liked him, some did not... [In reply to] Can't Post

I liked him (even though the bird poop I could live without)

Vocalist in the progressive metal band Renamed.


julia0925
The Shire


Feb 20 2013, 3:04pm

Post #19 of 23 (270 views)
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agree to disagree [In reply to] Can't Post

I get it--you don't like Radagast. I do like him. It's ok to not agree. As Aristotle said, it is the sign of an educated mind to be able to listen to an idea without accepting it.

Not to get off topic, but yeah, I didn't mind Jar Jar all that much either. Why? Because usually Qui-Gon Jinn was around whenever Jar Jar was and I didn't even see him. Too busy looking at the tall Irishman. I'm having a similar problem with The Hobbit, only they made the Irishman into a dwarf. Two Irishmen, in fact. And lots of adorable-to-hot dwarves.

-----
Lotr: You know it's been a bad day when even the elf is smudged.
TH: when the going gets tough, the tough call the eagles.


irreality
Bree


Feb 20 2013, 5:52pm

Post #20 of 23 (257 views)
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Wait, wait, what? [In reply to] Can't Post

"That reasoning could be applied to anything because it was not Radagast who tamed the rabbits. It was Jackson's creative team who put them there in a willful suspension of sanity."

Well, that reasoning can be applied to anything in the books or movies. "That character isn't really great! Tolkien just wrote that in!" It is fiction, everything in it will be the work of the authors. If it is attributed to a character though, that is a quality of the character, unbelievable as it may seem. If we are going to break the fourth wall in that way, well, nothing further can be said about any character.

Ragadast in the books is depicted as an animal tamer and a wizard who rather interact with animals and the wild than in the affairs of men. All those things are exemplified in the movie. He is also called a fool by Saruman (who is unreliable as a narrator at this point, but still) in the books, and acts in some ways naively by trusting him. his small scene in the LotR shows him being jittery and paranoid about the Ringwraiths, like he acts in AUJ.

I don't think it takes away from his "dignity" to be seen as silly. A wizard should scoff at humanly notions of what is dignity. Gandalf drinks and smokes, hangs out with hobbits, hits his head, climbs trees and jokes about and is perfectly dignified. Dignity is doing your best for the good, not behaving properly and looking for worldly power, as Saruman's downfall clearly shows us.



JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Feb 20 2013, 7:00pm

Post #21 of 23 (240 views)
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Rabbits And Heads [In reply to] Can't Post

> "[Gandalf] hits his head"

On the matter of rabbits and Gandalf's head, both were inserted by Jackson's creative team. The rabbits weren't mentioned by Tolkien except as the stuff of Sam's stew (much to Gollum's disgust). And it was Ian McKellen who accidentally hit his head - not Gandalf. He managed to stay in character and they decided to keep it in the scene.


Loresilme
Valinor


Feb 20 2013, 11:33pm

Post #22 of 23 (217 views)
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I agree with this, because [In reply to] Can't Post

of the extended version of Radagast the Brown that appears on the soundtrack recordings. I was amazed not only at how fully developed the theme is, but how different it sounds from the other music and how much it does not reflect "just" the goofy Radagast we saw in AUJ. While it does have the slightly off-kilter nuance of the Radagast we saw, it blends with and evolves into a much different type of theme. It becomes very powerful, even hinting and bordering at times on a not-quite-sinister feeling, but of a force to be reckoned with, a really, really unexpectedly powerful and serious force.
These are, of course, my totally not-logical, and not substantiated "feelings" and imaginings about what the music conjures up in my mind. However, I do also think that if Radagast was going to start and remain the same goofy, comical type of character we saw in AUJ, that HS would have had no reason or inspiration to create such an unexpectedly powerful piece of music for the character, especially one that is so different in the extended version, from what would suit the character in AUJ. That is why I think we are going to see a *very* different Radagast in the rest of the trilogy. If the theme is any indication, Radagast is going to go from addled Crazy to awesome Shocked.


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Feb 21 2013, 12:36am

Post #23 of 23 (258 views)
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I agree with you too! [In reply to] Can't Post

The music is just lovely, quirky but with an undertone of beauty and even power. I do hope we hear more of it in the next 2 movies; we had just a taste of it in AUJ. And a portion of the theme is my ringtone Blush

'"Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!" he said to himself, and it became a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb.'

 
 

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