The Hobbit Bits: Elijah Wood, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Bret McKenzie Discuss Their Roles; No Return for Viggo Mortensen
11.24.11 by Ryan
Fans of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy will get to see plenty of familiar faces when the two-part prequel of The Hobbit debuts with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in late 2012, followed by The Hobbit: There and Back Again in 2013. Besides the return of Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Andy Serkis as Gollum (motion-capture) and Hugo Weaving as Elrond, director and co-writer Peter Jackson has found a way to bring back Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Sir Christopher Lee as Saruman, and Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, even though the characters don't appear in J.R.R. Tolkien's original novel.
One character that won't be returning is Aragorn, the character Viggo Mortensen played in the trilogy of movies. During an interview with Movies.com, Mortensen revealed that he wasn't against returning but was never asked.
At one point, the producers asked if I would do it and I said sure if Aragorn is supposed to be in the bridge story because he's not in The Hobbit. I would rather do it than see someone else do it, but I've never been asked and they're shooting the movie. I'm not in it unless there is some last-minute plan they have, but I thought I would have heard of it by now. Orlando Bloom and Cate Blanchett shot something, but they're elves and don't change as rapidly. As you know, Aragorn is half elf and also lives a couple hundred years or more and he could be in a bridge, but I have to assume it isn't going to happen. That was an important period in my life and I will always be grateful that the trilogy was so successful and gave me a lot of new opportunities.
According to Wood, Mortensen is missing out. Having recently finished his work on the movie, the actor told OntheRedCarpet that the shoot was like a "family reunion" (albeit one without everyone there, we're sure he meant to add).
I just left. I was there for a month. It was an incredible gift to go back. It felt like a family reunion, it felt like revisiting another time. The movies are going to be incredible — I've only read one of the two scripts, and it's very exciting.
They're shooting digitally in 3-D. Peter is sitting on set, his monitor is a 3D monitor, and he can watch the 3-D on set. There's actually been some really incredible technological advancements that have occurred that have made things a little more complicated, but the result will be fantastic.
One the newer members of the cast, Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC's Sherlock), who plays the dragon Smaug, has yet to start his work on the movie, telling Collider that he will start "in January". Like Serkis, Cumberbatch will play the dragon not only in voice, but in motion-capture as well and has "already started working out and doing various movement exercises to get myself limber for that all-important jump suit with balls on it."
As for what kind of preparation Cumberbatch will have to do to play a dragon, the actor told MTV that it will require him to "be on his belly" quite a bit.
Preparation for something like that is quite unique. I think it will be partly to go with going back to the book, but I sort of want to look at real life serpents and creatures of that ilk, dragons. He's a reptile, obviously, so it's not like Andy Serkis' work with Gollum. I'm going to be on my belly, so that's going to take a bit of practicing.
He's an exceptionally beautiful, vain, devilish and also, in a lightly weird way, an innocent character. He's fooled by an invisible midget. It's quite frustrating. There's something quite exceptional about the power he has over people and the imagination of that world that is unlocked in this story.
Lastly, The Hobbit will also see the return of Bret McKenzie (The Flight of the Conchords), who played an extra during the Fellowship's time at Rivendell. McKellen revealed that McKenzie was to return in The Hobbit in May, and Empire recently asked the New Zealand actor about his time on set.
It was in Wellington so I could pretty much walk to work. It’s still a small part — I did a couple of days earlier this year — but it was great to get my pointy ears back on. It’s in 3D, so the ears will be extra pointy. You’ll be able to touch the ears.
I’ve got a proper name this time: Lindir. In the book he was a musical elf. This time, if I make the edit, I'll speak in Elvish. But I don’t sing.
As for his Elvish look, the typically-bearded McKenzie admitted that he looks "much more like a girl in The Hobbit," adding: "I look like a hot girl."
As for when fans might see the first footage of The Hobbit, might appear, Variety writer Jeff Sneider Tweeted a few days ago that a Hobbit teaser might arrive in front of Sherlock Holmes 2 when it opens next month. Keep your fingers crossed.