Elijah Wood Confirmed to Return as Frodo Baggins in The Hobbit
01.09.11 by BJSprecher
In a recent article discussing how Warner Bros. will be picking up the tab for the cost of MGM's production of The Hobbit in exchange for worldwide theatrical distribution of the two-part prequel to The Lord of the Rings (LOTR), Deadline speculated Elijah Wood could be returning as Frodo Baggins, the diminutive hobbit who risked everything to destroy the One Ring in Peter Jackson's epic trilogy. This seemed slightly implausible considering Frodo doesn't appear in The Hobbit book written by acclaimed author J.R.R. Tolkien on which the movies will be based, and the fact that the character wasn't even born yet during the events depicted in the book, but Deadline has now confirmed that Wood will be returning to Middle Earth in both parts of The Hobbit.
While the Deadline article did not explain how Wood's character could appear in The Hobbit, another movie site did have a plausible explanation. According to TheOneRing, which has become the definitive source of news about the movies based on Tolkien's works thanks to creative types like Jackson and Guillermo del Toro using the site to directly address the fans, Wood's appearance as Frodo in The Hobbit, though not Tolkien canon, will be an "organic and natural" addition to the movie mythos.
As readers of The Hobbit know, the tale of "The Downfall of The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit or There and Back Again," are contained in the fictional "Red Book of Westmarch." In Peter Jackson’s LOTR films, the book is shown on screen and written in by Bilbo [played by Ian Holm] and Frodo [Wood] and handed off to Sam Gamgee [Sean Astin]. (Not explained on film are Sam’s progeny later having the book and being Wardens of the Westmarch—hence the book’s title.)
The fictional book, and either the telling from it or the reading of it, will establish Frodo in the films experiencing Bilbo’s story. Viewers are to learn the tale of The Hobbit as a familiar Frodo gets the tale as well.
So, basically, Wood will appear in both chapters of The Hobbit as the reader and/or narrator of the tale being told in the movies. This seems to be a handy solution to the problem of inserting a recognizable actor and beloved character from the original trilogy into The Hobbit without mucking up Tolkien's tale and ticking off loyal LOTR fans in the process.
The Hobbit screenplays were written by Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. For a list of actors from the LOTR trilogy who will be reprising their roles alongside Wood, as well as a list of the new additions that will be appearing in The Hobbit, see this previous ReelzChannel article.