So they’re announcing the cast of The Hobbit. Sir Ian McKellen is going to be Gandalf again – well, good. That’s as it should be. That’s the main good thing about having Peter Jackson involved, I guess – continuity. I’m sure I’m missing some of the joyous breaking news, but this is what they’re talking about on TBWSRN… I want very badly to spout off there, but, as with the last post, I don’t have the heart to be the one I used to loathe, walking around with a big pin looking for pretty balloons. Here, though … >pop<
Martin Freeman – Bilbo Baggins. Okay, good. Okay, fine. I hated what I saw of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; I didn’t see much of it because I couldn’t get through it. I must have seen him in something, though, and I liked him; as far as I was in any camp, I was in the Freeman-for-Bilbo camp. So, yay. ETA: He’s wonderful in Sherlock. At least there’ll be another “series” of that; he’s made a commitment.
Richard Armitage – Thorin Oakenshield. Sorry, what?
Guy of Gisborne? What’s his name that was the Vicar of Dibley’s lover? Seriously? I suppose it must be the corruption of all those half-assed illustrations, but I never, ever imagined Thorin as hot. ‘Course they’re going to cover him with hair, so … what’s the point?
I had heard Patrick Stewart was being considered. Which would have been another of those worlds-colliding things that mess with my mind, but I would think a good part of the casting for the dwarves has to be voice casting, considering the general armor-and-hair aspect of Peter Jackson’s dwarves. Richard Armitage, huh? Huh.
Aidan Turner – Kili. What?
Mitchell. Of Being Human. As Kili the dwarf. See above, under hot?? and hairy. I just don’t get it. Also, not that I’m counting, but Fili and Kili are blond. Don’t do that.
Speaking of Kili –
Rob Kazinsky – Fili. Never saw him in anything, as far as I remember, but … Geez. He’s flipping adorable. This is getting silly. (And where does he get off having a dot-org?)
Graham McTavish – Dwalin: I’ve seen him in small roles, I guess, and might remember him if I saw him in action, but… Sorry. He shows they’re following the proper range of ages among the dwarves, and looks better than the others, to my mind’s eye.
John Callen – Oin – not much on him out there, after a quick search. There will be. Oh, there will be.
Stephen Hunter – Bombur. Wait, huh? This Stephen Hunter? The non-acting Stephen Hunter? In the photos on the site, he looks the part, but… how odd. Unless of course I have the wrong guy.
Mark Hadlow – Dori – also known as Harry in King Kong. I think I remember him. OK, good.
Peter Hambleton – Gloin. Not a clue. Again, there’s gonna be a lot more out there about him.
On the whole, I prefer new-to-me–but-experienced faces as the dwarves. The young ones … Yes, Fili and Kili are supposed to be young. And there is supposed to be an emotional reaction to the (*spoiler*) death of whichever or both (I don’t remember). But this seems like a hollow ploy to cater to the girly group that still giggle over Orlando Bloom. (And what, is Richard Armitage, the man I’ve referred to as a cut-rate Sean Bean, supposed to appeal to what were once called on the Nameless Board the B-Girls (fans of either Boromir or Bean, whichever)? Not cutting it. He’s a reasonably attractive man, has made me roll my eyes somewhat less than other actors I’ve seen (and more than others); he’s no Sean Bean.
I wish they were capable of just making the flaming movie. First, though, there has to be a large chunk of drama before we ever get to it – – and the movie isn’t going to simply be The Hobbit. No, if nothing else the studios (and I’m not putting so much faith in Peter Jackson that this isn’t in his mind) can’t tolerate a movie with virtually no female presence (I don’t know what Jackson’s doing about that – can’t use Galadriel since we never go near Lorien, so it seems there will be flashbacks to Frodo’s parents or some such nonsense. And they can’t tolerate a movie without a studly presence. I’d love to see them prove me wrong, and have this Fili and Kili decked out unrecognizable like every single indistinguishable dwarf in Fellowship. But I’m not counting on it. I don’t know. I just don’t know.
Fortunately, I don’t care nearly as much as I would have once. I think I’m pretty resigned to them completely balling the whole thing up.
G’head, folks. Prove me wrong. On all counts. If you can make me care – – nah. That’s way too much to ask.
ETA – Since I first wrote this post, they’ve cast a few more roles: Galadriel, Legolas, Frodo… What’s this, you say, none of those characters are in The Hobbit? Why, that’s right. They’re not. How peculiar.
Now, if Cate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom are all blonded up and visible in the background … Well, Legolas is Thranduil’s son, so that’s fine. If he’s completely silent. I honestly can’t figure whether Galadriel has any right in the world to be there. If she isn’t given a single line I can live with her too. I don’t think I’ve seen yet whether Hugo Weaving is returning as Elrond; if he’s not, it makes the rest even more ridiculous.
I found an old article in which Jackson told MTV (MTV?) that “he only sees a return to Middle Earth for 3 of the original Lord of the Rings cast”. Back then, presumably, he was talking about the elves. “I imagine Andy Serkis just slipped his mind … hopefully”. There are all sorts of rumors, including David Tennant as Thranduil (totally up in the air, or … oh, who knows) and Ron Perlman (who was only an idea, from when Del Toro was attached to the project – my reactions went from what?? to huh to that might be one reason to go see these things to oh, never mind, he says he’s not doing it).
Elijah Wood … Seriously, I’m pretty unhappy about this. Apparently, since they’ve decided they need to stretch out the book over two movies, they need to do some serious padding, and they’re adding bookends of Frodo reading Bilbo’s Red Book. I can see some positives to this, really I can, but … I hate it. At least they don’t seem to plan to have Frodo reading it to Sam (where? Rivendell?). It would be a little better if Sir Ian Holm was there reading it to Frodo, but apparently there isn’t even a question of that; I understand he isn’t well.
For some reason I can’t put my hands on my paperback editions of LotR or The Hobbit, but one hardcover edition of TH on Amazon is listed as 319 pages. Fellowship is 400. Two Towers is 354. Return of the King is 448, although I think about a hundred of that is indices and appendices. I don’t know how these editions compare, but it’s pretty clear that The Hobbit is shorter than any of the others. So of course the logical conclusion is to make the shortest book into two films. Sure.