Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Saruman Wants To Come Back!

More great Hobbit news! Christopher Lee definitely wants to reprise his role as Saruman, if the new movies require his services.

ACTOR Christopher Lee says he would reprise his role as Saruman in the big-screen adaptation of the Hobbit and its proposed follow-up film that will link to the Lord of the Rings movies.

The 86-year-old British star told Empire that he would gladly return to the franchise if asked by Hobbit director Guillermo del Toro.

Lee played Saruman the White in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. He was first approached to play Gandalf, but said he was too old. The role of Gandalf was then given to Ian McKellen.

Lee once met JRR Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit author, and is the only person in the film trilogy to have done so. He said he reads the novels at least once a year.

Saruman's role was cut in the third film, resulting in some tension with director Peter Jackson, but it was reinstated in the DVD extended edition.

He told Empire: "I've read the books time and again. Originally Saruman The White and the rest of the wizards, or the Istari as they call them, were immortal. There were five of them, two of them never appear, I know their names but they never appear, and the only three that are mentioned are Saruman The White, Gandalf The Grey and Radagast The Brown who you never see - so basically it's two wizards.

"When it all started, Saruman was the noblest, the finest, the bravest, the most dependable and reliable of them all, he was number one. But somewhere, somehow, and it was never actually explained, he turns and it's probably the Palantír (the wizard's crystal ball) that makes Saruman realise that if Sauron can do this, why can't I do it and Saruman wants to become The Lord Of The Rings himself. I'd be interested in seeing how that transition from good to evil occurred and, yes, of course I would return to the role if I was asked."

The story is from David Bentley at The Coventry Telegraph. I'm really glad Lee wants to come back. He was absolutely perfect as Saruman. As I've stated before, I love the LOTR movies, but the omission of Saruman's demise from the theatrical release was definitely a mistake imo. I do see the extended DVD editions of the movies as the "real" versions, and there we did get to see how PJ's Saruman met his end (with the rather necessary omission of "The Scouring of the Shire" from the movies, he obviously had to die differently than in the books), but I think the scene should absolutely have been in the theatrical release as well. No wonder Lee was pi... peeved!

The original interview is from Empire Magazine's website.

Picture from "The Two Towers", thanks to Tolkien Gateway.

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