With The Hobbit now greenlit — It is officially greenlit now, right? Who can keep track? — real news about the highly anticipated J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation is starting to come in fast and furious. Peter Jackson is directing, replacing Guillermo del Toro after his 2010 departure, and Martin Freeman is confirmed for the lead role of Bilbo Baggins. Now The One Ring is reporting that the unlikeliest of actors may be joining the cast as well: Elijah Wood.
You’re confused. I can’t see you, but I know you’re confused. It’s okay. I’m confused too. For those who don’t recall, Wood played Frodo Baggins in Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In Tolkien’s version of The Hobbit, the character is never once mentioned. The story is all about Bilbo’s grand adventure. There’s already been talk of Jackson tweaking certain elements of the original text, such as Bilbo’s involvement in the climactic Battle of the Five Armies, and it seems we may now be in for yet another divergence from Tolkien’s work. Which isn’t to say that’s a bad thing.
The casting isn’t set yet, but talks are reportedly underway. The idea is to bring Wood’s Frodo in at the beginning of the film as a sort of grace note meant to tie The Hobbit to Jackson’s previous treatments of Tolkien’s work. The explanation provided by The One Ring is a little bit confusing, but the Frodo scene in question is all wrapped up in the fact that both he and his friend Sam Gamgee record their experiences into journal-like books. These fictional texts will be used to “establish Frodo in the films, leaving viewers to experience the tale of The Hobbit through Bilbo’s point of view.”
This casting certainly sounds dicey, especially given the fact that the Rings trilogy hewed so very close to Tolkien’s text. Really though, this all boils down to one important point: do you trust Tolkien’s work in Peter Jackson’s hands? I sure do, and if you have any love for his work on the trilogy then you should too.
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