According to reports from Variety, pre-production is about to get underway on the two Hobbit movies, which will be helmed by the imaginative director of Pan’s Labyrinth, Guillermo Del Toro. The two highly anticipated films that will cover the backstory of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy expect to see many familiar faces back for more. We all know that Peter Jackson will produce. Screenwriters Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens, who co-penned all three LOTR films as well as 2005’s King Kong, are expected to write the scripts to The Hobbit as well.
Now there are talks to get three actors whose characters from LOTR, show up in The Hobbit: Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn/Strider, Ian McKellen as Gandalf and Andy Serkis as Gollum.
“We will all be involved in the script in some fashion but the exact definition is about a week away,” said del Toro. “I am all for keeping the actors who originated the parts, as much as availability and their willingness will allow.”
Mortensen is currently filming the Cormac McCarthy adapted The Road, which is scheduled to release on Nov. 26, but is not confirmed for anything beyond that. McKellen is also only involved in one confirmed project right now. He will star alongside Rachel Weisz and Susan Sarandon in The Colossus, which is due out in 2010. Serkis has the most going on with his involvement in four other films, including Steven Spielberg’s Tintin, however his roles are usually very small which could free him up to return to play the CGI masterwork that is Gollum.
I think it will be an invaluable advantage for the film to have Walsh, Boyens, Mortensen, McKellen and Serkis to come back for the Hobbit and Del Toro should do everything he can to see that it happens. These are people who really know and love the material they’re bringing to life and with whom we are familiar with. These are also people who played vital roles in making what is, for my money, the greatest and most beautiful motion pictures ever made. So why have an entirely new team who will have immense pressure on them of living up to the preceeding films and the hype, when you can get the veterans who really know what they’re doing and not have to worry about that?
Sound Off: Should Viggo, Ian, and Andy return for The Hobbit?