A Starman Walks Into a Casting Agency

By  · Published on December 19th, 2016

Lord of the Rings casting director confirms that David Bowie was considered for a role in the film franchise.

In January of this year, Lord of the Rings actor Dominic Monaghan told The Huffington Post that he saw David Bowie at the casting office while auditioning for the role of Merry. Monaghan speculated that Bowie was up for the part of Gandalf although Bowie, himself, is said to have been interested in playing Elrond, Lord of Rivendell.

On Friday, The Huffington Post published a follow-up story, in which casting director Amy Hubbard revealed that Bowie never actually auditioned for any roles in the trilogy. She also confirmed that director Peter Jackson was, in fact, interested in Bowie for the part of Gandalf. However, the reason that Bowie did not audition is that he was too busy (making ground-breaking music, watching over his Goblin Kingdom, etc.), and the franchise required years of commitment from the actors. Not to mention, Peter Jackson wanted to cast less-recognizable actors so as not to distract viewers from the story and the characters.

Of course, it’s difficult to imagine anyone other than Sir Ian McKellen and Hugo Weaving playing Gandalf and Elrond, respectively – they each brought J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic characters to life brilliantly. But it is fascinating to consider what it would have been like if David Bowie had appeared in either of these roles. There is no doubt that his magical presence would fit in perfectly with Peter Jackson’s carefully constructed adaptation.

David Bowie in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

Speaking of David Bowie projects that could have been, in May, our very own H. Perry Horton reported that Bowie was going to be in David Lynch’s new season of Twin Peaks. However, Bowie passed away before he had a chance to shoot any scenes for the new series. Bowie first appeared in the Twin Peaks universe in Lynch’s 1992 film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, giving a powerhouse performance as Special Agent Phillip Jeffries. His performance only lasted a few moments, but raised a number of questions and mysteries that, now, may never be followed up on.

These new reports on Bowie projects that never happened are just painful reminders of one of 2016’s worst losses. It is a great comfort, however, to think of all the beautiful art he left behind: from his music to his fashion statements to his enigmatic and brilliant performances in Labyrinth, The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Hunger, and The Prestige. That David Bowie will be with us forever – even if he did not appear in Lord of the Rings.

Related Topics:

Actual film school graduate from Toronto. Always thinking and writing about queerness, feminism, camp, melodrama, and popular culture.