Is there another movie franchise that’s the subject of as much speculation as The Hobbit? It seems that every day there’s another rumor about who’s been cast, when the movie’s coming out, what problems are rising up, you name it.
We understand, Peter Jackson. Your job is not easy. And since we here at TheTorchOnline.com are nothing if not selfless, we’re going to do you a big favor.
Just as we did for the upcoming Conan, we’re going to cast your movie for you. (Mostly. We’re only doing one dwarf — Thorin Oakenshield — otherwise we’d be here all day.)
Now, even though there’s a few different versions of whether the roles of Gandalf and Elrond are cast, I think we can pretty much bet that Ian McKellan and Hugo Weaving are going to be donning their wigs once again, so I don’t really see a need to speculate about those roles.
Without further ado, let’s get the biggest one out of the way first.
Bilbo Baggins - Hugh Dancy
I’ll admit to being a little surprised when word came out that Elijah Wood had been cast as Frodo Baggins way back when. Certainly, he was not how I imagined a hobbit to look — too thin, too young, too modern, and quite frankly, too good-looking. Aren’t hobbits supposed to be appear as pudgy, middle-aged men? But then realization set in: if you’re going to hang a billion-dollar movie franchise on a single star, that star is going to inevitably be someone people enjoy looking at. In that vein, I nominate Hugh Dancy. Having seen Dancy perform on screen and on stage in a variety of roles, it’s clear to me his good looks are matched by his incredibly versatile acting ability, and he’s truly a performer capable of breathing life into Bilbo Baggins. (And check out that hair! Hobbit hair! You’ll save on wigs, PJ.)
Thorin Oakenshield - Brian Cox
It seems, ironically, that in order to pull off a true dwarf warrior, you need a giant, strapping man. (See John Rhys-Davies in The Lord of the Rings.) Cox is veteran performer, capable of great onscreen presence, and knows how to work an over-the-top scene like few else, as he did in X2: X-Men United, Troy, Deadwood, etc. Who wouldn’t love to see him strut his stuff as a four-foot-tall warrior?
Bard the Bowman - Stuart Townsend
Okay, I have to admit, I’m not being impartial. Having worked as an actor, I know the sting of almost getting that great role. There are conflicting stories about what exactly happened with LOTR, but what we do know is this: Stuart Townsend had the role of Aragorn, then he lost it. Now, to be fair, he was replaced by Viggo Mortensen, and the world is a better place for it thanks to Viggo’s pitch-perfect Aragorn. But how about we throw Townsend a bone with the smaller, slightly Aragorn-esque role of Bard?
Beorn - Joel Edgerton
The fearsome shape-shifter Beorn could change into a large black bear at will, and aided Bilbo and the party of dwarves, even participating in the Battle of Five Armies. Joel Edgerton, on the other hand, looks like a bear. So there you go.
Thranduil - Luke Goss
When Bilbo and company head into Mirkwood, they are captured by the Elvenking, Thranduil, and thrown in the dungeon. The father of Legolas, Thranduil is seen as a much more imposing figure than Orlando Bloom’s agile elf. And who wasn’t impressed by Luke Goss’s performance as Prince Nuada in Hellboy 2, in which he proved you can be beautiful and repulsive at the same time?
Smaug the Dragon - Bill O’Reilly
Andy Serkis who? If you really want the motion-capture performance of a lifetime, just strap those little ping-pong balls on this dude and put a camera in front of him. You don’t have to give him a script. In fact, you don’t even have to tell him it’s for a movie. Just tell him to do what comes naturally, and watch the wicked, greedy dragon Smaug come to life before your very eyes.
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