2016 pretty much sucked. The world lost many beloved greats, including the Thin White Duke, himself, David Bowie. Bowie made an indelible impression with his music, but also dabbled in acting. Who can forget his turn as Jareth the Goblin King in ‘Labyrinth’? But he may have had the chance to appear in a series of modern day classics, the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy!
Dominic Monaghan, who played Merry in the films, recalls seeing Bowie at a casting call, saying:
“David Bowie came in and signed his little list and went in. And I’m assuming he read for Gandalf. I can’t think of anything else he would’ve read for.”
Sir Ian McKellan of course immortalized the role as Gandalf the wizard, but it appears that he wasn’t the first choice. Amy Hubbard, who served as the casting director for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies revealed the reason Bowie wasn’t in these films… he was too busy.
“He was unavailable. It was a very quick conversation with the legendary Chris Andrews at CAA. I do believe that [David Bowie] went over and played for everybody at the Millennium party. That would’ve been New Year’s Eve in the year 1999, which was when the films were being shot. He went over and entertained everybody, but he never auditioned. That’s for sure.”
“We approached him. I’m pretty sure it was Peter Jackson’s idea in the first few weeks that we got going. It was one that he’d always wondered about, and we rang Chris, and [Bowie] was far too busy.”
The ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies required years of commitment from its actors and in the case of Gandalf, the character went on to also play a large part in ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy that came afterward.
Instead, Bowie continued to release music and during this time, also hosted the erotic horror anthology series ‘The Hunger’ and appeared in films such as ‘Zoolander’ and ‘The Prestige’.
Nicholas Cage also passed on a ‘LotR’ role, that of Aragorn, the role that eventually went to Viggo Mortensen. His reason was similar to Bowie’s, he simply didn’t want to invest the years worth of time.
Bowie’s song ‘Moonage Daydream’ was featured on the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ soundtrack and director James Gunn revealed that he had hoped to cast Bowie in an acting role in the sequel.
What do you think? How would the ‘LotR’ movies have been different with Bowie as Gandalf?
Source: Huffington Post