Peter Jackson had so gracefully courted Tolkien fans while making The Lord of the Rings Trilogy that non-fans felt a little left out, a bit of jealousy that helped fuel the film’s popularity. Now however, Jackson is parting ways with the hardcore Tolkien fans in a big way. In an announcement on his Facebook page on May 28th, Jackson told the world that actor Orlando Bloom had signed on to join the cast of The Hobbit, reprising the role as the elf warrior Legolas.
“I’m excited to announce today that we’ll be revisiting Middle Earth with him once more. I’m thrilled to be working with Orlando again. Funny thing is, I look older — and he doesn’t! I guess that’s why he makes such a wonderful elf.”
Why is this seemingly good news being met with such fury by Tolkien purists? The character of Legolas was not part of the book. The Hobbit, for those unaware, is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings set 60 years prior to the events of that extraordinary trilogy. While purists balk at such a blasphemous rewriting of Tolkien, non-purists like myself are merely scratching our heads in confusion.
Orlando Bloom was a spry, fresh faced 23 year old when cameras rolled on The Fellowship of the Ring. Now, at age 34 he will play a version of the same character 60 years younger. Apparently Elf Warriors don’t age. Humans however, we do age and this will likely mean a little makeup magic for Bloom; perhaps a little CGI botox.
Bloom’s post Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean career could use a little botox. In the four years since his last blockbuster Pirates adventure, Bloom has starred in four films that have hardly made it past theaters on the East and West Coast. Things are set to begin to improve a little for Bloom though with his first villainous role in the 3D Three Musketeers movie releasing in October of 2011.
As for The Hobbit, production is underway with Martin Freeman (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) as Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen reprising the role of Gandalf. Peter Jackson is directing after having once passed the directorial reigns to Guillermo Del Toro. The Hobbit is expected in theaters in December of 2012.