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Fan-Casting a Lord of the Rings Live-Action Movie Made in the 80s

So, I’ve been idly thinking about what Lord of the Rings might have looked like, had it been made in the 80s. This all got started with David Carradine in the Sword & Sorcery cheese The Warrior and The Sorceress. Back then, I think he would’ve made a great Aragorn. Weathered, but noble, and he would’ve had the physicality for the role:

warsorceress1.jpg


From there, I’ve got Mark Hamill as Legolas, Harrison Ford as Boromir, Sandahl Bergman as Galadriel, Warwick Davis as Frodo, Phil Fondacaro as Gimli, and Gollum as a Jim Henson Co puppet. Oh, and Christopher Lee as Saruman, still. As much as he would’ve wanted to do Gandalf back then, I don’t think he’d be right for the part. No, Gandalf needs someone with the right mirth about him. And for that, I go with Sean Connery. Maybe he would’ve understood the script back then!

So, what are your thoughts for the cast of an 80s-filmed Lord of the Rings?
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I don’t think Connery would be a good Gandalf, tbh.

Christopher Lee had plenty of range to play Gandalf, he’s just so perfect for Saruman, it’s hard to pass that up.

I’d look at Alec Guinness, or Donald Sutherland.

As for the rest...

Kiefer Sutherland would be my Legolas pick; but only because I’d want someone older for Boromir.

Mandy Pantinkin (Princess Bride’s Inigo) would be my Aragorn.

That’s all I’ve got off the top of my head.
 

The problem with Sean Connery is that he never disappears into the role he’s playing. It’s always just Sean Connery there. I think it might work as Gandalf, but not on the same scale of McKellan’s performance. I would go with Sutherland over Guinness. Obi-Wan already draws too much from Gandalf. Donald Sutherland would bring a gravity and grace to the role.

Indeed, Lee remains perfect as Saruman, even back then. I think we’d see a more physical performance, with him leading the armies against Helm’s Deep. A departure from the books, but back then, there’d be a ton of those.

Now Kiefer Sutherland as Legolas, that’s perfect!

I don’t think Connery would be a good Gandalf, tbh.

Christopher Lee had plenty of range to play Gandalf, he’s just so perfect for Saruman, it’s hard to pass that up.

I’d look at Alec Guinness, or Donald Sutherland.

Kiefer Sutherland would be my Legolas pick; but only because I’d want someone older for Boromir.
 

Ryujin

Adventurer
I don’t think Connery would be a good Gandalf, tbh.

Christopher Lee had plenty of range to play Gandalf, he’s just so perfect for Saruman, it’s hard to pass that up.

I’d look at Alec Guinness, or Donald Sutherland.

As for the rest...

Kiefer Sutherland would be my Legolas pick; but only because I’d want someone older for Boromir.

Mandy Pantinkin (Princess Bride’s Inigo) would be my Aragorn.

That’s all I’ve got off the top of my head.

I'd go Kurt Russel for Boromir.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The problem with Sean Connery is that he never disappears into the role he’s playing. It’s always just Sean Connery there. I think it might work as Gandalf, but not on the same scale of McKellan’s performance. I would go with Sutherland over Guinness. Obi-Wan already draws too much from Gandalf. Donald Sutherland would bring a gravity and grace to the role.

Indeed, Lee remains perfect as Saruman, even back then. I think we’d see a more physical performance, with him leading the armies against Helm’s Deep. A departure from the books, but back then, there’d be a ton of those.

Now Kiefer Sutherland as Legolas, that’s perfect!

Great points! Sutherland is also great at the switching from gravity to silliness that Gandalf requires to be done right, and delightfully, he’s always got a hint of danger in his eyes, even when he’s being funny. Hell, even in MASH (the movie), it’s there.

And imagine that Wizard fight! Lee when he could still move, and Sutherland when he was younger! Hell yeah! There’s a reason I was hoping Sutherland would play Odin in the Thor movie, back in the day.

I'd go Kurt Russel for Boromir.

Hey that could work! Nice!
 


In the 80s, it would have probably been a 90-minute television movie to set up the plot, followed by several series in which the Fellowship journey through a Middle Earth that looks suspiciously like southern California, pursued by the Witch King and his posse of Black Riders. Monster/villian of the week plots with only a cursory nod to what's actually supposed to be happening.
 

Ryujin

Adventurer
Its the 80s so

Michael J Fox as Frodo
Jennifer Connoly as an elf

I think that they'd have used child actors as Hobbits in the '80s, but maybe Fox for the name recognition.

Debbie Harry as Arwen.
Annie Lennox as Galadriel.
Both would sing.
 



Legatus_Legionis

< BLAH HA Ha ha >
Here are some of my thoughts:

Gandalf - Lorne Green (BSG)
Saruman - Christopher Walken
Aragorn - Dirk Benedict (A-Team)
Galadriel - Christie Brinkley
Frido - Michael J Fox
Gollum - Frank Oz - Jim Henson Muppets
 

trancejeremy

First Post
Gandalf - Peter Cushing
Saruman - Andrew Robinson (mostly a character actor, but really good at being sinister)
Aragorn - Kevin Costner
Boromir - Bill Paxton
Legolas - Kyle MacLachlan
Galadriel - Kim Basinger
Frodo - Fred Savage
Sam - Stephen Dorrf
Corey Feldman and Corey Haim as Merry & Pippin
 


Eltab

Is this a moon, or is it a space station?
Tim Curry as Wormtongue would make the character more sinister, but he does a good job of maintaining a front of innocence.

He could preview his Cardinal Richelieu in 3 Musketeers. ("Oh, you've heard all the rumors about me, sire. I lust after the queen, I covet the throne...")
 

Aeson

Adventurer
I think that they'd have used child actors as Hobbits in the '80s.

They did in the Peter Jackson movies for some distance shots. They relied on staging and camera tricks more often than CGI for the hobbits. So, children were used in some scenes.

Lorne Green as Elrond
I like Dirk Benedict as Boromir because I don't see Aragorn with a big honkin cigar.
Richard Freakin Grieco as Aragorn
James Earl Jones as Gimili
Huey Lewis and Phil Collins as someone, anyone
Alan Alda as Gandalf
Alan Arkin as Wormtongue
The Coreys as Merry and Pippin
Sean Astin as Frodo, tell me he wasn't Frodo like in The Goonies
John Astin as Sauramon

Vangelis does the score
 
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