It's a new year so there are lots of new rumors about the long-awaited Hobbit movie, directed by Peter Jackson. The latest news is that Elijah Wood (pictured left) will be playing Frodo, who isn't in that book. This prompted me to look for cast info on TheOneRing.net and The Internet Movie Database.
I was surprised by two things:
1. The release date (Dec. 2012)
2. The inclusion of characters who are not in the book
The latter includes Frodo, Saruman, Radagast, Galadriel, and Legolas. It's rumored that Orlando Bloom will be paid $1 million for a two-minute cameo as Legolas. Since Legolas wasn't in that book, I had hoped they wanted Bloom to play Thranduil, King of the Mirkwood Elves (and father of Legolas). Now it rumored that David Tennant (who recently played Dr. Who and Barty Crouch, Jr. in Harry Potter IV), will play Thranduil.
Speaking of Elvish characters, what the heck is Galadriel doing here? Where is Elrond? I hope the writers don't send Bilbo and company to Lorien instead of Rivendell. (Let's all hope they stick to the book and take a good look at the map of Middle-earth before they make any radical changes).
Perhaps Jackson has other plans for these non-Hobbit characters. In the past he said the movies (yes, plural, there will be two of them) would be based on material written by Tolkien. Other than The Hobbit, I wonder if he's referring the "The Book of Years" in Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings (LotR). Other than the events in LotR, there's not much mention of these characters in that Appendix, certainly not enough for a movie, so I can't help but wonder how inventive Jackson and co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens will be. Goodness knows, they took quite a few liberties with LotR! At least we only have to wait 23 more months to find out...