Sean Astin is getting back into character as Samwise Gamgee, Frodo Baggins' faithful hobbit friend in the Lord of the Rings trilogy—but he's not prepping to shoot The Hobbit, because that is set before his character was even born. Samwise will be appearing in the new Warner Brothers Interactive video game The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest.
"There's a video game coming out soon," Astin said in a group interview on May 15 in Burbank, Calif., where he was promoting his Disney Channel series Special Agent Oso. "Tomorrow I'm doing like my last day on it. That's all about what happens after The Lord of the Rings. It's set sort of in Hobbiton, and Sam has all his children and other children and is telling them these stories. Then as he starts telling the stories, the game kind of kicks in and you can be Aragorn."
Astin spent his Sunday in a recording session with his Middle-earth accent, which he demonstrated to reporters. He's still got it.
"I'm doing one last day of recording," he said. "You know how it works. You do it, then they go back and animate, they come up with new ideas or they want to tailor it to what they were able to animate or what direction they went. Tomorrow, I think, is my last day doing that. So tomorrow I will be doing Samwise Gamgee in Hobbiton, you know, that accent and that character, which is fun."
There have been rumors and speculation that screenwriters Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens and director Guillermo del Toro will add some scenes to The Hobbit that feature characters from the Rings trilogy. Astin wouldn't rule it out, and in fact he takes some personal pride in seeing The Hobbit gear up for production.
"[As for] the idea of putting the feet back on and the hair, I don't know, it's quite strange. I don't expect that it will happen. ... Well, it's nostalgic that it's happening, regardless, so those feelings of nostalgia are triggered, but, you know, I feel like I sat in a couple hundred thousand interviews with journalists answering questions about it. When the question of whether The Hobbit would happen and the studio said it wouldn't happen and everyone was pooh-poohing it and I said all along, 'It will happen, of course. There's too much money at stake, the audience wants to see it, it's too great a story, it will happen.' So I feel a sense of kind of faux vindication, because at least in the entertainment publicity world, I felt like I called it. In terms of my own feelings, I don't know. I don't know. It'll be mixed feelings, I'm sure."
Perhaps in a few more months, there will suddenly be an offer to play Samwise again in a live-action movie. "That could be fun. That could be fun. Sure, why not? Go back to New Zealand, put on the furry feet and the hobbit hair again? Would be fun. The character of Sam is one of the great all-time literary characters, but it's weird to think about how they might incorporate him into a different story. So I'm sure that because it's Peter and Fran [it would make sense]."
The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest is in development for Playstation3, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Playstation 2 and PlayStation Portable.