Viggo Mortensen explains why he turned down a role in The Hobbit

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Feb 12, 2019, 1:00 PM EST (Updated)

Though they didn’t actually appear in the book, Hobbit director Peter Jackson figured out ways to fit in several actors from The Lord of the Rings in his new Tolkien-inspired trilogy. So why didn’t Viggo Mortensen want to bring Aragorn back for a little more ass-kicking?

Jackson finagled and expanded on Tolkien’s novella enough to crank out a trilogy to rival the scope of Lord of the Rings, but it turns out Mortensen didn’t want to be a part of the project, since it was making a few too many wholesale changes to the canon.

In a new interview with The Guardian, Mortensen recalls being approached back in 2008 during preproduction about returning as the badass Ranger of the North in the prequel films. Here is his geektastically awesome response:

“Before they started shooting, back in 2008, one of the producers did ask if I would be interested. I said, ‘You do know, don't you, that Aragorn isn't in The Hobbit? That there is a 60-year gap between the books?’”

It’s nice to see that Mortenson has such a reverence for Tolkien’s work, and it definitely would’ve been a stretch to fit Aragorn into the prequel trilogy. The first Hobbit film had its critics due to pacing, so only time will tell if Jackson made the right critical decision in expanding the story into three films and adding characters and storylines from Tolkien’s appendices to fill out the edges.

What do you think — should Mortensen have returned for The Hobbit?

(Via The Playlist)