Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a beloved, multi-award-winning take on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels. It’s a classic, one that can never be remade. Except that a potential remake is currently on Amazon Studio’s negotiating table. And Sean Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee, wants to see it.
Astin, appearing on SiriusXM show “Up All Afternoon With Kyle Anderson,” believes there’s plenty of untapped potential from the novels that never appeared in the Jackson films: “The Mines of Moria are referred to a lot in Lord of the Rings. And I guess in the Hobbit trilogy, you spent a little time with them. But the culture of the dwarves in the mines, I would love to see like five hours of that.”
And as fans know, there’s always backstory from Tolkien's The Silmarillion or the author's many, many indices to pull from. Or perhaps, like the Middle-earth videogame series from Monolith, the show could tell its own tale based on Tolkien’s legends.
In addition, Astin has been saying for years that “maybe like 12 years after Lord of the Rings came out, that it would get remade.” Considering that the final installation The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King came out in 2003, he’s off by only four years. Although people would argue with him, he held to his belief: “No, it’ll get remade. It’s a massive story! The characters are so beloved.”
But the actor hasn't considered reprising his role as Samwise, the hobbit with the heart of gold. “I’m carrying the Samwise banner for the Peter Jackson version of Lord of the Rings. When I saw the Amazon thing, that didn’t even occur to me. I just sort of thought, ‘What would it be like to see the next Sam there?’
Astin also mentioned that the success of a Lord of the Rings TV series rests on the shoulders of its showrunner.
“The Duffers got to make their movie [Stranger Things]. And the same was true with New Line and Peter Jackson and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The challenge would be: Could they find some team to do it that they could let do their thing, or are they going to squat on it? It’s hard to make a TV series like this by committee.”
For fans who say that Lord of the Rings should never be remade, remember that Ralph Bakshi produced a version in 1978. There have also been four radio dramas.
Best of all, the fabulous 1981 version starred Ian Holm as Frodo, which made his appearance as Bilbo in Jackson’s version all the more poignant.