After Variety broke the news that Amazon and Warner Bros. Studios were in talks to adapt “Lord of the Rings” into a television series, its film star Sean Astin says he knew a remake was inevitable.
Astin, who played the hobbit Samwise Gamgee in Peter Jackson’s original “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy, told Kyle Anderson on his SiriusXM show “Up All Afternoon with Kyle Anderson” that he has been saying for 15 years that “maybe like 12 years after ‘Lord of the Rings’ came out, that it would get remade.”
Astin added that people used to disagree with him, calling it a “classic” they could “never top,” but he was adamant. “No, it’ll get remade. It’s a massive story! The characters are so beloved,” he said.
When asked if he would consider reprising his role as Frodo’s beloved sidekick, Astin admitted that the possibility hadn’t even occurred to him.
“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?’ I think it’s an intriguing idea, but the devil’s in the details. How would they do it? How? Who?” Astin said.
Astin said he believes that a series based upon the world of Middle Earth created by author J.R.R. Tolkien could be a “a kind of tent pole franchise for Amazon.” The actor further added that the key to doing the series well would be to allow the filmmakers to have creative control over the series, comparing the would-be adaptation to his latest project, Netflix’s “Stranger Things.”
“I’m sure they were giving script notes, but I never saw ’em,” he said about Netflix. “The Duffers got to make their movie. 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 to their thing, or are they going to squat on it? It’s hard to make a TV series like this by committee.”
Astin also noted that beyond just a strict remake or adaptation of Tolkien’s books and Jackson’s films, he believed the series could explore more aspects of Middle Earth and expand the mythos of the world.
“The Mines of Moria are referred to a lot in ‘Lord of the Rings,’” he explained. “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.”