This article appeared in Yahoo! News on Friday recapping the events of the cast change these past few days–I think we’ll forever wonder what the precise reason for Townsend’s departure was… Thanks to “The Miqque” for pointing this out to us!
“Lord of the Rings” Cast Shuffle
Just a couple of days into shooting, the big-budget, big-screen version of
J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is already minus a key cast
Stuart Townsend (All About Adam, Wonderland), cast as the hero Aragorn, has
left the production, according to New Line Cinema, the studio behind the
project. The official line is that Townsend quit over–you guessed
While New Line refuses to say what went down, set scuttlebutt has it that
either director Peter Jackson and Townsend didn’t agree about his portrayal,
or Jackson just plain didn’t think the relatively unknown Towsend had the
requisite star power to pull off the role of Aragorn, one of the film’s
principals. “He just didn’t fit into the role,” a source close to the New
Zealand-based production says.
Cast members have reportedly been supportive of the decision. No reshooting
will be necessary, says New Line, because none of Townsend’s scenes have
According to the Hollywood trades, Viggo Mortensen–whose résumé includes
Psycho, G.I. Jane, A Perfect Murder and Portrait of a Lady–is in final
negotiations to replace Townsend.
Not surprisingly, the quick cast change is already big news on the
alt.fan.tolkien newsgroup. “I think looks-wise [Mortensen]’s better. He has
a more rugged look than Townsend, who appeared to look like a young pretty
boy,” one fan writes. Opines another: “Townsend is an idiot though for
getting himself fired. Talk about blowing the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Meanwhile, the studio has dispelled rumors that Sean Connery, who was seen
in the general vicinity of the shoot, will make any appearances in Rings. No
official word on reports that Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke are up for the
roles of Eowyn and Faramir.
Confirmed cast members include Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Ian
McKellen and Liv Tyler.