Viggo Mortensen, who played Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, gives his thoughts about the upcoming Amazon show set during the Second Age.
Viggo Mortensen weighed in on the upcoming Lord of the Rings Amazon series in a new interview. The actor played Aragorn in the original Peter Jackson helmed trilogy, which helped spur a revival in fantasy television and film. Jackson went on to direct three more films based on author J.R.R. Tolkien’s original novel The Hobbit. While not as successful as the original trilogy, those films dove deeper into the mythology surround Middle Earth, Tolkien’s vast, fantastical world.
Not much is currently know about the Amazon show. 20 actors were just added to the cast and filming is currently underway in New Zealand after being delayed at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. It is thought that the show will take place during the Second Age of Middle Earth. There are plenty of events to be mined from this era of history in Tolkien’s lore, including Sauron’s rise and the creation of the One Ring that drives the plot of Jackson’s original trilogy. Unfortunately, because the Second Age takes place thousands of years before Jackson’s films, Mortensen and other actors from the original trilogy won’t be able to make an appearance.
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Mortensen’s interview with NME touched on his career post-Lord of the Rings, but also on the trilogy that brought the star into a new level of fame. When asked about the new show, Mortensen had much to say. He discussed the Game of Thrones comparisons, as well as the creative team behind the new show. Ultimately, he expressed confidence in the direction the show is taking, noting that they have a formidable blueprint to follow, thanks to Jackson.
“[Am I worried that] they would try to be like Game Of Thrones and have a certain level of arbitrary violence and stuff like that? I dunno. I know it’s J.A. Bayona, who is a Spanish director who’s very talented. They are doing it in New Zealand, so I would imagine they would have the benefit of Peter Jackson’s advice and maybe some of the crew members. I would think that they have every opportunity to do it right. They have a good example to follow.”
Game of Thrones comparisons are inevitable – people couldn’t stop comparing the two during that television show’s rise and eventual fall. Amazon’s show has a bit more going for it, though, in terms of source material. Tolkien’s vast mythology is fleshed out well enough that the show won’t have to fill in too many gaps. In fact, they aren’t even allowed to alter anything that Tolkien has already established – everything in the show must fall directly in line with the established canon. Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss ran out of source material a little over halfway through that show’s run and that is considered by many to be the point where the quality of the show dipped substantially.
With Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show having a five-season commitment, the show will have enough room to craft a solid narrative arc. Mortensen is right in that Jackson truly laid the groundwork with his original trilogy. His deft handling of Tolkien’s dense mythology and his unapologetic approach to the world made the film accessible for readers and non-readers alike. It’s likely we’ll see echoes of Jackson’s trilogy in the show, but for fans of Tolkien, the prospect of a new, big budget show set in one of the most famous fantasy universes is exciting, and the show can’t arrive soon enough.
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