‘All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.’ That pearl of wisdom comes to us courtesy of Gandalf the Grey, beardy wizard and defender of Middle-Earth from the dark forces of Mordor. Is it advice that David Bowie took?
Earlier this year the rumour mill went into overdrive speculating that Bowie had auditioned for ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Now we know the truth. Bowie did not audition for Peter Jackson's fantasy trilogy. The filmmakers never got past his agent. Talking to The Huffington Post, casting director Amy Hubbard cleared the matter up once and for all. ‘He was unavailable,’ she explained. ‘It was a very quick conversation.’
Hubbard confirmed that Bowie was approached. ‘I'm pretty sure it was Peter Jackson's idea in the first few weeks that we got going.
‘It was one that he'd always wondered about… [Bowie] was far too busy.'
Bowie wouldn’t be the first actor reluctant to commit to the two-year filming timetable in New Zealand with Jackson. In an interview with Time Out, Saoirse Ronan told us she agonised over turning down the chance to play an elf in ‘The Hobbit': 'I was heartbroken for months afterwards. But, basically, the schedule was too long.’
Choosing between Bowie and McKellen as the perfect Gandalf is an impossible ask – like being asked to pick which cool uncle is your favourite. McKellen is a Tolkien buff, and has kept the faith – he turned down £1.1 million to officiate a wedding in character as Gandalf. But we can’t help wondering where Bowie would have gone with the role…
Feeling Christmas-y? Here are the best movies on TV this Christmas, the best Christmassy movies on TV and the best Christmas movies of all time. Plus, the best movies on Netflix and the best family-friendly kids' movies on Netflix.