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David Bowie was wanted for The Lord of the Rings trilogy to play Gandalf, says casting director

'Bowie was far too busy'

Jack Shepherd
Sunday 18 December 2016 16:50 GMT

Throughout his life, David Bowie remained hard to pin down, tackling dozens of different projects across the globe, all at once.

It should come as no surprise, then, to discover the elusive singer was unable to appear in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy - a series that took three years to film - due to time constraints.

However, thanks to casting director Amy Hubbard, we now know which part Bowie was wanted for. Director Peter Jackson apparently wanted the Blackstar singer to play Gandalf.

“He was unavailable,” Hubbard told The Huffington Post. “It was a very quick conversation with the legendary Chris Andrews at CAA. I do believe that [Bowie] went over and played for everybody at the Millennium party. That would’ve been New Year’s Eve in the year 1999, which was when the films were being shot. He went over and entertained everybody, but he never auditioned. That’s for sure.”

She continued: “We approached him [for Gandalf]. 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, and we rang Chris, and [Bowie] was far too busy.”

Another actor who was unable to take on a role in The Lord of the Rings for time commitment reasons was Nicolas Cage, who was wanted to play Aragon.

Thankfully, the trilogy turned out to be a cinematic delight without either Bowie or Cage, with Sir Ian McKellen and Viggo Mortensen doing incredible jobs in their respected roles.

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