BySarah Gibson, writer at
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Sarah Gibson

Fans of 's novel can often be heard moaning about 's decision to stretch a modest 300-page read into 3 feature length movies. But then again, perhaps those fans would learn to take things in their stride if they saw some of the alternate The Hobbit movies that could have been...

Well, visited Middle-earth on a recent trip to the set of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and gathered some interesting info about five Hobbit movies that didn't get made.

See if you like these!

The McKellen Hobbit

Imagine The Hobbit, only with more mundanity... That's what would have liked:

The one disappointment is that Peter had half-promised, 'Wouldn't it be fun to see Gandalf getting up in the morning'. Peter's always saying he likes the guy who does sleep under a hedge and gets up and saves the world. So do I...

The non-McKellen Hobbit

Apparently, we almost didn't get the same wizard we know and love, either! McKellan remarked that:

I don't like to play a part that I have played before. Once you've played Gandalf, you get offered a lot of parts for old men with white beards. And it's hardly worth you reading the script because however good it is, I feel I have done that. So there was a lot inside me saying, "No, no, no." What persuaded me was could I bear the thought of somebody else playing Gandalf? I couldn't actually face talking to an eight-year-old and explaining why I didn't want to be Gandalf again.

No, Gandalf, you couldn't.

The Office Hobbit

talked about first being Tim from BBC's The Office and why he's not worried about being typecast:

When you're younger, you can see it more as a trap. Actually you should be so lucky that you do a role where people identify that with you anyway, because most actors don't get one.

Wise words for someone for a Shire dweller...

The English Hobbit

Sure, we think of the rolling hills of New Zealand when we think about The Hobbit, but it could have been set in England instead! McKellan said it was all Australia's fault:

A whole dispute we had with Actors' Equity in Australia nearly made us take the movie over to England to shoot. We came within a day or two of that decision. Then I had an ulcer. I won't blame the Australians for that, although, well, you know, it's debatable.


The Early Hobbit

Jackson also revealed that the franchise could all be over already:

Our original plan was to make The Hobbit as a single movie, and then if that was successful, then to do The Lord of the Rings as two movies back to back. And that's what we pitched back in about '95 or '96.

Would you have liked to see any of these versions of The Hobbit, or are you perfectly happy with the way it turned out, thank you very much?


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